Pumpkins are beautiful and delicious vegetables. They are cute, attractive and most of all they are extremely tasty and healthy. You don’t need a large space to grow pumpkins. You can grow pumpkins in containers and place them on your balcony, rooftop, porch or even yard. Pumpkins are low maintenance vegetables that can be grown in any climate. If you want to learn to how to grow pumpkins in containers, follow the below step-by-step guide.
There are several varieties of pumpkins and they are divided into two categories according to their size. These two categories are small size pumpkins and giant pumpkins. You can grow both categories in containers but it is recommended to start with small pumpkins if this is the first time to grow this veggie. Here are some recommended varieties to you:
- Jack be little
- Wee be little
- Baby boo
- pumpkin Hooligan
- Lil pump ke mon
2. Choosing a container
The size of pots depends on whether you are growing a small variety or a giant one. Either way, you need to use a large pot. For small varieties, you should choose a container that is at least 10 gallons. For large varieties, you need to use extremely large pots. That is to say; you will need to use a pot that is at least 24 inches deep and wide. A 25-gallon container will be ideal.
In order to learn how to grow pumpkins in containers, you need to learn how to plant them properly. Pumpkins can be grown from seeds and seedlings. Both are available in nursery stores.
Pumpkins require a warm soil to grow. Thus, it is highly recommended to plant them when the temperature degrees are above 65 F. In tropical and subtropical climates, you can grow pumpkins all year round. For warm regions, you can plant pumpkins from the beginning of spring until July. For cooler regions, the best time to grow pumpkins is between April and May.
Pumpkins require warmth to grow and thrive. You should place your container in a sunny spot. Whether you are growing small size pumpkins or giant pumpkins, you should put them in a spot where they can access to direct sunlight at least for six hours daily.
Growing potatoes in a shady spot will hinder their growth and will cause mildew because the soil will not dry out and will preserve moisture. You should also keep in mind that even the smallest pumpkin varieties require space and warmth to grow.
Pumpkins require a good quality warm well-drained soil to grow. The soil should also be high in hummus and capable of retaining water. You should add a lot of compost and manure to your soil to improve its quality and to provide your pumpkins with the nutrients they need. Adding organic matter is also recommended. Any ph soil levels that vary between 6 and 7.2 are acceptable.
Learning how to water your pumpkins properly is essential to learn how to grow pumpkins in containers. Pumpkins’ watering needs are similar to gourds and melons’ watering needs. They need regular watering. They grow better when the soil is constantly moist but not waterlogged. Therefore, water them frequently and try to avoid wetting the foliage.
Pumpkins are vine plant. They need to support to climb on to promote their growth. Trelisses are the most recommended support. They are strong enough to hold your plants. You can also use sticks. Don’t forget to keep the trellis away from the wall to avoid diseases.
You should start mulching as soon as your pants are a few inches tall. Mulching will help prevent weeds from growing ass well as keep the soil moist.
Pumpkins are extremely heavy feeders. They need a lot of fertilization. Applying a plenty of fertilization to your plants will enhance their productivity and will help you get bigger and tastier pumpkins. At the early stage of growth, you should apply a 10-10-10 balanced fertilize. Then you should reduce the amount of nitrogen that you apply to your plants in order to prevent promoting foliage growth.
Once you your plants start growing flowers, they will require a lot of potassium. Therefore, you should use a low nitrogen fertilizer that contains potassium and phosphorus. The most recommended fertilizer is 5-15-15 fertilizer.
10. Pests and Diseases
Pumpkins are sturdy vegetables and they are not vulnerable to pests and diseases. The most dangerous pests are aphids, flea beetles, and worms. For diseases, you should be careful of powdery mildew.
You can start harvesting pumpkins 3 to 4 months after planting. However, the time your plants take to mature and to be ready for harvest depend heavily on the variety you are growing and the growing conditions you have provided for them.
You can tell which pumpkins are fully ripe from their colors. Orange pumpkins are mature and ripe whereas green pumpkins are not ripe yet. To make sure that your pumpkins are fully ripe you should check out the bark of the pumpkin. Press it with your finger and if it is hard, then your pumpkin is ready for harvesting.
To pick up the pumpkins, you should cut the stem with a sharp knife or a scissor. You should make sure not to cut too close to the fruit. You can store pumpkins for a long time. Make sure to store them in a cool dry environment so they won’t rot.
12. Extra tips
- Pumpkins don’t like to be transplanted, therefore use a large pot from the beginning. They have a large root system that requires both depth and width
- Male flowers open before female flowers so they attract pollinators first.
- Pumpkins are usually pollinated by pollinators such as bees. However, if you don’t see them in your garden, you should hand pollinate your pumpkins to get fruits.
- It is recommended that you don’t allow each plant to produce many fruits.
These are the steps that you should follow in order to learn how to grow pumpkins in containers. Apply these steps and you will be rewarded with a heavy yield of delicious and tasty pumpkins.