Growing Pumpkins in Raised Beds

Last updated: 9/14/20

I’ve had quite an experience using raised beds for my gardening activities. So, I decided to try something new in pumpkins.

While I had fun, there were loads of gray areas about growing pumpkins in raised beds. So, as always, I did some digging up and came across loads of helpful information.

I bet you’re wondering what they are. Well, let’s find out.

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Best Types of Pumpkins to Grow In A Raised Bed

Just before you go planting, you’ll need to make a choice. I had to myself after realizing the wide range of available pumpkin varieties.

For your choosing, here are five of my top picks.

1. Hybrid Pam Pumpkins

If you’re looking to plant an heirloom type of pumpkin, then this might be your best bet.

It yields medium-sized pumpkins that you can use for pies. And this is thanks to its high sugar content. I grow it to satisfy my sweet tooth, you too can.

2. New England Cheddar Pumpkin

If you’re looking to plant an heirloom type of pumpkin, then this might be your best bet.

It yields medium-sized pumpkins that you can use for pies. And this is thanks to its high sugar content. I grow it to satisfy my sweet tooth, you too can.

grow pumpkins

3. Knucklehead Pumpkin

This variety is also unique thanks to warts lying on its body.

You’ll get this variety having two colors. You get green thanks to warts and orange on other parts of your fruit.

They grow as much as 20 pounds, making them fit for your scare duties.

4. Crystal Star Pumpkin

This variety comes off as white. As such, you’ve got a great option on your hand if you’re looking to win the best Halloween costume. 

I bet you find white more ghostly than orange too.

5. Blue Doll Pumpkin

If you’re looking to go all mysterious, then you’ll find the blue doll quite useful.

With this option, you get a combination of green and yellow. The green appears outside while the orange from its inside.

Usually, it can grow to reach 20 pounds, which is wow. And, yes, you can always cook it.

For instance, the orange side works well for pasta or salad dishes. You can also use it for your pie recipes. It has quite the sugar content like the New England Cheddar.

Best Time to Plant Pumpkins in A Raised Bed

As with every plant or veggie, timing is essential. You plant too early, and your veggie might not germinate. You plant too late, then you might not get the best yield before the plants die off.

Well, that’s why you need to consider when to plant your pumpkin in your raised bed.

When it comes to pumpkins, they love the sun. And, as such, they need the sun to grow properly.

You get them into a cold area, and you can be sure to record a poor experience. As such, you’ll need to sow your seeds when you know they can get access to sun and heat.

Well, what better time than during summer. So, sow your pumpkin seeds either during late spring or early into summer. This way, you give them enough time to access the sun rays they need.

Typically, it will take between 95 and 120 days before your pumpkin matures. That is, it takes a minimum of three months. So, by starting late May or early June, you give your pumpkin access to three-month constant sunlight.

However, you must know that if you’re making a pumpkin for Halloween. Then, you might want to delay planting until July. This will ensure that by the time the growing season lapses, it falls right into Halloween.

You might have a short growing season within your area. Then, all you need to do is get the seedlings immediately after the final frost.

Alternatively, you can sow your seeds some 3 or 4 weeks before the last frost indoor. Then, after the last frost and your seed must have germinated, you can then take them to the raised beds.

Ideal Soil Condition for Growing Pumpkins in Raised Beds

It’s vital to consider your soil condition before getting to planting your pumpkin.

One thing you’ll need to consider is your soil temperature. For you to record good growth, your soil must have a temperature reading a minimum of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Your soil will also need a bit of fertilization for the best effect. So, add some layer of compost to your raised bed.

You can also check for weeds in your bed. And ensure you remove them with your hands, not through herbicides or burning.

Method to Water Pumpkins in a Raised Bed

You should, however, keep in mind that you need to avoid sprinklers.

Usually, with sprinklers, your leaves will get all wet. And this can result in fungal infections.

So, the best way to water your pumpkins is by using an irrigation system. Alternatively, focus your watering on the soil rather than your leaves.

Although you’ll need to ensure, you water your pumpkin slowly and deeply.

This way, your soil, and your plant roots receive the water nutrient it needs.

pumpkin in a raised bed

When Should You Water Pumpkins in a Raised Bed?

Now, you’ll need to pick the right time to water your pumpkin plant. And this is important if your plant is to survive without infections.

So, to keep your plant flourishing, your best bet is to water early in the morning. The goal is to ensure that the extra water that gets on your leaves dries up before night.

However, in case you’ve got a busy day. And if you forget to water your pumpkin early in the morning, you can still do it later on.

Precisely, you can always water around late afternoon. It would help if you remembered to avoid watering when the sun is at its peak.

This is because the water will dry up before it seeps into the root. In such a case, it would then be like you never watered your plant.

