Sure pumpkins aren't so expensive that they are bank-breakers. Sure going to the local pumpkin patch can be a fun family activity. However, if hucking a pumpkin home at the end of the day and paying someone else for the privilege has never been your bag, try growing one of your own for next year.
Growing your own pumpkin offers all the usual gifts of growing your own food. A sense of pride, of confidence in knowing that it was grown to your standards of healthfulness, and if you have kids, a teachable moment all season long. You can get even more use out of your pumpkin if you chose to grow a pie pumpkin, using the guts to make all kinds of pumpkin flavored goodies to eat and share with friends and family, as well as the shell to show off your art skills (or lack there of). If you want those big jack-o-lanterns, though, there are specific varieties geared to be just that, a big ole jack-o-lantern.
Pumpkins are relatively easy to grow, although they can be susceptible to certain plant illnesses. Start with fresh seeds from a company that specializes in seeds, avoid the display at the local big box store if you can. Pumpkin seeds don't tend to like to be transplanted so do what you can to start them outside.
Next to your house in an area with sun and drainage is perfect as the vines can get pretty long. If the soil in this area is capable of growing anything at all, it can grow a pumpkin. Add compost if available. Plant in a mound if you get a lot of rain in your area, or if the spot you are using tends to have poor drainage.
Plant well after the last frost has occurred, usually sometime in June. They take 85 to 125 to mature, that's 2 1/2 to 4 months. If you plant the second week of June, you are looking at maturation between September 1st and October 15th...just in time for Halloween and any other seasonal celebrations you may take part in.
There is more to be found on the topic of growing pumpkins, and even info if you are thinking this might be a good way to turn a buck next year. This is a great source...as is this site. Happy growing!!