DonV
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:20 pm
Location: North Royalton OH zone 6

When to start pumpkins for Halloween?

I started my pumpkins in zone 6 right away, yikes, had a full orange pumpkin a month ago and one now. Vines are dying - new ones are starting but what a waste - took up a TON of room (despite frequent trimming) - when should I start them to get orange pumpkins for Halloween? I am guessing that they will still ripen in Late Sept or early Oct - but last until Halloween. It seems to my like last frost (May 1-10) was WAY to soon, july 1 better?

CharlieBear
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Location: Pacific NW

Re: When to start pumpkins for Halloween?

Your question is hard to answer, because the weather plays a very large part in how long it takes. The variety you plant will also help determine it as well. I have seen years that winter squash including pumpkins just didn't ripen in time for Halloween even for the large growers and other years they are ripening like yours did. When you trimmed them, you may have cut off "fruit" that would have ripened later then the ones you got. You might try Labor Day, kind of a traditional last date to plant winter squash and see if that works better for you. You could also plant a variety with a longer growing cycle.

Peter1142
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Location: SE NY ZONE 6B

Re: When to start pumpkins for Halloween?

Better too early than too late. Fully matured pumpkins will last for many months.

There is no way you could get pumpkins in Ohio planting on labor day (or any winter squash, really.) They are 90+ days minimum - in the summer. It would be tough to get zucchini, planting on labor day. Depending on the variety, I would suggest maybe a July 1st late planting.
Zone 6b SE NY
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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: When to start pumpkins for Halloween?

CharlieBear wrote:You might try Labor Day, kind of a traditional last date to plant winter squash and see if that works better for you. You could also plant a variety with a longer growing cycle.
I think CharlieBear was thinking Memorial Day. But yeah I think July 1 would be too late for typical pumpkin varieties. June 1-15 would be more like it.

Pay attention to the DTM -- typically earliest small ones would be about 90 days but most "early" are around 110, giants take 120 or more days. And they need the heat to grow the vines well so once the cooler weather and shorter days arrive they will slow down. I believe it takes about 55 days from blossom set to mature fruit.
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