HomeGardening Tips And AdviceThe Secrets to Growing Big Pumpkins

The Secrets to Growing Big Pumpkins

It’s a lot of fun to grow your own pumpkins.

It’s a lot of fun to watch the vines grow, flowers bloom, and little little pumpkins form.
They need 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day, rich soil that has been treated with compost, and plenty of space or something to climb on.

They are really simple to grow and can emerge from your compost without your assistance.
Who knows about the variety; it all depends on what you bought at the grocery and what seeds ended up in the compost heap.

They do have some peculiar characteristics, and it can be very frustrating when the vine is in excellent condition yet only produces male blooms.

It can also be devastating if you think you’re going to obtain a pumpkin only to discover it’s gone missing.

Why do you wonder what went wrong, what went wrong with you?

My response is that it’s most likely nothing

Pumpkins have a bad reputation for not bearing fruit.

Zucchini, watermelon, rock melon, squash, cucumbers, and gourds are all members of the Cucurbitaceae family, whic

h also contains zucchini, watermelon, rock melon, squash, cucumbers, and gourds.
The term “pumpkin” comes from the Greek word “pepon,” which means “big melon.”
It is a vine that requires a lot of space to grow.

Pumpkins are monoecious, meaning they have both male and female flowers on the same plant, so only one plant is required to produce fruit.

Getting the soil ready

Pumpkins prefer a pH range of 6 to 7.2 in their soil.
If your soil is acidic, I recommend adding gardeners lime, and if it is alkaline, you may lessen it by applying sulphur.


I recommend using a lot of compost and cow or sheep manure to prepare the soil for pumpkins.


A big handful of blood and bone, as well as potash, will help.


Pumpkins are an annual crop that need a rich organic soil to grow quickly and produce fruit before the winter chill arrives.


The soil must also drain effectively, and if your soil is clay, I recommend mounding it with a good quality loam.


This will help to elevate their roots above the clay and poor drainage.

Place your pumpkin on the table.

Pumpkins require a lot of space and, if left unmanaged, can suffocate other plants.
If you have a small garden and don’t want the trifid plants to take over, I recommend growing them up against a fence or shed, or installing lattice and training the tendrils up it.
The benefit of hanging them up is that it keeps the fruit off the ground, away from slugs and snails, as well as diseases like mildew.

Allow them to wander if space isn’t an issue.

You’ll notice that your garden has been engulfed by a floating sea of enormous pumpkin leaves.

If they get into any mischief, simply prune them back; they will not be harmed!

Pumpkin Propagation

Pumpkin seeds are best planted in the spring, when the soil and air temperatures are warm.
For germination in the vegetable patch, the soil temperature must be at least 20°C and the air temperature must be at least 22°C.

You can start them in pots in a hot environment, but the garden soil must be at least 20 degrees Celsius when you plant them out.

They despise the cold and the frost.

Make a 1/2-metre-wide mound and sow 3-4 seeds about 4-5cm deep when planting the seed directly into the garden.

They should sprout in 7-10 days, depending on the temperature of the soil.

Pinch out the weaker plants, leaving the strongest, when the tiny seedlings have between 4-6 leaves.

The mound will be overcrowded if you don’t pinch out the weak ones, and none of the pumpkins will grow.

Replant them somewhere else in the veggie patch if you don’t want to discard them.

Optimal circumstances

Pumpkins are produced in the summer and are ready to harvest between 70 and 120 days later, usually in early to mid autumn.

Pumpkins dislike high temperatures and will shut down and cease developing if they are exposed to them.

Because they are shallow rooted and prone to wilting, it is critical to amend the soil with enough of compost and animal dung to assist boost the soil’s water holding capacity.

If water is retained in the soil, it is available to the plant to replenish moisture lost through the leaves.

Pumpkins don’t enjoy being water-stressed, and they don’t like being watered in floods and famines.

It has the potential to split them apart.

They prefer evenly watered plants, and the ideal time to water them is in the morning.

Powdery mildew might develop if you water at night and the leaves become damp.

Pumpkins dislike the wind and must be shielded from it.

Heat and high winds can cause the pumpkin to become woody, making it quite unpleasant to eat.

It’s also believed that too much wind might cause skin scarring.It takes around 10 weeks for the vine to begin producing blooms, and the males are the first to bloom.

They grow on long, thin stems known as pedicels, and there are far more men than females.

The pollen is produced via a long thin strucutre called the stamen, which can be seen inside the male flower.

Female flowers have a shorter pedicel and are closer to the vine than male flowers.
The stigma, which is where the pollen is received, may be seen inside the female flower.

The seeds develop in the ovary, which is located at the base of the petals.

Ovary Fertilization

The blooms open for only one day; soon before dawn, the flower petals begin to unfurl and open for four hours.

By mid-day, they’ve started to slowly close, and by twilight, they’ve completely closed.

Insects, particularly native and honey bees, pollinate pumpkins, so attracting them to your garden is essential.

It’s normal for the female flowers’ ovary to enlarge and form a pumpkin-like shape.

