Taking part in our Grow Your Own Pumpkin campaign? Make sure you take a look at our 10 top tips for growing pumpkins!
- Be aware that pumpkins will not stand any frost. Do not plant outside until the end of May or early June. It is a good idea to plant it in a pot of about 1 litre capacity first to grow it on. You can bring this in at night or in cold weather for a week or two until it is safe to plant outside.
- Plant about 600mm apart to allow them to grow. Some varieties grow long runners!
- Pumpkins prefer fairly free drained soil but will tolerate most soils if not waterlogged. They can be grown in tubs but you will need a fairly big one – 600mm in diameter.
- There are lots of different varieties. Some will grow bigger than others. Generally, the big ones will only produce one or two per plant. The smaller ones may produce several.
- Plant deep enough to cover all the root ball and water in immediately. Keep moist during the first few days until it has made new roots.
- Look out for slugs and snails! They can eat the plant off level with the ground over night! You can use slug pellets, beer traps, egg shells to stop them – whatever works for you. It is not a bad idea to try to control your slugs a few days before you plant.
- Keep the weeds down and water your pumpkin during dry weather.
- As the pumpkin fruits form and grow you can make a better shape and even ripening it if you turn the fruit occasionally or place it on a tile or some matting to keep it clean. Be careful not to break the stem!
- As Autumn approaches look out for early frosts. Cover the pumpkins with matting or newspaper if a frost is forecast.
- When the pumpkin is ready to harvest cut the stem well above the pumpkin so have a decent sized “handle”. It will keep much better with the stem still intact.
Growing pumpkins at home? Share the progress of your pumpkin each week using the hashtag #EssingtonPumpkins on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.