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I'm in Zone 7a, right on the edge of 7b and I had the sudden urge to grow a pumpkin. Obviously its Sep 1st and winter is coming but I'm wondering if it is possible to grow my own pumpkin (even a tiny one) by Halloween. This gives me 59 days if I can get the seed in tomorrow. I'm thinking I would do an overnight seed soak to get things going as soon as possible. I'd appreciate any advice on quick growing varieties or boosting growth speed.

  • Pumpkins need 75-100 frost free days to produce fruit - Halloween is only 60 days away...almanac.com/plant/pumpkins – Bamboo Sep 1 '17 at 22:24
  • I realize the days are not in my favor, but any advice on varieties to try or techniques to use would be great – 1800-94-Jenny Sep 1 '17 at 22:42
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I think 70-day pumpkins are the earliest you're going to find. If you don't care if they're ripe, you might try it anyway. If you do some light carving on the skin after the fruit gets to a desirable size, before harvest, it might ripen faster (I've read that damaged fruits tend to ripen faster, and it seems to be true). Fruits with blossom end rot ripen faster, too. Idaho Gem is a 70-day variety. Most others are much, much later (even the super early ones). You could, however, grow summer squash. There's a 45-day round zucchini that might look something like a pumpkin to some. Eightball F1 zucchini is 35 days.

However, even early varieties aren't always early in every garden.

Assuming you actually could grow the fruit by Halloween, your main problem is probably going to be the time it takes for your seeds to arrive if you don't find them in a store. Sand Hill Preservation (who has Idaho Gem) can take a while (you need to mail them a check). However, if you live near them, maybe stop by and ask if you can buy seeds. They seem to be located in Calamus, Iowa.

Burpee sells Eightball F1 zucchini (and Walmart carries Burpee seeds). They might have it in stock.

I'm sorry I wasn't more help.

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