So, what you need to do is water late in the afternoon, when the sun is no longer at its peak. Still, ensure it’s not too late. This way, the water can dry up before night.

All through this, you still need to ensure you keep the water away from your leaves. I had quite a struggle with fungal infection when I didn’t. I’m sure you don’t want the same.

Steps to Growing Pumpkins in Raised Beds

So far, I’ve cleared out all the preliminaries. The next thing for you to do is get sowing and growing.

I know you’re wondering how I do this. Is there anything I need to do?

Well, I’ve got it all covered. Here’s a step-by-step approach that I found useful. It would help if you tried it out too.

Step 1: Pick A Spot

Your first task will be to pick a spot. In this case, you’ll need to get a raised bed.

Although you can do it yourself, it’s never a bad idea to purchase one. Once you’ve got your raised bed, then you can get to the next step.

Step 2: Prepare Your Seeds for Planting

I’ve already mentioned the varieties of pumpkins that you can grow. At this stage, you’ll need to pick any one of these varieties and purchase a seed.

Afterward, you can then begin to prepare the seed. For you to do this, you’ll need to get filing. That is, using any nail file, you file your seed edges. However, remember to avoid filing the pointed edge.

I wondered why when I found this out myself. Well, it’s because it allows your seeds to get better access to water. Even more, your seeds won’t have any problem getting out of their shell.

You might also want to soak the seeds for one or two hours in a bowl filled with warm water. This will ensure your seeds germinate far faster than you would expect.

However, ensure to drain the water after. You can then store them and seal them.

Step 3: Plant Your Seeds

The next step is to plant your seeds in your raised bed. Usually, the spacing will depend on your seed type.

If you go for the bush type, then you need as much as 3 feet between each plant. However, if you go for the vining type, you might need around 8 to 10 feet between your plants.

This is because they grow quite a lot and need space.

Step 4: Water Your Plants

You’ll need to water your plants regularly. Keep in mind the tips we already discussed above.

Remember how best to water your plants, when to water your plants, and how much water to provide.

Step 5: Pollinate the Blossoms

Usually, the male flowers will come first while the female flowers a week afterward. You’ll know the female flowers are out as they have a swollen base looking like a small pumpkin.

Then, your pumpkin needs bees for their pollination. However, you might notice that there’s no bee in your garden. Then, all you need to do is self-pollinate.

Remember that this will be in the morning when your flowers are open. This is because your flowers remain open for only half of the day.

For you to do this, get an artist’s brush, and wear some gloves. Then, gather pollen from the male flower with the brush. Afterward, brush the center of your female flowers with the same brush.  However, while doing this, ensure you exercise care.

Step 6: Fertilize & Thin

Next up is fertilizing and thinning. And this happens a week after the blossom appears.

At this stage, what you’ll need to do is side-dress your pumpkin’s vines using fertilizers. And you’ll do this by spreading your fertilizers very close to the pumpkins. This way, your roots can benefit from it.

Then, as soon as you get around four fruits, go on to change your row cover. Also, it would be best if you thin your vines with a pruning shear just before that.

Tips for Harvesting Pumpkins in A Raised Bed

Like I stated already, your pumpkin should be ready for harvest within the third and fourth months. Just for you to be sure, check out your fruit’s color in line with their variety.

Then, get a cutting blade. You’ll use it to cut the fruit stem from its vine. Also, ensure that there’s a minimum of 3 or 4 inches of stem left with the fruit. With this, you’re good to go.

It would be best if you remembered to harvest before the frost comes. This is because the frosts will do more harm than good.

So, as soon as the frost is on their way, harvest your pumpkins. You can then store them somewhere dry and cool.

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Final Thoughts

Your pumpkin and raised bed are a great combination. But that’s if you have the right information.

That’s what I’ve done. I’ve covered all you need to know about growing pumpkins in raised beds.

So, get to growing your pumpkins. And enjoy that sweet pie or Halloween scare.

Related Questions

1. How Much Space Does A Pumpkin Plant Need?

You should keep your rows between 6 and 8 feet from each other, while seedlings should be thinned over 2 feet. For bush varieties, keep your rows between 4 and 6 feet from each other.

2. Can You Grow Pumpkins In a 5 Gallon Bucket?

Yes, although it would be best to go for sugar pie varieties in a 5-gallon bucket. However, your pumpkin might overtake the container in time.

3. What to Put Under Pumpkins While Growing?

Put a piece of cardboard or wood under your growing pumpkin. This will enable it to stay safe from the soggy oil, which causes rot.

4. How Long Does It Take Pumpkins to Grow?

Your pumpkin will take around three months for it to reach maturity. Although, based on its variety, it can extend to as much as four months.

Green Thumb Gardener
pumpkin gardening
Jeremy Starke

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