Halloween is here, and pumpkins are everywhere! Want to grow your own pumpkins? They’re easy and fun to grow so why not make it your mission for next Halloween for home-grown decorations – plus they make a delicious winter warmer soup! Follow our easy steps for how to grow pumpkins.
Pumpkins are best grown from seed indoors in 7.5cm pots from mid-to late April. The seeds are flat and should be sown on their side, 1cm deep, and keep at 18–21°C.
You can also sow seeds directly outdoors if you don’t have room indoors or miss the April sowing time. Sow two or three seeds per 3cm deep hole in late May or June but be sure to cover with a cloche or similar.
Pumpkins need a warm, sunny position that is sheltered from cold winds with moisture-retentive soil. In late May, start acclimatising your pumpkins to outdoor conditions, planting them outside in early June when all risk of frost has passed.
Pumpkins need plenty of water. Sink a 15cm pot alongside each plant and water into this to ensure the water goes down to the roots of your pumpkin plant or use a Hozelock Aquasolo for automatic watering to the roots.
Let the pumpkins mature and colour up before picking in autumn. Depending on the type of pumpkin, it could last for 3-6 months! Store in a well-ventilated place indoors between 10-15°C.
Got too many pumpkins for your Halloween display? They’re delicious additions to your kitchen cupboard, find inspiration with this list of recipes from BBC Good Food.