First, you must select which pumpkin seed you want to grow.  Many people are trying to beat the world record or State record.  Others, including myself, are trying to grow the largest, most orange, and best shaped pumpkin possible.  You will want to investigate the genetics of the seed you’re trying to grow and look up the seed on the Internet to determine if the pumpkin weighed heavy or light.  Of course, you only need to do this step if you’re trying to grow a heavy one.

 

After you have selected your seed, it’s time to get it ready for planting.  I start my seeds indoors since we have a very short growing season in Wyoming.  I’ve had success doing the following:

1.  Place a temperature controlled space heater in a room with sunlight and set the thermostat between 85 to 90 degrees.  I let the space heater run for at least one week solid.

2.  Soak the seed over night in water before planting.

3.  I use only miracle grow or mushroom compost to start my seeds.  My daughter did a science fair project a few years ago that determined which materials would germinate seeds the quickest and mushroom compost won with miracle grow a close second.

4.  I keep the soil/mixture moist, but not soaked or swimming in water.  One year, I had the seeds too wet and the room too cold and most of my seeds rotted.

 

Things I might try this year that I’ve heard others have success with.

1.  Again, the room temperature should be between 85 to90.

2.  Many growers file the sides of the pumpkin seed.  Be careful not to damage the seed by filing too much of the hull away.

3.  Once the seed has sprouted,  place the seed in a pot of soil.

 

I carefully observe the plant and look for the start of the third leaf .  As soon as I see the third leaf, but before the fourth leaf is visible,  I transplant the pumpkin plant outside into the coldframe.  The pumpkin plant should start growing in the opposite direction of the third leaf so make sure your plant is position correctly in the ground.