Howden Pumpkin (Heirloom 105 Days)
This variety, developed by John Howden of Massachusetts, remains one of the best choices for big Jack O’ Lanterns. The Howden Pumpkin averages around 25 pounds and is much more uniform in shape than other Connecticut Field types. Skin is thick and rugged so it will last for a long time but the color is probably the biggest selling point – a deep reddish-orange.
Germination: 7-10 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 70-90ºF. Planting in soil under 70ºF may result in poor germination.
Seed Sowing Depth: ½ -1” deep
Starting Indoors: 3-4 weeks before the last frost. Sow 2-3 seeds per cells/pots, thin to the strongest seedling. We like to use individual biodegradable paper, peat, or cow pots because it provides the least amount of stress to the roots when transplanting. Transplant after last frost when the soil warms to 70ºF. Space 36-48” apart, in rows 48-60” apart.
Sowing Outdoors: After the last frost when the soil reaches at least 70ºF. Sow 2-3 seeds per space/hill, 36-48” apart, in rows 48-60” apart.
How much does a packet plant: 12-15 foot single row, 4-5 hills
Harvest: When skin turns color and rinds are hard. Leave a few inches of the stem on for best storage potential.
Tips: Heavy feeders, requiring high nitrogen. Plant the Howden Pumpkin in fertile soil or amend with compost or manure. Heavy water needs, mulch, and supply adequate water, at least 1” per week for optimum growth.