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jump to last post 1-8 of 8 discussions (20 posts)

What is the best time of the year to plant pumpkins and squash?

  1. Farmer Rachel profile image99
    Farmer Rachelposted 5 years ago

    What is the best time of the year to plant pumpkins and squash?

    I play around with this every year and haven't quite gotten it right yet. I want my pumpkins to finish around halloween, no earlier than Sept. 30th. I waited until June to plant my butternut squash this year (planted in hills with decorative corn) and it looks pretty terrible right now. No flowers, vines weak. Planted pumpkins in late May and they are vibrant and full of flowers. Bad year, or bad planting dates? Thanks!!

  2. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 5 years ago

    Squash of course around May 10th, The same for pumpkins. But, If you want to plant anything now? Pumpkins will thrive this time of year. No luck on the squash though, Only in the spring.

    1. Farmer Rachel profile image99
      Farmer Rachelposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hmm, I think here in south east PA if I planted pumpkins now they wouldn't have enough time to finish up. Thanks!

    2. profile image0
      JThomp42posted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Sorry, I didn't realize.

    3. Farmer Rachel profile image99
      Farmer Rachelposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      That's okay! I should have mentioned where I am from smile

  3. krillco profile image93
    krillcoposted 5 years ago

    I agree with J...and, so much more can affect the results, especially the amount of water the plants get. Pumpkins, especially, seem sensitive to needing water at the right amount at the right time. So consider these other factors as well.

    1. Farmer Rachel profile image99
      Farmer Rachelposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      My pumpkins look awesome; I planted them in June, have basically never watered them, and they're kicking. The squash, which I've manured and watered, looks like it needs a mercy killing. Thanks for answering!

  4. Insane Mundane profile image60
    Insane Mundaneposted 5 years ago

    You definitely want to start your pumpkins fairly early, preferably in May, since they take so long to grow. 
    As for squash, I know that you can plant summer squash in May, June, July, and August, and have a decent yield for months.  If you have the available land, you can experiment with different locations which will effect the amount of sun they get, from month to month.  For example, they need sunnier areas when planting early or late, and more shade during the peak of summer.

    Anyway, I have been staggering my squash plants all summer in 2 to 3 week intervals (sow seed, wait a couple weeks, plant again, wait a few more weeks, etc.), so I can achieve a steady yield.  In fact, even though it is August 9th right now, I got some young squash plants that I'm about to transplant into the garden in a couple days, and they will produce just like all the other ones, unless some garden pests or bad weather hits.
    My location is in the southeastern region of the United States, so depending on your area, results may vary...

    1. Farmer Rachel profile image99
      Farmer Rachelposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Wow, lucky you - stagger-planting squash all summer long! Nice idea about experimenting. That's what I've been doing the past few years, hence my irregular planting dates and sad, sad looking butternut squash. wink

  5. The Dirt Farmer profile image97
    The Dirt Farmerposted 5 years ago

    Hi Rachel!

    I'm not sure what part of PA you're in, but ...  late May to the first of June would probably be the right time to direct seed winter squash and pumpkin. You ought to email your county extension service or give them a call if they don't list planting dates for your area online.

    Here's to better luck next year! (And a cooler summer.) (:

    Jill

    1. Insane Mundane profile image60
      Insane Mundaneposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Dang, I wished I would have checked her profile and seen that she was from northeastern US, as they have different growing dates.  Oh, well, Rachel can just bump my start dates up a bit from the southeastern US and cut the end dates off earlier.

    2. Farmer Rachel profile image99
      Farmer Rachelposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Jill! Ultimately I think you're right on with the planting dates. May15 - June1 is recommended by the extension office here. I followed an old Native American planting practice for my fancy corn w/ squash in the hills this year - late June.

  6. JesadaB profile image76
    JesadaBposted 5 years ago

    This is the first year we planted pumpkins and so far so good except I think the pumpkin vines will soon be knocking on the backdoor. I want to say we planted the pumpkins in either late June or early July as the package said how long they take and we figured they would not be ready till right before Halloween.Lets hope so because I think we are going to have an awful lot. We have a raised bed and just one of the plants has now spread out so much it looks to be about 10 feet long and coming out of the bed. Do we need to do anything about this? LoL...I am afraid we will be over run with pumpkins this year.

    1. Insane Mundane profile image60
      Insane Mundaneposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      It is normal for them to vine like crazy, as watermelons, cantelopes, pumpkins, cucumbers, etc., grow long vines all over the place.  Good luck with your harvest!

    2. JesadaB profile image76
      JesadaBposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks Insane Mundane....we were worried as just the one plant is gargantuan and the others are starting to catch up! LoL

  7. OldRoses profile image95
    OldRosesposted 5 years ago

    Pumpkins are a type of squash, so you should be planting your pumpkins and squash at the same time.  Seeds can be direct sown after your last frost date.  Here in NJ, zone 6, that is May 15.  If you don't know the last frost date for your area, contact your local extension office.  If you want to get a jump on the growing season, you can start seeds indoors and then plant your vines outside after your last frost date.  Squash don't like cold which isn't a problem this year for most parts of the country.  Pumpkins are heavy feeders so you must fertilize them.  I'm an organic gardener.  I use a lot of compost.  Watering is critical, especially this year when it has been so scarce for so many people.  You cannot depend on rain only, you will need to provide supplemental watering.  But don't over water!  Squash doesn't like soggy soil.  That's why you should plant them in hills or raised beds to provide good drainage.  I hope you have plenty of space.  Pumpkin vines get huge and love to sprawl all over your yard.  I found a silver lining:  it meant less lawn to mow!  Good luck with your garden this year.

    1. Farmer Rachel profile image99
      Farmer Rachelposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Hi OldRoses - I have my pumps and squash both in hills. Last frost is May 15 for me, too. I guess I should have asked... if I want to pick pumpkins aroundhalloween, can I wait to plant them? I planted the pumps in May, and the squash in June. Thanks!

    2. OldRoses profile image95
      OldRosesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      You will have to keep an eye on the weather.  If you are zone 6 like me, then your first frost date is Oct 15.  A frost will kill your vines.  You will want to harvest your pumpkins either right before or right after a frost.

  8. Farmer Rachel profile image99
    Farmer Rachelposted 5 years ago

    I figured out that some of my butternut squash got a borer in the vines sad. That's why it has looked so pathetic. Apparently there's some way I can get in there to remove the borer and maybe save the plants. Anyway, at least I know it wasn't my planting dates that limited my butternut squash production!

    1. OldRoses profile image95
      OldRosesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      This happened to me with pumpkin vines.  Supposedly you can use something long and thin like a straightened wire hanger and stick it inside the affected vine until you reach the borer and skewer it.  I was never successful doing it.

 
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