When to Plant Pumpkins in Oklahoma for Best Growth

Written by

William Golder

FACT-CHECKED BY

Dorian Goodwin

when to plant pumpkins in oklahoma

If you’re from Oklahoma and you’re planning to grow pumpkins either for Halloween or just for the heck of it, it’s important to know what months and what time of year is pumpkin season in the state.

So, when to plant pumpkins in Oklahoma? Do so in the spring, from April 19 to May 17. However, this depends on your location and if you’re starting seeds indoors or directly sowing them outdoors.

For more information about growing pumpkins in Oklahoma, keep reading further!

Best Time to Plant Pumpkins in Oklahoma?

1. Planting in the late spring

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Spring, from March to May, is the usual growing season for pumpkins in Oklahoma, about 2 weeks after the dangers of the last average frost have passed and when soil temperatures are between 65°F to 95°F.

Specifically, pumpkin production occurs sometime between April 19 to May 17 depending on the area. Still, it may be earlier if you start seeds indoors since you would then be transplanting them outdoors.

Refer to the table below for the last frost date of the major cities in Oklahoma and the best time to plant pumpkin seeds in each:

Area Last Spring Frost Date Start Seeds Indoors Transplant Seedlings or Start Seeds Outdoors
Tulsa April 5 March 15 to 29 April 19 to May 3
Lawton / Moore / Norman April 7 March 17 to 31 April 21 to May 5
Broken Arrow / Edmond / Midwest City April 8 March 18 to April 1 April 22 to May 6
Oklahoma City April 10 March 20 to April 3 April 24 to May 8
Enid April 12 March 22 to April 5 April 26 to May 10
Bartlesville April 19 March 29 to April 12 May 3 to 17

Take note that these are merely average dates! This means that some seasons may last longer or shorter than the others, which results in delays or advances in frost dates.

2. Planting in the early summer

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If you want to start growing pumpkins for October harvest, you can also begin pumpkin planting time in June and July, but only if you belong to Zones 6B and Zone 7.

The map below shows the USDA Planting Zones in Oklahoma based on lowest temperatures:

what-month

  • Zone 6B

In this area, the latest time you can transplant seedlings or directly sow seeds in your lawn is June 17. This is assuming that the average first fall frost in this zone is on October 15.

  • Zone 7

Since the first average fall frost in this area arrives on November 15, you can plant out seedlings or sow seeds outdoors as late as July 18.

Pumpkin Varieties to Plant in Oklahoma

1. Howden

in-june

  1. Type: Field
  2. Optimal Soil Temperatures: 60°F to 65°F
  3. When to Plant: Late spring
  4. Days to Harvest: 105 to 115 days
  5. Characteristics: Uniform growth and good for storing
  6. Weight: 25 pounds

2. Jack o Lantern

for-october-harvest

  1. Type: Field
  2. Optimal Soil Temperatures: Above 75°F
  3. When to Plant: Summer
  4. Days to Harvest: 90 to 105 days
  5. Characteristics: Most popular variety; each vine produces 3 to 5 fruits
  6. Weight: 10 to 24 pounds

3. Cinderella

pumpkin-production

  1. Type: Pie
  2. Optimal Soil Temperatures: 70°F to 90°F
  3. When to Plant: Summer
  4. Days to Harvest: 100 to 120 days
  5. Characteristics: Fast grower and has a deeply ridged form
  6. Weight: 15 to 20 pounds

4. Jarrahdale

pumpkin-fertilization-requirements

  1. Type: Pie
  2. Optimal Soil Temperatures: Above 65°F
  3. When to Plant: Late spring
  4. Days to Harvest: 90 to 100 days
  5. Characteristics: Versatile choice with a unique blue or gray skin color
  6. Weight: 6 to 18 pounds

5. Atlantic Giant

growing-pumpkins-commercially

  1. Type: Giant
  2. Optimal Soil Temperatures: 70°F to 90°F
  3. When to Plant: Late spring to summer
  4. Days to Harvest: 120 to 150 days
  5. Characteristics: Has a bland taste and is good for crop rotation systems
  6. Weight: 300 to 500 pounds

Tips on Planting Pumpkins in Oklahoma

1. Location

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When planted indoors, place the plant in a south-facing window so that they can receive all the light they need.

When transplanted or directly sown outdoors, plant pumpkins in a spot where they can receive at least 8 hours of full sunlight daily. They should be placed at the edge of your garden, especially if you lack space.

2. Soil

Pumpkins prefer growing on sandy or loamy soils that are organically-rich (with compost or aged manure) and well-draining. When sown indoors, they are grown in peat pots.

3. Water

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Thoroughly water your pumpkins in the morning once a week. You can also water deeply on hot afternoons. Remember to only water the base of the plant and keep fruit and foliage dry.

4. Fertilizer

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Pumpkin fertilization requirements are low to moderate since adding way too much than necessary can cause problems for your plants.

Here is an easy guide to remember when it comes to fertilizing pumpkins depending on their growth stage:

  1. Pre-flowering (in the growing season): apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer
  2. Flowering (once blooms emerge): apply a phosphorus-rich fertilizer
  3. Fruiting (once fruits grow): apply a potassium-heavy fertilizer

5. Pests and Diseases

To prevent pests and diseases from destroying your pumpkins, make sure to remove weeds, avoid wetting foliage, remove and dispose of any disease-infected fruits, and manually remove or knock off any pests that may appear on the plants.

6. Harvest

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Generally, pumpkins are ready to be harvested as soon as they reach their full mature size. When planted in spring, this usually takes place in August to September.

For those planted in the summer, these pumpkins are usually ready for fall harvest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do pumpkins grow well in Oklahoma?

Yes. In fact, the state has the ideal climate for growing pumpkins commercially since you can produce 15 to 20 tons of pumpkins per acre as long as they are well taken care of.

Is it too late to plant pumpkins?

Spring is not too late to plant pumpkins, so go right ahead! If you want to harvest pumpkins in October in Oklahoma, you can plant a little later—until July 18 but it depends on where you’re from.

Conclusion

Hopefully, by the end of this informative article, you will know when to plant pumpkins in Oklahoma now! Timing and optimum soil temperatures are important factors to remember when engaging in pumpkin production in the state.

Other essential requirements to provide and maintain are the location of the plant, sunlight, soil, water, fertilizer, and preventing and controlling pests and diseases so that you can expect lush and bountiful harvests from August to October!


Pumpkin Planting Calendars in Other States:

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