Pumpkin seeds should germinate in less than a week with a soil temperature of at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit and adequate moisture. These seeds do not germinate in cold soil and do best when the soil is at least 95 F.
Waiting until two weeks after the danger of frost is recommended, as pumpkins are very sensitive to the cold. Plants can be started indoors in 3-inch pots three to four weeks before transplanting them outside.
Pumpkins require rich soil and a well-drained planting bed. Fertilizer is necessary for growing pumpkins, as the pumpkin plants need nitrogen to grow successfully. A large area is needed for the vines to spread out.