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The average pumpkin is going to need at least 75 to 100 frost-free days in order to fully develop. If you want pumpkins ready in time for Halloween, and the pre-Halloween festivities, like pumpkin carving, you’re going to need to plan(t) ahead.

If you plant your pumpkins too early, they may end up mushy by the time Halloween rolls around. But, if you wait too long, you risk having hard, unripe squash come October. It’s a delicate dance to get the timing “just right.” As a starting point, if you live in one of the northernmost states, you are going to want to get your planting done during the month of May. Meanwhile, those who reside in the southernmost states can wait until July.

Image by Susanne Jutzeler, suju-foto from Pixabay

Ultimately, your specific climate will determine a lot in regards to the appropriate time to get planting! The soil needs to be warm and the frost needs to be completely over or the pumpkins are not going to grow properly.

Once it’s time to harvest, make sure to leave a long stem on the pumpkin to slow the decaying process and always use pruners or a sharp knife to cut the stem. Handle your pumpkins as gently as possible to avoid potential bruising.

To help toughen the skin of the harvested pumpkins, allow them to cure in the sun for a week or so.

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