Pumpkins are great crops because they are versatile, nutritious, and delicious. They come in different varieties, shapes, sizes, and colors, and you can use them to make a wide range of dishes. Sometimes, questions of how long pumpkins take to grow do come up.
Pumpkins take between 90 and 120 days to grow after planting the seeds. They come in different varieties, and the types that produce small fruits take a shorter time to mature than varieties that have large fruits. Pumpkins can grow even faster if you take good care of them.
In this article, I’ll explain how long it takes pumpkins to grow by showing you some varieties that grow quickly and those that grow slowly. I’ll also explain how to care for your pumpkins for optimum growth. Here we go.
Pumpkin Varieties That Grow Quickly
As mentioned earlier, pumpkins that produce small fruits grow faster than large ones. Let’s discuss some of the examples of pumpkins that grow fast.
This variety is also known as carving a pumpkin, and it has an irregular oblong or round shape. It has orange-yellow skin, pale orange, sweet flesh, and refined grains, and is suitable for cooking, and has a long shelf life.
The fruit weighs approximately 10 to 19 lbs (4.5 to 8.6 kg), and it takes between 75 and 115 days to grow.
This type of pumpkin is globe-shaped, and its skin is smooth and bright orange.
The flesh is orange-yellow with a mild, sweet flavor making it great for cooking and roasting. The fruit of this variety weighs about 20 to 25 lbs (9.07 to 11.3 kg), and it does not have a long shelf life. It takes between 84 and 100 days to grow.
This pumpkin variety has a round shape, and the skin is orange-yellow. The flesh is pale orange, tender, juicy, and sweet, and the pumpkin has a long shelf life. It produces a moderately sized fruit that weighs between 7 and 8 lbs (3.2 and 3.6 kg).
Since the fruit is small, the pumpkin takes between 85 and 100 days to grow.
Pumpkin Varieties That Grow Slowly
As stated earlier, pumpkin varieties that produce large fruits take longer to grow than small ones. Let’s take a look at some slower-growing pumpkin varieties.
Dill’s Atlantic Giant
The fruit of this variety is round and orange-pinkish and produces enormous fruits that weigh between 200 and 300 lbs (90.7 and 136.07 kg) on vines that bear one fruit. Vines with multiple fruits bear fruits weighing about 50 to 100 lbs (22.7 and 45.4 kg). Since this variety bears huge fruits, they take between 110 and 130 days to grow.
This variety produces a round fruit with an orange-reddish pumpkin color and an orange flesh with a great flavor. As you can tell from the name, this type of pumpkin has gigantic fruits that weigh 200 lbs (90.7 kg) and above. Since the fruit is so huge, these pumpkins take about 120 to 130 days to grow.
Big Moon Variety
This type of pumpkin is roundish with light orange flesh and bright orange skin. The pumpkin’s flesh is tender and sweet, and it is thus great for baking. This pumpkin variety produces huge fruits that weigh between 100 and 200 lbs (45.4 and 90.7 kg), and it takes about 110 to 120 days to grow.
How To Care for Pumpkins for Optimum Growth
As stated earlier, the length of time pumpkins takes to grow also depends on the plant’s care. Let’s now discuss how you can take care of your pumpkins for optimum growth.
Plant Good Quality Seeds
The quality of the pumpkin seeds you sow determines the quality of your pumpkin crop and also how long they will take to grow. Buy seeds from reputable seed suppliers because they are vetted.
The packets of such seeds have growing instructions and indicate the approximate growing period.
Plant In Good Quality Soil
Pumpkins are great feeders and therefore do well in well-drained soil. It is good to add compost or manure to the soil before sowing pumpkins for best results. These two components have several nutrients that make the soil fertile, which is suitable for growing pumpkins.
Plant Pumpkins In an Ideal Position
Pumpkins prefer a warm and sunny position facing away from the cold winds. Pumpkin seeds do not germinate in cold soil, so plant your pumpkins in a place where the sun can heat the soil so that the seeds can germinate. Sunny weather also helps the pumpkins to mature quickly.
Water Pumpkins Sufficiently
Pumpkins are usually thirsty and therefore need lots of water to grow properly. So, you should water them thoroughly and slowly at least once a week to ensure that the water reaches the plant’s roots.
If you don’t water your plants well, the leaves start to wilt, and the plant may eventually die.
Fertilize Pumpkins as Required
Apart from fertile soils, pumpkins need additional nutrients to grow good fruits in the stipulated time. You can find different pumpkin fertilizers in your nearby gardening center or online. The fertilizers usually have detailed instructions from the manufacturers, and you should therefore feed the pumpkins using these instructions.
Support the Fruits
Pumpkins are vines and require support to flourish, but you can train large and small vines up on a trellis. When the pumpkin fruits develop, support and protect them using heavy cardboard or thin boards.
If you leave the fruits on damp ground, they can decay or be attacked by insects, thus damaging the crop.
Get Rid Of Pests
Pests and insects such as squash vine borers, squash bugs, snails, slugs, and beetles can attack pumpkin plants.
If you don’t get rid of these insects and pests in good time, they can eat the flesh of your young pumpkins, thus destroying the crop. You can spray the entire pumpkin vine with a pesticide to eliminate the pests.
Space the Pumpkins Appropriately
Pumpkins need plenty of space to sprawl and mature. In addition, if you plant them close together, they will compete for nutrients and water, and the flowers or fruits may drop off. So, plant the seeds at least 5’ to 6’ (1.5 to 1.8 m) apart to mature quickly and produce healthy and large fruits.
Pumpkins are awesome plants to grow in your garden as they are sweet and nutritious, and you can also consume the seeds and the leaves. They are easy to grow, and take about three to four months to grow, depending on the quality of the seeds, the pumpkin variety, and the growing conditions.
If you take good care of your pumpkins, they can grow in or before the stipulated time. After harvest, store the pumpkins upside down on cardboard in a cool place. When you preserve your pumpkins this way, they can last up to four months.