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Planting Pumpkins - Indoors or Outdoor Start?

Pumpkins require a long growing season. As a result, it may make sense to start your pumpkin plants indoors. If you have a short growing season, or the spring weather is cool and/or rainy, you may find sprouting pumpkin seeds indoors, is the best way to get your plants off to a good start. 

Find the seed starting dates for the pumpkin varieties you are growing, see Seed Starting Dates.

Let's explore whether an indoor or an outdoor seed start makes the best sense for you...........

Arguing for an Outdoor Start:

By far, the biggest reason favoring an outdoor start, is that seeds planted directly into the garden avoid the possibility of transplant shock.

A long growing season, with sufficient time to grow pumpkins to maturity, makes outdoor planting feasible.

It's also the easiest way to plant them, as transplanting is an extra step.

If you are growing a lot of pumpkins, it becomes impractical to start your plants indoors, and transplant them later.

Seeds grown out in the full sun of your garden, get the maximum light possible. Insufficient lighting is often a problem with indoor starts.

Reasons to Start Pumpkin Seeds Indoors:

If your growing season is short, an indoor start may be necessary. Giant pumpkin growers in many areas, find it a necessity to start seedlings indoors. It affords the extra growing time these monsters need, to grow from hundreds of pounds to over a ton in weight!

Rainy spring weather sometimes makes the soil too soggy to start pumpkins, until later in the season. If your garden is in a low lying area, an indoor start may be just what your pumpkins need.

For giant pumpkin growers, the big thick shelled pumpkin seeds, can be hard to germinate. An indoor start allows growers to provide the ideal seed starting environment, and then they can pamper their seedlings.

By transplanting seedlings, you can provide the correct, final spacing to avoid overcrowding.

Many growers find it is fun to start pumpkin plants indoors, and watch seedlings grow.

Important Tip: Pumpkins grow quickly. We strongly recommend a 4" or 5' peat pot. We also recommend a heated germination mat, to provide the ideal temperatures for your seed starts.

About Peat Pots - and other seed starting supplies

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