Growing pumpkins for Halloween

Earlier this year the kids were very kindly given a “super giant pumpkin” set each from a friend, so we decided to get them grown in time for Halloween 2018. I am certainly not a gardening expert (although I do like pottering outside and try my best), so we just followed the instructions on the pot! Before we get started though, if you fancy giving this a try do bear in mind that you’ll need plenty of space...and 6 months.

We planted the seeds in the pot provided at the beginning of April 2018, and left them with the lids on until the seeds started sprouting. Then the lids came off.

pumpkin growing

About 3 weeks later we removed the seedlings from the provided containers and split them into separate pots.

Our pumpkin (right) and zinnia (left) seedlings
At the end of May I really needed to transfer the seedlings out of their pots, but we don’t have any flower beds in the garden. I decided to improvise, so stuck 3 plants into this re-usable grow bag from Amazon, 1 into a larger plant pot we had lying around, and hoped for the best!

pumpkin plants

Not long after we planted them out, the pumpkin plants started to flower.

pumpkin flowers

The plants grew a lot over a fairly short period of time. They are pretty thirsty, and with the long hot June and July we had this year, I had to water them a couple of times a day - I tended to do it first thing in the morning and in the evening. 

By the start of July we had three fruits. One didn’t last too long - it went a bit mushy within a couple of weeks - so we just gave up on it and removed it. Mid-way through July I started to give them plant food once a week. I probably should have done this as soon as any sign of fruit appeared, but it took me awhile to get around to buying any food (organised as always!). 

Early pumpkin fruit pictured in JulyPumpkin
Apart from the twice daily watering and weekly feed I left the pumpkins to do their thing. Some fruits were fine, and others didn’t last long. I just removed those fruits and the dead leaves, and carried on as I was. 

Our first fruit was ready on 3rd September. We returned from a weekend away and the vine it was on was all brown and shrivelled - probably due to not being watered for a couple of days. I removed the fruit, gave it a good wash and dry, then placed it on a piece of cardboard in my garage. Once picked the fruits just need to be stored somewhere cool and dark, and preferably not directly on the floor as they are more likely to rot. 

Pumpkin storage
Although our pumpkins were nowhere near “super giant” in size (in fact, I think you’d even struggle to to describe them as average sized) we had lots of fun growing these. I think we might try pumpkins again next year, but I might have to do some reading up to get some tips on how to ensure the fruits are a better size. My thoughts at the moment are to buy a second gro bag and have one plant per bag...although all pumpkin growing tips are gratefully received, 
The kids really took ownership of watering the pumpkins, and they loved that they had grown something recognisable which we could then do something else with.

What we used (NB These are affiliate links*):

*I sometimes use affiliate links on my site. This just means if you click on an affiliate link, and make a purchase I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Any links which are affiliates will be clearly marked. I only add affiliate links for items which are either relevant to my blog, or which I like and use myself. These are the exact pumpkin sets my friend bought us, and the same gro bag and plant food I purchased.

Growing pumpkins for halloween


  1. This looks like a great set for kids. We've grown pumpkins once, not a great success. Might try this next year.

    1. Ours weren’t as big as we’d hoped but we’re confident for next year! If you give it a try let me know how you get on.


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