How Much Space Does A Pumpkin Plant Need?

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Last Updated on January 26, 2022 by Fabiola L.

Pumpkin patches are the highlight of fall, and if creating a mini one has crossed your mind, you must be aware of how much space does a pumpkin plant need. Pumpkins come in many shapes and sizes. The standard large pumpkin that we carve and eat is a type of winter squash. The round, thick-skinned deep orange fruits are one of the oldest domesticated plants.

The most sought-after Halloween decoration is easy to grow in your own garden. But here’s the trick – you must have a lot of free space in full sun.

How Much Space Do Pumpkins Need To Grow?

pumpkin plant spacing

Pumpkins grow on long extending vines and need a lot of space. It would help if you planted each seed at least 4 but ideally 8 feet apart from the other. Once the pumpkins start to grow, they spread randomly, so it’s best to position them along the outline of your garden. Their vines can grow up to 30 feet, covering a large section of the yard.

As a rule of thumb, you need to have 50 to 100 feet of free space in your garden to attempt to grow pumpkins. This, of course, depends on the variety. A pumpkin plant can grow in bushes that make more sense for gardens with limited space.

Also, remember that pumpkins are planted in spring and need 100 to 160 days to mature. Which means you won’t be able to plant another crop in their place for half the year.

Read more about When Do Pumpkins Start To Grow?

Types of pumpkins

  • Cherokee Bush – deep orange pumpkin that grows in bushes that can spread up to 5 feet. It produces pumpkins weighing 5 to 8 pounds.
  • Capers – white-colored pumpkin with delicious orange flesh, growing up to 15 pounds. Matures in approximately 115 days.
  • Pepitas Hybrid – Green speckled pumpkins full of tasty seeds you can roast and snack on. They grow up to 10 pounds and mature in 100 days.
  • Cinderella – deep orange, almost red pumpkin that was once Cinderella’s carriage. They mature in 110 days and are very versatile.

How big do pumpkins grow in home gardens?

Depending on the variety, there are tiny, small, medium, and large pumpkins.

Medium pumpkins are 12 to 15 inches in diameter, make great ornaments, and are excellent to carve. Large pumpkins go from 16 to 19 inches, while extra-large ones are over 20 inches. 

When it comes to weight, pumpkins can go all the way from 5 to 300lb per fruit! A medium pumpkin weighs 20 to 30lb. Some record-breaking pumpkins go way over the 300lb mark.

Pumpkin Spacing In Small Garden Beds

If you have a small garden, the standard pumpkin might not be the best choice. Let’s see first how pumpkins get planted.

The pumpkins seeds are sowed in tiny hills made out of the soil to help them germinate faster. The raised ground heats up and drains faster. These small hills need to be spaced out at least 4 feet apart. If you’re doing more rows, you need to leave 8 feet distance between each row.

When the pumpkin plant starts to grow, leave 2 to 3 plants on each hill. They spread out fast, but the fruits mature slowly. The slim vines are slightly aggressive, so it’s best to have one plant every 20 to 35 inches.

But smaller, bush varieties need only 3 feet distance between each plant and 6 feet between each row.

Space out pumpkin plants early on

You can plant 2 to 5 pumpkin seeds in a single spot. But once they start growing, it’s crucial to remove the rest and leave a maximum of 2. If you keep all of the successful seeds, you’ll overcrowd the pumpkins.

Pumpkins need a lot of water and nutrients, and when there are a few roots nearby, they will compete. This causes immense stress and damage to the plant. When a pumpkin plant gets deprived of food, it won’t bloom, or the blooms might not yield fruits. Even a formed pumpkin can stop growing if it lacks essential nutrients.

How Important Is Pumpkin Plant Spacing?

When you plant fruits, vegetables, or even flowers, you always aim for the best. That’s why you follow instructions, buy fertilizers and take proper care of the plant.

With a pumpkin plant, everything falls down the drain if you don’t provide enough space for it to spread out. High-quality yield depends on a good sunny spot, excellent climate, and enough space. You can’t control the running vines, so if you have limited garden space, look for pumpkins labeled as compact growers.

How Many Pumpkins Can A Single Plant Produce?

A single plant produces between 2 and 5 pumpkins. Smaller ornamental pumpkins can produce around 10 fruits. It’s important to lift the pumpkin once it starts growing. If you water the plants frequently and the pumpkin lays in the wet ground it can rot before maturing. You can also put straw underneath to keep it away from moisture.

If you’re feeling crafty you can try and grow pumpkins in buckets!

Are pumpkins perennials?

Pumpkins are annual plants that need to get planted after the last frost when the ground reaches 70ºF. They’re susceptible to cold and can grow only during the summer months. However, if you live in a hot climate, you can grow pumpkins year-round. The ideal temperature for pumpkins to mature is around 90ºF.

Tips On Growing The Best Pumpkins

pumpkin spacing

Pumpkins thrive in natural soil that’s been enriched with manure or compost. Before planting, work in compost in the top layer. They require frequent watering, so consider installing a drip system but be careful not to wet the leaves.

Pumpkin plants need full shade or dappled shade in the worst case. They won’t grow in full shade. Plant them as soon as possible in early spring as they have a long maturing period.

Closely inspect the pumpkins once a week for insects and pests that may be damaging them.
You can store picked pumpkins for up to 6 months in a cool, dark, and dry part of your house.

Final Say: How Much Space Does A Pumpkin Plant Need?

A pumpkin plant has vines that grow up to 30 feet, so it needs enough space to spread. Ideally, leave 4 to 8 feet distance between to plants and 6 to 10 feet between each row.

Pumpkins are greedy feeders and will fight for water and nutrients. This strains the plant, stunts its growth, and damages the yield.

If you don’t have enough space look for bush pumpkins.

Read more about Tips On How and When To Plant The Best Pumpkins.

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