When is Pumpkin Season?

Pumpkin season is one of my favorite times of year and it’s very satisfying to harvest the homegrown pumpkins that I planted from seed.

Are you wondering when pumpkins are in season?

In this article I’ll tell you all about the pumpkin growing season, along with some handy tips to get the most out of your pumpkin crop.

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pumpkin season

Fall is the peak pumpkin season in North America. The pumpkin harvest time will vary depending on which part of the country you’re in.

Pumpkins grown in southern states will be ready to harvest in early fall, while in the northern states pumpkins can be harvested in mid to late fall.

Planting pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin plants grow best when the seeds are planted directly in the garden.

You’ll need to wait until the soil has warmed up to at least 70ºF (21ºC) before planting pumpkin seeds outdoors. 

Pumpkins are tender plants that are sensitive to cold temperatures and they’re not frost tolerant.

If you live in an area with a short growing season you can start the seeds indoors and transplant them out to the garden when the temperature warms up or choose a fast maturing variety like Idaho Gem that only takes about 70 days from planting to harvest.

pumpkin growth stages

Pumpkin season in the USA

Pumpkins have a long growing season, usually 75 to 100 days so you need to plant them by mid to late spring in most locations.

If you sow your pumpkin seeds in late April or early May, they’ll be ready to harvest sometime in August.

Pumpkins are commonly used in the United States as decorations for fall holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving.

The pumpkins can be used in table or front porch arrangements, carved or used for cooking.

Pumpkin season in Australia

In the warm, frost free areas of Australia you can start planting pumpkin seeds in late August or early September and your pumpkins will be ready to harvest before Christmas.

In cooler climates you’ll need to wait until the risk of frost has passed, which can be as late as mid November in some areas of the southern states.

This means that the pumpkins will be ready to harvest in late February.

mini pumpkins

Pumpkin maturing time

There is some variation in ripening time between different varieties of pumpkins.

If you’re looking for a fast growing pumpkin it’s best to plant one of the smaller varieties like Jack Be Little, Bumpkin or small sugar pumpkins.

These varieties are usually ready to harvest about 90 to 100 days after planting, depending on the conditions.

Harvesting pumpkins

There are a couple of ways to tell when pumpkins are ready to pick.

I like to wait until the vine starts to turn brown and becomes withered but you can also tap on the outside of the pumpkin.

If it sounds hollow it means your pumpkins are ready to harvest.

Cut the pumpkins from the vine with a knife and leave at least 3 inches (about 7 cm) of the stem attached to each pumpkin.

The great thing about growing pumpkins is they keep for months, so you can enjoy them right throughout fall and winter, as long as they’re cured properly.

storing pumpkins

Once the pumpkins are harvested you’ll need to leave them outdoors in a sunny spot to cure for about two weeks.

This helps the skin of the pumpkins to harden which means they’ll keep for many months.

Pumpkins that are in the process of curing shouldn’t get wet so if there is rain predicted you’ll need to move the pumpkins to a covered area to finish curing.

Pumpkins can be stored for six months or longer in a cool, dark room.

Just make sure there’s enough space for the air to circulate between them.

pumpkin plant

I hope this post has helped you to work out when pumpkin season is in your area.

Plant pumpkins seeds anytime from early spring as long as there is no risk of frost and they’ll be ready to harvest three and a half to four months later.


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Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Chloe Arnold

    THANK YOU! My son LOVES pumpkins and has been asking to plant some for weeks. Now I can actually tell him when we need to plant them based on where we live. Can’t wait to see them grow!!

  2. Laura Linklater

    We grew pumpkins in the UK once and it was a fabulous experience for the kids! There’s nothing like eating your own home grown produce as well. Thank you for the guide x

  3. Kristy Bullard

    I love pumpkins! I use them for pies and I love to snack on roasted pumpkins seeds. I’m curious about growing my own here in Alabama and appreciate your advice!

  4. Erica (The Prepping Wife)

    I love pumpkins! But I had no idea that they needed to cure for two weeks after picking them. I’m really interested in trying to grow them after reading this and learning so much about them.

  5. Riyah Speaks

    I absolutely love pumpkins and pumpkin season is one of my favorite times of year also. I love going to the farms to pick out my own pumpkins and carving them.

  6. Lyosha

    I love pumpkins and while they are accessible all your round here (after all, it’s easy to store them) I do find them best during the local ‘pumpkin’ season. It reminds me to cook pumpkin again.

  7. Peter wangui

    I would like to be a pumpkin farmer please help me with more detail.

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