However, it gets brown and falls off, which is a disaster.

Because there aren’t any bees, it hasn’t been fertilised.

You may help them by doing the following things:

Avoid using systemic sprays, which are toxins that are absorbed into the plant and can remain for several weeks and kill bees when they eat the nectar of the flowers.

Plant Lavanduala denatate, a French lavender that blooms almost all year.

Plant plenty of Iceland Poppies, which honey bees like.

If you give the bees water, they will notify their buddies, and more bees will come.

If the weather has been particularly bad, either too hot or too cold, and you see a lack of bees buzzing around, you can try fertilising them yourself.

Hand pollination with the male flower or using a tooth brush are the two options.

Pick male flowers, remove petals, and dab pollen on the stigma of female flowers to hand pollinate.

I tried the toothbush approach of softly bushing the toothbush over the stamen, then gently bushing it over the stigma, but it didn’t work.

I recommend that you attempt the first option.

To keep seed from pumpkins that have been harvested, store it for a month, then remove the flesh, wash it away, and dry the seeds on a paper towel.

Then keep them in a clean, dry glass jar away from direct sunlight in a cold, dry location.

It’s also a good idea to write the pumpkin kind and date on the bottle.

If you don’t, I guarantee you’ll forget what kind of variety it is in a year.

Pumpkins are notorious for cross-pollination, therefore conserve seed from a single variety grown in isolation to assure true to type.

To verify that there is no pollen contamination, you may need to hand pollinate it.

What’s the deal with my Pumpkin not producing fruit?

As I previously stated, pumkpins are notorious for not bearing fruit for a variety of reasons.

Pumpkins are affected by the weather and temperature.

You may not be able to harvest fruit if the weather is too hot, too cold, too windy, or too rainy.

I recommend hand pollination, especially if the temperature is above 30 degrees Celsius.
Remember that if the weather is erratic and temperatures fluctuate greatly, many plants will shut down until the conditions improve.

Seeds that are less than three years old are thought to produce more male blooms than female flowers.

Insects are scarce in your garden.

Insects such as bees, ants, and other insects play an important role in pollen transmission.
If they aren’t present, pollen won’t be transmitted to the female flower, and no pumpkins will be produced.

Heavy rain can destroy pollen, which means that even if it is transported by insects, the flower will not be fertilised, and hence no fruit will be produced.

Nipping off the apical (also known as terminal) bud (top point of growth) and encouraging lateral (side) growth is one way to generate more female blooms.

When preparing the bed, make sure to include some potash (which increases flowering) and avoid using too much nitrogen, such as blood and bone, which encourages excessive leaf development.

Diseases and Pests

Slugs and snails, for example, are common pests that destroy the leaves.

You can either pluck them off by hand, especially after rain, or use a beer-filled glass jar half-buried in the ground as a snail trap.

They crawl in, become inebriated, and drown.

There’s also the finely crushed egg shells circle around each plant that they despise crawling over.

A new product for pots is a copper strip that you wrap around the pot and attach.

If you’re experiencing trouble with caterpillars, I recommend using Dipel, an organic spray with Bacillus thuringiensis as the active ingredient.

It is safe for you, your children, your pets, and other beneficial insects.

Longlife pyrethrum is also effective against sap-sucking insects like white fly and aphids, although it is toxic to caterpillars.

There are two types of lady birds: the nice and the bad.

The nasty ones are called the 28 spotted ones, and they eat the leaves, so keep an eye out for them and manually take them off.

Powdery mildew is the disease to which pumpkins are most vulnerable, and it can spread swiftly in hot, humid circumstances.


Cow’s milk, sprayed on the leaves every two weeks with a mix of 1 part cow’s milk to 10 parts water, can help control the disease.


Don’t kill the good lady birds, who are identifiable by yellow and black bands and eat mildew.


I also recommend watering in the morning, preferably at ground level rather than overhead, to avoid spores splashing up onto the foliage.

Storing and Harvesting

Harvesting pumpkins is the fun part of cultivating them.

You’ve watched them develop, nurtured them, ensured they’re free of pests and diseases, and now you’re wondering when to harvest them.

They should have a great colour, sound hollow when you knock on them, and the skin should be rigid and not show any indentations if you press your finger nails into them after 3-4 months.

It’s critical to snip them off with at least 5-10cm of stalk still attached.

This helps to extend the life of the pumpkin by preventing bacteria from entering it.

If you want to have pumpkin when it’s not in season, you’ll need to choose the correct storage space.

It must be adequately ventilated, with no direct sunlight and a cool temperature.
It should also be dry and not moist.

The pumpkin must also be in good health, with no fractures in the flesh and no signs of mould.

If there is, consume it right away because it will not keep.

Finally, offer them a potash and liquid manure drink every two weeks to help them grow healthy and powerful.

Pumpkins require rich organic soil, full sun, pleasant weather, and consistent hydration to grow properly.


You will have gorgeous healthy pumpkins that you will be able to keep and consume when it is out of season if you follow these easy recommendations and the temperature is steady, neither too hot nor too cold.

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