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Kahlig15
Aug 6, 2015 4:14 PM CST
Getting a late start this year ... Can I still put pumkin seeds out for Halloween decorations only
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Aug 6, 2015 5:06 PM CST
Warning: I've never grown pumpkins! If anyone with experience answers, believe them, not me!

On the other hand, this rambling answer shows the factors, so you can know for yourself "why", and apply the same reasoning to any other crop in any other climate.

I see "100-115 days to maturity" in some seed catalogs. Call it three and a half months.

< < Edited to say: it's been pointed out that I counted wrong, there are NOT 100+ days remaining between now and Halloween. Also, apparently most people direct-sow pumpkins, not transplant them. > >

I think that seed catalogs list "DTM" for favorable growing circumstances, which I think are "warm to hot, very fertile soil, plenty of water, but well-drained soil and/or hills". Full sun and LOTS of room.

If your weather for the rest of the year and soil are good for pumpkins, you don't have to add 20% or more to that number to guess how long they will take in your garden.

If true, they would be ripe around mid-November.

However, "DTM" for plants that are usually transplanted usually count from the date of planting out. I assume you meant "start from seed".

So add around three weeks for the seedlings to grow, then another week to harden them off before planting into full sun and wind.

Now we're thinking "maybe ripe around mid-October".

Halloween isn't until October 31, so I would guess that you have a good chance, IF
your actual future weather and soil don't make your seedlings grumpy and sullen. Like, too cold for them, or too dry. Less than full sun. Insect damage. Plant diseases. (At least poor pollination doesn't slow them down, it just means fewer pumpkins.)

Maybe you can harvest pumpkins for decoration weeks before they are fully ripe, or as big as they might ever get.

Depending on where you live, cold might set in before they get big enough to use, and that could slow their growth down.

If you say where you live, someone here can probably just say "yes, no or with-good-luck".

If I knew what temperatures pumpkins need for rapid growth, I would ask when your average weather gets much colder than that. Then you could guess whether "100-115 days to maturity" is going to be accurate for you.

Maybe people epxerienced with pumpkins could answer just based on your average first frost date.

I don't think your USDA Hardiness zone is useful for figuring "last seed-start-date" or "last transplant-out-date". That just says HOW cold it gets in an average winter, not how SOON it gets too cold for pumpkins to be happy and healthy.

P.S. If you
- click on the "head and shoulders icon" in the upper-left corner,
- then "Change your public profile",
- then edit "location" and "Extra one-line info",
these tidbits of info will appear on all your posts and help people answer questions.
[Last edited by RickCorey - Aug 7, 2015 4:47 PM (+)]
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Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Aug 6, 2015 7:43 PM CST
Welcome to All Things Plants, @Kahlig15 !

Knowing where you are located would help us answer your question... but, that said, I don't think you have enough time to grow pumpkins before Halloween at this point. I do think that the "days to maturity" for pumpkins and squash refers to planting from seed, but they still generally need a good 100 days, which you don't have to work with before Oct 31st. Still, if you live in a warmer climate (than me Hilarious! ) you could give it a go and maybe have some nice Thanksgiving decorations! Thumbs up
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Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 6, 2015 7:51 PM CST
>> I do think that the "days to maturity" for pumpkins and squash refers to planting from seed,

You might very easily be right.

Did I count wrong? ... I guess so!
I think I counted one month twice. Thank you!

Aug 6 to Oct 31 = about 12 weeks = 84 days.

DUHH! Or, in this case, I think "double-DUHH"!

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Aug 6, 2015 7:53 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Kahlig15
Aug 6, 2015 11:13 PM CST
Thanks so much for your advice ... First time I have used this site and after reading it back to my self I did realize I forgot to say I lived in Ohio.. Maybe next year I will be more prepared ...thanks again
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 7, 2015 11:11 AM CST
Ahh, Ohio!

I went to Dave's Garden calendar under "Goodies" and typed in "Ohio"...
It suggested direct-sowing pumpkins between May 19 and Jun 18.
http://garden.org/apps/calendar/?q=ohio

No transplanting out?!? I guess not.


I don't think I've ever seen pumpkin "starts" for sale, so that probably isn't an option to speed things up.

A few years back, I started cruising seed catalogs and websites for when-to-plant advice, and made up some "calendars".

I figured that I would use those for my first guesses, record results, adjust, and try again. I thought it would only take a few years of trial-and-error to get my dates as accurate as naturally-varying weather permits.

Instead, work got busy and I barely have time to weed the beds, let alone plant.

That might be good because in the meanwhile, someone moved in who does a lot of gardening. After I retire, I going to introduce myself and have a long talk with him. Picking his brains should give me a local leg up.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
Weedwhacker
Aug 7, 2015 2:36 PM CST
RickCorey said:Ahh, Ohio!

No transplanting out?!? I guess not.


I don't think I've ever seen pumpkin "starts" for sale, so that probably isn't an option to speed things up.



Sure you can... I start all my cukes, squash, pumpkins, whatever, 3-4 weeks ahead of planting, in 4" pots. It not only "speeds things up," but the plants seem less susceptible to getting chewed on by bugs and slugs. The seedlings grow fast, though, so you don't want to start them too far ahead. Smiling

"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Aug 7, 2015 4:53 PM CST
I naively thought that ALL hot-weather crops benefited from starting indoors. Maybe only in New England and cold-weather or short-summer climates.

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