Animal Crossing: Pumpkin Growing & Crafting Guide

Every October, Animal Crossing: New Horizons players can purchase pumpkin starts, then grow and harvest them to craft Halloween-themed DIY furniture. These items include jack-o-lanterns, stacks of pumpkins, candy trays and more. Each DIY item is customizable four ways, so players can match their island aesthetic and still get in the spooky spirit.

Pumpkins are slightly different than other growable crafting materials in New Horizons so far. Here's a complete guide to growing, carving and crafting with pumpkins, including tips and tricks for maximum crop yield.

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Where to Purchase Pumpkin Starts

Pumpkin starts can be purchased at Nook's Cranny or from Leif, the traveling plant vendor. Unlike shrubs or flowers, it's impossible to tell what color a pumpkin will be until it actually produces fruit. Therefore, buying in bulk (five starts at a time) is recommended, since there's only one pumpkin start type, but they can produce four pumpkin colors.

The main difference between buying pumpkin starts from Nook's Cranny and buying from Leif is the price. A single pumpkin start goes for 280 Bells at Nook's Cranny, whereas Leif charges half that at 140 Bells per pumpkin start. Either option is affordable, but if Leif is visiting, it definitely makes more sense to purchase from him. It's also important to note that pumpkin starts can only be purchased in October. Once planted, they will grow in other months, but players won't be able to acquire new seedlings.

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How to Maximize Your Pumpkin Harvests

Pumpkin starts can produce four colors -- orange, white, green and yellow -- in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Seedlings only take up one square each, like flowers or shrubs, and the first time they are planted, they take about four days to bear fruit. After that, pumpkins will appear every two days.

Pumpkins cannot cross-pollinate, but players should still take time to water them each day. If pumpkins are left to grow on their own without watering, each plant will produce one pumpkin when it bears fruit. However, pumpkins watered daily will produce two pumpkins per plant. Having multiple people water the same pumpkin patch doesn't affect output. Finally, watering pumpkins with a gold watering can will produce a whopping three pumpkins per plant -- so to get the most bountiful harvest, be sure to water daily with that highly-coveted tool.

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Can New Horizons Players Carve Pumpkins?

On the first day of October, Isabelle will talk about Halloween during her morning announcements. She mentions costumes, candy and pumpkins, then goes tells players about the things they can do with this special crop.

However, Isabelle's excitement about pumpkins leads her to say something slightly misleading. When she talks about crafting with pumpkins, she mentions carving them -- which isn't technically something players can do in New Horizons. Most likely, she uses this language because carving jack-o-lanterns is a Halloween tradition and players can craft jack-o-lanterns at their workbenches, but the word suggests a new activity that doesn't actually exist. Unfortunately, carving pumpkins isn't a thing -- but there's plenty more players can do with their harvests.

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How to Craft With & Customize Pumpkins

There are 14 total pumpkin DIYs in New Horizons for players to acquire in October. These can be shot down from balloons, acquired from villagers or -- in some cases -- gifted by Jack, the czar of Halloween, during the trick-or-treating event on Oct. 31. To craft these items, players will primarily need orange pumpkins, though a few require wood, iron or other standard materials.

Green, white and yellow pumpkins are not necessary for crafting. However, to customize the Spooky Furniture Set, players will need to harvest these colors as well. Rather than using the customization kits sold at Nook's Cranny, players will need colored pumpkins to change up the spooky set, which defaults to orange when it's crafted. If players change a piece of spooky furniture to green, white or yellow and later decide they liked it better before, they can use orange pumpkins to change it back.

Below are all of the spooky furniture DIYs and their required materials.

Once they've purchased pumpkin starters, Animal Crossing: New Horizons players grow, harvest, craft and customize with pumpkins all year long.

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Samantha Puc (292 Articles Published)

Samantha Puc is a culture critic and essayist whose work focuses on LGBTQ and fat representation in pop culture. She is the Gaming Lead at CBR, as well as the co-creator and editor-in-chief at Fatventure Mag. Find her on Twitter @theverbalthing.

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