A Guide To Planting Pumpkins

A Guide To Planting Pumpkins

Reading Time: 5 minutes 🍃

Pumpkins are a very popular vegetable. Not only are they delicious, but they can also be stored for a long time after they are harvested. Even better, you will be able to grow it in your backyard. 

To grow pumpkin successfully, you need to know a few simple things. Like the right place to put them and choosing the right amount of water to provide. Here’s everything you know before you start planting pumpkins. 

Choose the Right Pumpkin Variety

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0047XRTF0&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=littleleafy 20&language=en USir?t=littleleafy 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B0047XRTF0

You first need to decide the type of pumpkin you want to plant. There are several options to choose from. It’s best to match one that matches your climate conditions. You’ll need to think about the way you intend to use them.

For example, some pumpkins will be best for cooking while others will be more suited to carving. It can help to talk to the staff at the local nursery to see which one they recommend. 

Find the Right Area to Plant the Pumpkin

Once you have chosen your pumpkin seeds, you’ll need to prepare the plot. There are a few things you should be looking for: 

  • Find a sunny spot. Most pumpkin varieties will like to be in the full sun. 
  • Choose nutrient-rich soil. If this isn’t naturally available, you will need to improve it with fertilizer before you begin planting. You should also use some compost and manure to add nutrients. 
  • Choose a well-drained area. You don’t want the soil to become too soggy. Pumpkin seeds don’t like to be waterlogged. 
  • Give them plenty of space. Pumpkin seeds will have some space for their vines to grow. Usually, they will take up around 10 to 15 feetOpens in a new tab.. If you don’t have this much space, you can get miniature varieties. 

Prepare the Soil

Once you’ve found the right area, it’s time to get the soil ready to plant. It can be good to mix some nutrient-rich material into the plot. You might also want to make a pumpkin hill. This is simply a mound of dirt. It doesn’t need to be a huge mountain. Just raising the dirt by a few inches will be enough. 

There are a few reasons why you might want to make a mound. This will ensure that there is plenty of drainage. It also helps the ground warm up faster. 

You can put a layer of mulch over the pumpkins. This will give them plenty of nutrients while stopping weeds from coming through the soil. 

Choose the Right Time to Plant

Unlike many other vegetables that might struggle in the heat, pumpkins love the warmer weather. The ideal time will depend on your climate conditions. But, in most cases, it will be best to start planting towards the end of spring and the beginning of summer. 

In the US, this means towards the end of May but before June. However, it might be warm enough to plant pumpkins year-round for some climates. 

There is an easy way of determining whether it’s the right time to plant pumpkins. You can look at the soil temperature. It should be a minimum of 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 22 degrees Celsius. Ideally, though, the temperature should be closer to 95 degrees FahrenheitOpens in a new tab. (35 degrees Celsius). 

Give Them an Inch of Water a Week

The next thing that you need to consider is the amount of water that you are giving your plants. Generally, pumpkins will need to have an inch of water once a week. Sometimes, you will get more than an inch of rain.  

Pumpkins often grow best in an area that gets a lot of rain. Ideally, you should be getting 25 to 30 inches of rainOpens in a new tab. during the growing season, in addition to the irrigation. If this isn’t happening, you will need to give them a little extra water. 

If you aren’t sure whether they need more water, you can stick your finger into the soil. It should still feel damp. It should be noted that sometimes pumpkins can appear to be wilting in the afternoon sun. Come evening, though. They should start to look better. This is normal. 

There are a few other tips you can use to add water properly:

  • Use a drip system. It’s best to make sure that you are using a drip system. This will ensure that the water isn’t getting on their leaves, risking fungal infection. Plus, you’ll be distributing the water evenly. 
  • Water is most important when the fruit is developing. This is the time when the pumpkin will be thirstiest. Keep your eye out for signs that they aren’t getting enough water. This can sometimes manifest as the ends of the pumpkin become deformed. 
  • Water in the morning. Another way to protect your pumpkins from fungal infection is watering in the morning. During the day, the water will be able to evaporate properly. 
  • Know the signs of overwatering. If you notice that the water is pooling around on the ground, it shows that the soil is saturated. Avoid adding more water at this stage, as you don’t want them to drown. 

Trimming Your Pumpkin Vines

Once your seeds start to germinate, they won’t require a lot of care. Though they can produce long, sprawling vines. To stop them from spreading too far, you can pinch the end of the vine. Alternatively, you might want to trellises the vines. 

Some people also limit the number of pumpkins they are growing. This allows all the nutrients to flow into one vine. But this is only needed if you want to produce huge pumpkins. Most home gardeners don’t care about the size of their pumpkins, so you can feel free to skip this part. 

How Long Does it Take to Grow a Pumpkin?

After planting, it shouldn’t be too long before you start to see the seeds emerging from the ground. In most cases, it will only be ten daysOpens in a new tab. before they sprout. If it’s been longer than this, and you haven’t seen any signs of activity, it might be a sign that the seeds aren’t growing. You might need to remove them and try again. 

How long it will be before you can harvest the seeds can vary. In some species, it will be 80 days. In others, it will be 120 days. If you have a longer harvesting time, you might want to consider germinating the seeds inside the house first. This gives you a prolonged growing season, which can benefit places that don’t have a long summer. 

Signs it’s Time to Harvest Your Pumpkin

Hopefully, you should know be seeing pumpkins starting to emerge. There are a few signs that it’s safe to harvest them: 

  • Firm rind. You can test this by placing your fingernail against the rind. You shouldn’t be able to puncture it.
  • Hollow sound. When you hit the side, it should have a hollow sound. 

When you are ready to harvest, you’ll need to leave two inches of stemOpens in a new tab.. You should also be careful about the way you are doing this. You don’t want to bruise your pumpkins accidentally. 

You should store the pumpkin carefully. You want to leave them in a cool place. You can rest them on a cardboard mat to protect them from accidentally being knocked. If you do this, they should last for a long time. In most cases, they can stay edible for three monthsOpens in a new tab.

Final Thoughts

Pumpkins are fairly easy to grow. As long as you have a warm summer, you can plant pumpkins. Once they are growing, they don’t need a lot of special requirements, just nutrient-rich soil and plenty of water. Hopefully, this guide will make it easy for you to grow pumpkins in your garden. 

Was this article helpful?

Team Leafy

Hi! Thanks for reading our article, we hope you enjoyed it and helps make your garden grow greener. If you found this article helpful, please share it with a friend and spread the joy. Plant small. Grow big!

Recent Posts