When to Plant Pumpkins in Kentucky: A Growers Guide

Pumpkins are a popular crop in Kentucky, as they can be used for both decorative displays and culinary purposes. As with all crops, the timing of planting is critical to ensure that your pumpkin patch is successful. 

This guide will provide information on when and how to plant pumpkins in Kentucky so you can maximize your harvest this season. This guide will help you enjoy a successful pumpkin harvest, from soil preparation to harvesting tips. With the right know-how and careful planning, you can have a bountiful pumpkin crop in no time!

When to plant pumpkins in Kentucky

When to Plant Pumpkins in Kentucky

Pumpkins can be planted in the spring or summer in Kentucky. For a successful Halloween harvest, the best time to plant pumpkins is around late May or early June. This gives the pumpkin vines plenty of time to mature and produce lots of delicious fruit by mid-to-late October. 

However, this will depend on the variety of pumpkins you are growing. Late-harvest pumpkins generally take about 100 days to grow and reach maturity, so you’ll need to ensure they have enough time to grow to maturity before Halloween. 

Alternatively, you can plant short-harvest pumpkins in June, as these take less time to grow. 

Other things to consider when planting pumpkins

When to Plant Pumpkins in Kentucky

When deciding when exactly to plant your pumpkin patch, there are a few factors to consider. If you want to plant an early crop of pumpkins, you’ll need to be wary of frost. The average last date of frost in Kentucky is typically around mid-March or early April, so you want to plant your pumpkins after the risk of frost has passed. 

Additionally, pumpkin vines require a soil temperature of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate and grow successfully, so you’ll need to wait until the soil is up to temperature. You can cover your pumpkins to keep them warm during the night. 

Planting tips

When it comes to climate, the hot and humid conditions of Kentucky are ideal for growing pumpkins as long as there is adequate drainage. Pumpkins need plenty of sunshine and water in order to grow properly. So make sure you give your pumpkin patch plenty of both during its growth cycle. 

Pumpkins also need plenty of space to grow as they produce long vines. You should plant your seeds about 4 to 8 feet apart. Mini pumpkin varieties can be planted slightly closer together, but each plant needs 2 to 3 feet of space. 

To ensure a healthy crop, use a balanced fertilizer and mulch to lock in moisture and keep weeds at bay. Water the pumpkin patch consistently during the growing season, and then reduce watering when it’s time to harvest. 

Harvesting tips

When your pumpkins are ripe, they will change color from green to orange. Additionally, the stem will turn brown and be easy to snap off. You can then use a knife or pruners to cut your pumpkins from the vine – don’t pull them off, as this could damage the plant. 

Once harvested, store your pumpkins in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight. Wrapping them in newspaper or burlap can help to protect them and keep them fresh. 


Remember that pumpkins require a long growing season, so it is important to plan ahead when planting your pumpkin patch in Kentucky. You can plant in the spring or summer as long as the soil temperatures are warm enough. If you’re planning a Halloween harvest, you’ll need to plant your crop in May or June. If you plant too late, there may not be enough time for the vines to mature before the end of October.