Preparing Your Garden for Pumpkins

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Growing organic pumpkins is not hard if you know a few tricks of the trade. First, you’ll need to select a sunny spot to plant your pumpkins. Before you plant, you’ll also want to test your soil pH and temperature. A soil pH of around 6.0 is recommended. Soil temperatures should be about 60 degrees. The best way to test your soil conditions is with an electronic soil tester. This handy electronic soil tester can analyze both soil pH and temperature.

It’s important to grow pumpkins in well-draining soil with plenty of organic material mixed in. A good sandy loam is appropriate for pumpkin growing. Adding organic compost to your soil will also guarantee healthy, well-draining soil. If you don’t already have a compost pile, you should start one as soon as possible. If you don’t know how, please see Compost Guide. Giving your pumpkins an occasional dose of organic fertilizer can also be useful. See this site for a listing of organic fertilizers and pesticides.

A common method for growing pumpkins is to form small mounds of soil. The pumpkins vines will slowly spill over the mounds as they grow. Space your mounds around 4 to 5 feet apart. You can also plant your pumpkins in rows about 4 to 6 feet apart.

Check out this site from Colorado State University for some excellent pumpkin planting tips.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghan April 12, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Do you plant pumkins in the shade, or sun?

lars April 12, 2010 at 9:47 pm

@Meghan,

Pumpkins need full sun, and should not be planted in the shade.

cheryl September 18, 2010 at 7:09 pm

My pumpkin plant keeps getting flowers but then they drop off. So far no little pumpkins. Any idea what the problem could be?

Steph May 13, 2011 at 1:55 am

I have heard that injecting milk in to the vines of a pumpkin can help make it grow bigger. Is this true?

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