When to start pumpkin, cantaloupe, zuccini, watermelon in Raleigh, NC?
Do I need to start indoors?
I looked up the last frost dates for Raleigh and was surprised to find three of them! Here they are. You can choose which best fits your location. I'll include the link where I got this.
Raleigh-Durham WSO Wake - April 11
Raleigh 4 SW Wake - April 1
Raleigh NCSU Wake - March 30
I wouldn't bother to start them indoors. Just be sure that you are past the last predicted frost date and that your weather has truly warmed up, prepare the soil where you want to grow them, follow the directions on the seed packets, and plant them. One tip for you is to be sure you know how far the vines will extend and then measure that distance when laying out your beds. It's so very easy to get things too crowded. After all, how could such a little seed take up all that space?!
Here is a link that might be useful: Frost dates in NC
I agree with the above...those plants all germinate so fast and grow so fast, I have never felt like it was necessary to start them indoors or to buy plants...Heck I've seen them up in two or three days in nice warm weather...they do like warm thought.
Thanks for the link. I am also surprised to see 3 last frost dates for raleigh , wake county. Probably, I will sow my seeds after april 15th to be on the safe side.
Thanks for the tip. I did not think about it at all.
Thanks for your help.
I think the weather will get better and warmer in another 2 weeks. I will sow the seeds once the weather gets warmer.
Thanks for your help.
You might want to review the soil temp chart linked below to determine the optimum planting times. For example, pumpkins require 70-75 degree soil temps.
Checking your soil temps is quite easy to do (several posts here about it) and is the best way to determine the ideal planting times.
Good luck with your garden.
Here is a link that might be useful: Germination Soil Temp Chart
Thanks for the chart. I will search for the post for checking soil temps.
With pumpkins, you may want to decide when you want to harvest them. I like mine to mature in the fall. The ones I plant mature in 90-100 days. If I planted them in mid April, they would freeze. Even if they did not, they would be ripe in July or August. I usually plant mine in late June or early July.
I live in the west central part of N.C. and I don't think about planting curbits until after the first of May. The "ole timers" say May 10. They can be started indoors but they don't like to have their roots disturbed so its probably better to plant in your garden. Tom is right about planting so that the pumpkins get ripe at the time you want them to.
I think someone mentioned this already but the pumpkins, if your growing them for Halloween carving or decorations. Then check your days to harvest time. I had a few come up in the garden at random but they all rotted before Halloween. They were pretty nice size too.
From the rest of the frost dates you look like you are set to put them in now. Or atleast start them now for a few weeks before putting them outside.