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How to set up a profitable pumpkin patch on your farm or land & inspirational examples

Whether you’re a serious autumn/fall enthusiast or are just looking for a way to boost your farm’s profits, setting up a pumpkin patch could be a really rewarding experience. 

a group of pumpkins on the ground

Whether you’re a serious autumn/fall enthusiast (guilty as charged, over here! 🍁👋), or are just looking for a way to boost your farm’s profits, setting up a pumpkin patch could be a really rewarding experience. 

And now’s a great time to get involved – the sector is thriving. In fact, the US pumpkin industry is predicted to grow by a huge USD 368.9 million from 2022 to 2027 (anyone else noticed the almost cult-following the season of autumn has garnered itself in recent years? What is it about those fiery, Instagrammable colours and warm, cinnamon scents that is so intoxicating?)

We digress. The fact is, autumn (or ‘fall’ to our friends across the pond) has a special place in the hearts of candle-lighting, cosy-night-in-loving people everywhere. Which means pumpkins – those wonderfully gnarly, orange orbs that symbolise the season more than literally anything else – have excellent profit-making potential. 

Especially when you consider that shopping for pumpkins is about so much more than, well, shopping. The act of finding and picking the perfectly formed jack-o-lantern (or pie-filling, or fireplace decoration...) has become a seasonal right of passage; an experiential delight for people of all ages. But you knew that already – that’s why you’re here, reading this article. Let’s get stuck in 🎃.

How to start a pumpkin patch – your step-by-step guide

Follow these steps to officially get the ball rolling on your pumpkin patch plans…

a truck full of pumpkins

🌱 Assess your land – is it pumpkin-patch ready?

First things first – it’s important to fully assess whether your land provides the right conditions for growing pumpkins. Areas to look into include:

  • Soil: soil should be fertile with good pH levels, and it’ll need to drain properly (so, no soggy, waterlogged areas).
  • Water: there’ll need to be a reliable source of water, and you should avoid areas that are vulnerable to flooding. 
  • Sunlight: your pumpkin patch will need to be in full sunlight for six-eight hours a day.
  • Land: make sure you’ve got enough land for the amount of pumpkins you’ll need to grow to turn a profit. It should also be of the right size and shape to allow for crop rotation.
  • Frost: pumpkins are frost-sensitive, so won’t do well in land that gets heavy frosts in key growing seasons.

📚Do your research – weigh up the pros & cons

Now that you know your land is viable for growing pumpkins, it’s time to dig deep into whether this is a good business to pursue for you, personally. 

Do plenty of research into what exactly it takes to run a pumpkin patch – and weigh up the pros and cons in as much detail as possible. For example, some pros and cons that might sway your decision include:

Pumpkin patch pros (examples):

  • Great fun!
  • High demand in the area
  • Pumpkins are relatively easy to grow 
  • You can get super creative and bring in lots of different revenue streams by expanding your offering

Pumpkin patch cons (examples):

  • It’s a seasonal business – so you make most of your money at one time of the year, rather than year-round
  • Too much investment required (in pumpkin farming equipment, for example)
  • Too much competition in your area

The pros and cons you identify will depend on factors that are unique to you and the area you live in. Which is why taking the time to really understand these is an important step to take before committing to anything.

signs on a tree

💰Calculate how much investment you’ll need

Next up, it’s time to look at numbers. Even though you’re working with land you already own/have the rights to, there’ll be other costs involved in setting up your pumpkin patch. For example, you may need to spend money to:

  • Purchase pumpkin farming equipment
  • Set up a brand and website or pay someone to help you with this
  • Market your pumpkin patch – for example, through paid ads online, on TV or in local papers
  • Pay staff – you might need extra hands on-deck, depending on the scale of your operation

🔎 Identify your target audience

Are you looking to cater to families with young kids in search of fun days out? Social media influencers on the hunt for the perfect Instagram or TikTok opportunity? Tourists from out of town who want an exciting way to experience the natural beauty of your area? 

Figuring out who exactly will be interested in your pumpkin patch, and how you can cater to them, is a crucial step in the planning process – as this will inform everything from your core offering to your marketing tactics. 

💡 Hone your brand and offering

To turn a healthy profit from your pumpkin patch, it’s likely you’ll need to have more than one string to your bow. For example, you could sell harvested pumpkins as well as running pick-your-own (U-pick) events. With U-pick events, you can diversify even further by adding in other experiential elements – from haunted Halloween tours to cooking classes, kids entertainment and family picnics (see our inspirational examples below to get the creative juices flowing!). 

