Growing Large Pumpkins in Small Spaces
Most gardeners plant pumpkins in hills, allowing the vines to spread as they grow. However, having a large garden is not a necessity. Growing pumpkins in containers is an excellent way to reap the benefits without sacrificing valuable space.
What Size Containers are Best for Growing Pumpkins?
As a general rule, the larger the pot, the better the pumpkin plants grow. However, a 10-gallon (44 liters) pot will comfortably accommodate a single vine, especially if the pumpkin is a smaller type like a pie pumpkin or decorative pumpkins pumpkin. Other types of planting containers include:
- 20-50 gallon (88-220 liters) growing pot found at home and garden stores.
- Large plastic garbage can cut in half lengthwise.
- Small plastic swimming pool.
- Homemade raised garden bed.
- Large whiskey barrels.
Planting Pumpkins in Containers
Regardless of the size of the container, make sure it has adequate drainage holes. A self-watering pot has built-in drainage holes, but you can easily create drainage holes in a homemade container. Simply drill small holes in the bottom and cover with a layer of gravel. The gravel allows the water to drain off the roots of the plants and prevents root rot.
Using a high-quality soil is important as well; pumpkins require extra pumpkins to feed the growing vegetables, so a potting soil mixed with compost or a slow release fertilizer is a good choice.
Planting pumpkin seeds directly into the pot is the easiest way to grow pumpkins in containers, provided the soil in the pot is consistently 65-70°F (18-24°C). Alternatively, you can purchase ready-to-plant seedlings and place them directly in the pot.
Caring for Container Pumpkins
Once you plant the pumpkins, they need plenty of sunlight and water. The soil should be moist but not soggy, as this can lead to rotten roots.
Pumpkin vines like to climb or spread out, so you should also provide a trellis for them. Whatever you use, make sure there are stable surfaces for the pumpkins to sit on while they grow. Small wooden ladders or shelves serve this purpose nicely.
Whether you are using containers or a more traditional garden spot, growing pumpkins is both easy and satisfying for all levels of gardeners.