Winter squash, including pumpkins, are very-tender vegetables that grow best in warm weather.
Plant seeds directly in the garden 2-4 weeks after the spring frost date.
To harvest squash sooner, start seeds indoors the week of the spring frost date, or purchase transplants. Transplants are ready when they have 2-3 true leaves. Harden off and transplant into the garden 2-4 weeks after the spring frost date.
When growing pumpkins, once the fruits are large enough to touch the ground, turn them to “sit on their bottoms” (opposite the stem). This will allow them to grow evenly, without flat spots.
Squash requires high temperatures and many hours of sunlight. They cannot be grown in the winter.
Soil and Fertilizer
Squash grow best in a rich soil; amend with lots of compost and fertilizer (chemical or organic) at planting.
Fertilizer: Apply 16-16-8 at planting.
Harvest winter squash after the vine dies and the skin of the fruit is hard and cannot be scratched by your fingernail. Harvest with the stem on and store in a cool, dry location. Winter squash will keep for several months.
- Squash Reference Sheet (Utah Extension Service)