Pumpkin 'Betty'

How to sow pumpkin and squash seeds

Find out how to sow pumpkin and squash seeds in our simple, step-by-step guide.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is not at its best in May

Plant is not at its best in June

Plant is not at its best in July

Plant is not at its best in August

Plant is at its best in September

Plant is at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

Pumpkins and squash are easy and fun to grow from seed.

Find out all you need to know about growing pumpkins and squash in our pumpkins and squash Grow Guide and discover some of the best pumpkin and squash varieties to grow.

Pumpkins are rampant growers and take up a lot of room. They benefit from a large root run, plenty of moisture and regular feeding. They are best grown in the open ground, or a large half barrel.

If you’re gardening in a small space, you can still grow pumpkins – watch Monty Don’s video guide to growing pumpkins and squashes in a small space.

Here’s our simple, step-by-step guide to sowing pumpkin and squash seeds.

Pumpkins are rampant growers so they benefit from a large root run, plenty of moisture and regular feeding.

You will need

  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Small pots
  • Seed compost
  • Heated propagator or warm windowsill
  • Well-rotted manure or compost
  • Vented bell cloche
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Step 1

Sow seeds individually in small pots of good quality compost, from mid-March to mid-June. Place in a heated propagator, or warm windowsill, and keep just moist.

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Step 2

When seedlings are about 10cm tall, harden off thoroughly. Once frosts have passed, plant them out in deeply dug soil, into a large hole filled with plenty of compost or well-rotted manure.

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Step 3

Mound the soil in a ring at least 45cm-wide around the base of the plant to divert water to the roots. Water well and cover each plant with a vented bell cloche to protect against cool weather.

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Step 4

Pumpkins have female and male flowers. Males only last a day and won’t produce fruits, so remove them as they fade to reduce the risk of grey mould. if sun levels are low, take out leaves overshadowing the fruits (take out all that have mildew) as this encourages ripening.

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Water regularly, keeping the soil moist at all times. The stress of drought causes the plant to make a greater proportion of male flowers – and fruit is only borne on female flowers. Plentiful water is also needed for the fruit to swell.

Watering can