You’ll also want to develop a unique and recognisable brand for your pumpkin patch. This will involve:

  • Coming up with a catchy name
  • Developing a logo and aesthetic theme 
  • Developing a brand identity and story that’s appealing to your target audience

a pumpkin in a field

🎃Become a pumpkin-growing expert 

Ready to roll up your sleeves and study all there is to know about growing pumpkins? Because you’ll definitely need to be somewhat of an expert to make a go of your business. Luckily, pumpkins are relatively easy to grow – but you’ll still need to understand the nitty-gritty of things like:

  • How much room certain pumpkin varieties need to grow (the most common varieties are of the large, sprawling plant kind which need plenty of room, but smaller, more compact plant varieties are available).
  • Threats to pumpkin growth – which diseases they’re vulnerable to.
  • The best season for growing pumpkins (they need a long, hot growing season to then be harvested for the colder months).
  • Which pumpkin varieties are popular/trendy at the moment – for example, more unusual pumpkins in a range of shapes and colours have been popular in recent years. 

✅ Secure the relevant licences and insurance

You might need additional licences or permissions to set up a pumpkin patch business on your land. To find out, just enquire with your local authority.

You may also need different types of business insurance – for example, you probably want to take out public liability insurance if you plan on running u-pick events where members of the public spend time on your land.

Check out our guide to business insurance for event planners to learn more!

📈Put together a business plan & secure funding

If you need a business loan to set up your pumpkin patch, you’ll need to put together a comprehensive business plan. This will need to outline exactly what your plans are for your pumpkin patch – with details about how you will make money and meet your targets. It’ll also need to include competitor analysis, information about your company's vision and mission statement, your planned marketing strategy and basically any other relevant information about how you’ll run your business. 

There are tons of greats resources online that can help you put together a great business plan if you’ve never done one before – like this guide with template from HubSpot.

a pile of pumpkins and squashes

🍁 Plant your pumpkins and plan some awesome autumnal events!

By now you should be in a good position to start to bringing your plans into fruition. In other words – get those pumpkins planted! 

You’ll also need to start officially planning your events and any other aspects of your pumpkin patch offering. If you plan on running U-pick events in the autumn season, for example, you should start planning how long your sessions will be, what you’ll offer as part of the event, how many people can attend each session and how you’ll price and sell tickets. 

💻 Set up a website and/or online event registration

You may choose to set up a dedicated website for your pumpkin patch – if so, platforms like Flyah, Wix, Squarespace and WordPress are well worth checking out.

You’ll also need to set up event registration and organise a way to sell tickets online

Tip: if you use Ticket Tailor as your ticketing partner, you can integrate your ticket box office page with your website, so you can sell tickets directly from the website itself. Or, you can simply use your own, customised Ticket Tailor box office page for all your ticketing and event registration needs. Meaning you don’t actually need a website if you don’t want one. 

Oh, and we’re also one of the cheapest, independent ticketing platforms out there 😌– check out why we’re a great alternative to Eventbrite here (hint: because we’re actually, genuinely, 100% free to use for free events – and we only charge a small flat fee for paid events).

📣Market your pumpkin patch 

Finally, you’ll need to get the word out about your brand new pumpkin patch! Social media will most probably be your best friend here – and, after you’ve run a few events, gathering testimonials from happy customers to put on your website or box office page can be a seriously effective way of attracting crowds. You might also want to consider liaising with local newspapers in getting some PR coverage for your pumpkin patch. And even simple marketing tactics like flyering around the local high street can help spread the word about your business. 

We have a whole host of guides on marketing for events, which should give you more than enough to work with if you’re new to event promotion. To get started, check out:

a group of women holding donuts

🎃💫 Unique pumpkin patch examples to get you feeling inspired 

  • Smith Rock Ranch: Incredible family run pumpkin patch set on a beautiful, sprawling farm bordered by the breathtaking Smith Rock State Park. These guys offer so much family fun – including an epic Corn Maze cut to a different theme and design every year.
    Check it out >
  • Glow n Float Pumpkin Patch: Full-blown pumpkin wonderland in a full-blown swimming pool. Picture this: a sea of floating pumpkins, water rides, Halloween fancy dress, San Diego’s largest pumpkin and more… Wild. Just wild.
    Check it out >
  • Rusty’s Great Pumpkin Patch 2023: Over 40,000 pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, an electric tractor race track, scavenger hunts… oh, and just some casual (EPIC, ICONIC, AMAZING) TV & Film sets to enjoy – including that park rangers’ Jeep from Jurassic Park, and the Byers' bungalow from Stranger Things. Get. Us. There.
    Check it out >
  • Priory Farm Estate: An imagination-sparking Halloween trail for spooky family fun, tractor and trailer rides, Halloween-themed photo opps and action-packed “Pumpkin Games”. This patch is bringing all the family fun. (Also, how gorgeous is their branding and website?)
    Check it out >
  • Pumpkin Palooza: A true Halloween extravaganza including everything from arts & crafts to storytelling shows; costume parades to face painting… and, of course, pumpkin picking. The perfect example of how to turn a pumpkin patch into a thriving family festival opportunity.
    Check it out >

That’s a wrap! We hope this guide has been useful… who knows, maybe we’ll be seeing your epic pumpkin patch events popping up on Ticket Tailor in the not-so-distant future! Good luck 🎃.

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