5 Mistakes People Make When Growing Pumpkins at Home

Pumpkins are super fun to grow in your garden. But, as I learned the hard way, they can get wildly out of control and take over your entire yard if you are not watching carefully. Pumpkins are vines, after all, and they love to creep and crawl as long as you will let them.


If you’re thinking about growing your own pumpkins, here are 5 common mistakes people make when growing pumpkins at home:

Choosing a spot with too much sun or shade

Plant pumpkins where there is partial sun and shade. Pumpkin vines like to creep and grow quickly. Don’t grow pumpkins next to your prize roses or any other plant you don’t want to have a vine potentially creep through. They won’t ruin a plant, but they can get fairly overwhelming and will overtake delicate, small plants in their path.

Planting aggressively

Pumpkin seeds grow in most climates fairly easily. They thrive almost anywhere! If you only have room for one or two pumpkin vines, only plant that many. If more grow, rip them out. There is little chance that a vine will die once it takes root, and if you let too many grow then you’ll have a tangle of vines and it will become a huge mess!


Pumpkins grow quickly and aggressively, so they like to be watered daily. The best kind of watering method is a steady drip hose or a watering can. It is hard to over water a pumpkin vine. Just be sure there is proper drainage and they should thrive.

Letting the pumpkins sit on the ground

When a pumpkin rests on the ground for a long time, the bottom can get soft and even rot. To prevent this, slip a piece of cardboard under the pumpkin to serve as a barrier between the pumpkin and the dirt. This won’t harm the pumpkin and will help keep the bottom dry.

Harvesting too early (thinking they will continue to ripen off the vine)

A lot of pumpkins grow quickly, but they don’t turn orange until they are ready to be picked. Don’t pick them too early when they are yellow because they will not ripen once they are off the vine. You want to leave them on until they are a bright autumnal orange.

Image: Getty/PhotoSomething

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