Grow Your Own Pumpkin Patch: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Variety

With the crazy bouts of raining and flooding we had this year, a lot of my summer vegetables failed to produce as well as they have in past years! With a weak summer harvest season, I'm eagerly looking forward to Fall, and having a pumpkin patch is at the top of my Fall garden priorities! 

A major attraction in Dallas every Fall is Autumn at the Arboretum! This attraction  runs from September through early November and is a spectacular show of color featuring stunning Fall blooms and more pumpkins than you could ever imagine! It is truly a sight to behold! Last year, Stella and I went four times and her love affair with pumpkins began! 

 Photo: Dallas Arboretum 

Photo: Dallas Arboretum 


I decided that this year, I would try my hand at growing our very own pumpkin patch so that we can enjoy pumpkins in our own yard in addition to our trips to the arboretum! 

In Texas, the ideal time for planting your pumpkin seeds to ensure a nice round pumpkin for carving come Halloween is July, ideally the 4th of July for an October harvest! With so many varieties available, I thought I'd break down some of my personal favorites!! 


A few things to consider before planting pumpkin seeds! To grow pumpkins, you will need a site that receives full sun and has space for sprawling vines! If you're short on space, try a small variety! You can plant them in a pot to grow up a trellis! This year I'm going to try growing mini pumpkins on the teepee that previously had beans growing on it!! 

1. Miniature Pumpkins: Jack-be-Little

 Photo: Rare Seeds

Photo: Rare Seeds

  • This small variety is perfect for growing on a trellis! They are 3-4" full grown, so they are ideal if you're looking for small pumpkins to dress up your Thanksgiving table decor!! Days to Maturity: 90-100

2. Pumpkins for Baking: Sugar Pie

 Photo: The Hungry Muse

Photo: The Hungry Muse

  • If you're a Fall baker, this is your variety! These small pumpkins are great for all of those delicious pumpkin recipes you've been waiting to try! Days to Maturity: 100-120 

3. Pumpkins for Carving: Champion

 Photo: Johnny Seeds

Photo: Johnny Seeds

  • This variety is the perfect mid-size pumpkin for carving your Jack-o-Lantern at Halloween! If you want to have them in time for Halloween, you need to plant ASAP! Days to Maturity: 100-120 (need to plant NOW!!)

4. Grey-Blue Colorful Pumpkins: Jarrahdale

 Photo: Rare Seeds

Photo: Rare Seeds

  • I love having a variety of colored pumpkins in my Fall porch display! These beautiful grey/blue pumpkins can cost upwards of $12 a piece! Why not plant your own and save yourself some $$ Days to Maturity: 100-110

5. Odd Shape/ Grotesque: Musque de Provence, Flat White Boer, Scheherazade Squash, Thai Rai Kaw Tok Pumpkin

  • I love the texture and character that these grotesque and odd pumpkins add to a porch display! They too are often expensive, so another great reason to plant your own!!  Rough, bumpy, flat, white, there is literally a pumpkin for every unique display need! I can't wait to try a few of these out this year! Days to maturity: 120 

 


If you plan on having pumpkins this Fall, you need to plant your seeds ASAP as most have a day to maturity of 90-120 days!! I hope you try a few out for your own pumpkin patch this Fall! If you do, be sure to share your photos with us on Instagram!! 

Happy Planting!!

xoxo

LB