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How to Choose the Best Pumpkin Seed Varieties

How to Choose the Best Pumpkin Seed Varieties


Pumpkin Seed Varieties

Pumpkins in the fall marketplace have some of the highest demand from the consumer. Whether wholesaling or selling at a roadside stand or farmers' market, there is profitability in growing pumpkins. Planning and preparation for the upcoming season can be an extremely crucial step in any business.

Evaluating varietal performance from years past, predicting what the following season will bring, analyzing the customer base and buying trends and forecasting how the weather will be — all of these factors can make for a tough and extensive planning process. 

Like anything else, the seed industry is constantly evolving. There are new diseases, insect pressures and environmental stressors that breeders are constantly selecting resistance to in order to increase the quality of the varieties they introduce to the market.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting which pumpkin seed varieties you should grow for this season.

Grow Pumpkin Seed Varieties

How to Choose the Best Pumpkin Seed Varieties For Planting

1. Strong Stems – Look for pumpkin seed varieties that produce thick, well-attached stems that stand out from the competition. Customers will naturally shy away from pumpkins that have short and flimsy stems and gravitate towards pumpkins with impressive, dark, thick stems.

Pictured: Cronus and Gladiator

Cronus Pumpkin  Gladiator Pumpkin
2. Yield – Make sure the pumpkin varieties you choose will make the highest profit per acre. If you have limited space, a difference between 1,500 fruit per acre and 2,500 fruit per acre can have a huge impact on your overall sales.
3. Maturity – Choose a pumpkin seed variety that is well-adapted to your area. If it has been a wet spring in your area and you have missed your normal planting window, you may want to stay away from a 110-115 day variety. Look at earlier maturing varieties around 95-100 days to make up the time you've lost due to wet weather. Not having pumpkins ready to sell when you need them can be detrimental to your fall sales.
4. Disease Protection – Powdery mildew is one of the most common diseases that growers face today. If powdery mildew is an issue, choose pumpkin seed varieties that offer intermediate resistance to it. While they are not completely resistant, they do offer enough protection to help ensure a high-quality crop.

Pictured: Aladdin and Kratos.

Aladdin Pumpkin Seeds  Kratos Pumpkin Seeds

View Harris Seeds' Pumpkin Chart for relative days, weight, diameter, stem, shape, color, seeds/lb, and spacing.

Are All Pumpkin Seeds the Same?

Pumpkins vary in size, genetics and other characteristics — like whether the seeds have a hull or not. As there are over 300 different varieties of pumpkins, there is an equal amount of different seeds. You may not know the difference between those seeds to look at them, but each seed variety has unique characteristics. 

What Type of Pumpkin Seeds Are Best to Eat?

The best pumpkin seeds to eat are hull-less, also known as pepitas. Pepitas are naked — that is, they do not have any cream-colored hull covering them that you would see on any old jack-o-lantern. They are also delicious and full of healthy fats, protein and minerals.

These pumpkin seeds are the best to eat for a few reasons:

  1. They are more convenient because you do not need to crack open a shell to eat them.
  2. They are less tough than traditional pumpkin seeds, making them more versatile in different recipes and dishes.
  3. They are easier to eat

A popular variety that produces hull-less seeds is Naked Bear pumpkin

Do All Pumpkins Have Seeds?

Yes! All pumpkins contain seeds. However, some pumpkin varieties produce more seeds than others. In general, smaller pumpkins produce fewer seeds, but this is not always the case.

Do Viable Pumpkin Seeds Float or Sink?

Viable pumpkin seeds sink while nonviable pumpkin seeds float. The reason this happens is that viable seeds are filled with living embryos. In contrast, nonviable seeds are lighter because they do not contain these embryos. 

Whether You’re Growing or Eating - Find Premium Pumpkin Seeds With Harris Seeds

Our growers at Harris Seeds can help you find the best pumpkin seeds for whatever purpose you have in mind with our premium selection of pumpkin seeds. If you have further questions about planting pumpkin seeds, we invite you to reach out to our customer service team!

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