Pumpkins prefer sunny locations and fertile, well-drained soil. For more information on pumpkins, click here.
VARIETIES: Autumn Gold, Connecticut Field and Spirit Hybrid are large (18 to 25 lb) fruited orange pumpkins that can be used for pies and carving. Jack Be Little, Wee-B-Little and Baby Bear are small (1/2 to 1 ½ lb) orange fruited types suited for small children. Many good pumpkin varieties are available through local seed distributors and grow well in Utah.
Before planting, incorporate up to 4 inches of well-composted organic matter and apply 4 to 6 cups of all purpose fertilizer per 100 square feet. For more information on soil preparation, click here.
- Pumpkins should be planted when soils are 65°F or when frost danger has passed.
- Plant four to six seeds in mounds 4 to 6 feet apart.
- After plants have two leaves, thin to two plants per mound.
- Transplants should be planted 2 to 3 feet apart in a row with rows 4 to 6 feet apart.
Irrigation: Water pumpkins deeply and infrequently, 1 to 2 inches per week. Use drip irrigation if possible. Mulch around the plants will conserve moisture and reduce weed growth. Irrigate so that moisture goes deeply in the soil. For more information on watering, click here.
Fertilization: After the vines develop runners, side dress with a nitrogen fertilizer using 1 to 2 tablespoons per plant or mound. Incorporate the fertilizer at least 6 inches away from the plant. For more information on fertilizing, click here.
Harvest: Pumpkins take 45 to 55 days to mature after flowering. Pumpkins are mature when they are fully colored, when the vine begins to die and turns black and the rind is unaffected by a scratch from a fingernail. Mature fruits should be harvested with the stem attached and stored where they do not freeze.
COMMON PESTS AND DISEASES: Aphids, squash bugs and cucumber beetles are common pests of pumpkins. They can be regulated with insecticides, regular watering and removal of infected plants. For more information on controlling pests and diseases, click here.