growing pumpkins at 10,000 feet

Asked May 16, 2015, 7:07 PM EDT

I was thinking about growing a variety of baby pumpkins here in Frisco, Colorado. We are sitting at relatively 10,000 feet above sea level. First off, does elevation really have an effect on growing? We've had on and off snow/rain for the last 2 weeks, and it is ideal to plant soon. I want to do different species of baby pumpkins such as Baby Bear, Munchkins, Baby Boo, and Spooktacular. If for some reason, they just won't grow because of altitude, can you recommend some other vegetables that would be ideal for my garden?

Summit County Colorado

1 Response

Because of your high elevation, you will have very cool nights and a short growing season, which will most likely make growing pumpkins, even miniature ones, not successful. Pumpkins are a warm-season crop and need quite a lot of growing degree units (this is accumulated heat over the season). Because the temperature drops as you go up in elevation, you won't be accumulating enough heat for the pumpkins to develop. If you want to see for yourself, I would plant one or two, and you'll see what happens. You'll probably get some flowers but no mature pumpkins, but you may not even get that far.

I would recommend cool-season vegetables instead. Please look at this fact sheet from Colorado State University Extension to see the types of vegetables with which you'll have better success: Vegetable Gardening in the Mountains