In this article, we share a comprehensive guide to growing pumpkin at home.
Quick Guide Information
Common Name: Pumpkin
Scientific Name: Cucurbita sp.
Life Span: Annual
Time Till Harvest: 90-120 days
Light Requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Optimum pH: 6.0 - 7.0
Pumpkins are a classic fall crop and are vigorous growers. Properly planted and with enough room to grow, you might not know what to do with all your pumpkins! They are related to squash and are actually a type of winter squash, so growing it is very similar to these crops.
Pumpkins, and their countless varieties, are tender low-growing and sprawling vines. They are not too fussy and can grow in a variety of different soils and environments. They make great ground covers and, in the US where they originated, they are traditionally grown in a polyculture including corn, beans, and many other crops.
Pumpkins should be grown from seed. Best success is had when planted directly into their beds although some growers have success starting them in pots. The downside of the pot is that the plants can be heavily stressed during transplanting and may not recover quickly.
Seeds should be sown when temperatures are above 20C. If there is any risk of frost, you are planting too early! Seeds will only take 1-2 weeks to germinate. In warm climates it may only be a couple of days!
Planting, and Maintenance
Slow growth and light discolored leaves - This usually occurs due to lack of nutrients. Consider giving them a nice top-dressing of compost or other organic fertilizers around the base of the plant.
Wilting - Pumpkins can handle dry weather and wilting isn’t always a serious issue. This being said, they will appreciate some water! Too much dryness can be catastrophic.