We’re an affiliate. We may earn a commission on qualifying purchases through the links on this page. Learn more by reading our disclaimer.
Growing Pumpkins Vertically
Pumpkins are a great addition to any garden and can be grown vertically in a raised bed or container for added space savings. In this guide, we will walk you through the steps necessary to grow your own pumpkins vertically.
Can You Grow Pumpkins Vertically?
Yes, it is certainly possible to grow pumpkins vertically up a trellis! Pumpkins are vining plants that can be trained to climb trellises with the help of a little bit of support.
As long as you provide your pumpkin plants with plenty of nutrients, sunlight, and water, they will happily grow upward on their trellis.
To get started, make sure that you secure your trellis securely in the ground or attach it to a wall before planting your pumpkin seeds.
This will prevent your sturdy vines from toppling over. Once your pumpkins begin to sprout, train them along the trellis by gently guiding their tendrils as they emerge.
With some care and patience, you will soon have beautiful vertical gardens bursting with big, juicy pumpkins!
And if you’re looking for something even more adventurous, why not try growing other fruits and vegetables vertically?
There’s no limit to what you can achieve when you start thinking outside of the box! So go ahead and give it a try – I bet you’ll love seeing those pumpkins grow skyward!
Can You Train Pumpkins to Climb?
Yes, you can train pumpkin plants to climb up just about anything. You can train up walls, fences, and garden trellises. I have even seen them climbing up a nearby tree. These vines spread and will take over an area of your yard with very little effort so you need to stay on top of training them.
Why Should I Grow Pumpkins Vertically?
For starters, growing pumpkins vertically takes up significantly less space than traditional in-the-ground plantings. This makes them an ideal solution for gardeners with limited space or those trying to maximize their small garden.
In addition, growing pumpkins vertically has the added benefit of allowing you to control how the pumpkins grow, making it easier to produce perfectly-sized fruit for cooking and baking.
Finally, growing your pumpkins vertically ensures that they get optimal sunlight, water, and nutrients throughout the season.
Altogether, these factors make growing pumpkins vertically a great option for people with all shapes and sizes of gardens.
What Types of Pumpkins Are Best for Growing on A Trellis?
For those who are planning to grow pumpkins on a trellis, there are a number of different varieties that are well suited for this type of growth.
The most popular options include compact varieties such as Sugar Pie and Jack-Be-Little, which only require limited space and produce small pumpkins that are perfect for snacking or making pumpkin pies.
Whatever variety you choose, with proper care and attention your pumpkins should thrive when grown on a trellis!
What Types of Trellises Work the Best?
The types of trellises that work the best for growing pumpkins vertically are trellises made out of wood, metal, or sometimes very strong plastic. The reason for this is that the pumpkin plants are going to be heavy when they start to set fruit so you will want something that will hold the weight.
Can I Buy a Trellis for Pumpkins?
Yes, you can buy several different styles of trellises made out of different materials. It is all about finding the trellis that will fit your needs and your space. You can get trellises from your local big-box store, hardware store, and even on Amazon.
Our three favorite types of trellises are:
Cattle Panel Trellises:
Cattle panel trellises are made out of metal and have a very strong grid pattern that is used for making pens for livestock. This makes them perfect for holding the weight of pumpkin plants and their fruit. They are strong, durable, and affordable.
Cattle panels are 16 feet long and 50 inches tall and can even be made into a homemade arch trellis between raised beds. You can pick a cattle panel up at Tractor Supply or other farm stores for about $20-30 dollars depending on where you live.
Metal trellises and structure make great options for growing pumpkins vertically because they are durable and strong enough to support the weight of this garden monster.
You can essentially choose the design that you want to use in your garden from a decorative metal gazebo that looks amazing and provides a shaded spot for you to relax in the garden to a decorative obelisk. These will not only support your pumpkins but look great in your garden.
You can also use netting to trellis your pumpkin plants if you put together a structure of some sort to support the netting. Overall, if you can figure out a way to attach the netting it can be a good option for those that can’t afford a more permanent structure.
These nets come in a variety of sizes and can quickly be set up or taken down and moved to a new area.
Can I Make My Own Trellis?
The idea of making your own trellis might seem intimidating, but with the right tools and a little bit of know-how, it’s actually quite simple.
The first step is to gather all of the materials that you’ll need. This might include wooden posts, string or wire, nails or screws, and any other hardware that you think might be useful.
Once you have the supplies at hand, the next step is to create your frame. This could involve simply hammering support beams into the ground and securing them with nails or screws, or it could involve more elaborate construction using bent pieces of wood for extra support.
Whatever method you choose, just make sure that your trellis has some sort of structure, since this will ultimately hold up your plants and keep them from falling down.
From there, it’s just a question of adding in any finishing touches, such as a wire grid for climbing vines or carefully arranged twine for creeping foliage. And there you have it – your very own homemade trellis!
So why wait? Gather your tools and get started today! You’ll be amazed by how satisfying it can be to make something on your own from scratch.
Who knows – maybe you’ve got a green thumb after all!
Do Pumpkins Like Sun or Shade?
Pumpkins love the full sun so they should be planted in an area of your garden where they get at least 4-6 hours of sun a day. They will soak up the sun.
If you live in an area where you have extremely hot summers you can plant them in a spot in your garden that gets morning sun and mid to late afternoon shade to give them a break.
Also, if you notice your pumpkin leaves looking sad or wilting during the hottest part of the day, don’t worry as this is normal.
Pumpkins and other cucurbits will purposely let their leaves droop to conserve moisture. Later on in the day, they will bounce back.
How Much Space Does a Pumpkin Plant Need?
When growing pumpkins vertically you should devote at least 1-2 square feet to each plant if you have a good trellis system in place.
This is because these plants are very aggressive and like to sprawl and if you miss a single day of training them up a trellis, you don’t want your pumpkin plant to take out a neighboring plant.
Also, by giving each pumpkin plant 1-2 square feet, you are promoting good airflow by not overcrowding your plants into a small space. Better airflow means fewer mildew issues.
What Month Do You Plant Pumpkins?
Pumpkins need a long growing season in order to get a decent harvest so they should be planted between early to mid-spring to early summer.
If you can plant them sometime between April and June, you should get a decent harvest. Just remember, most varieties need anywhere from 80 and 120 days from the time you transplant them into the garden.
How to Grow Pumpkins from Seed
In order to grow pumpkins from seed, you need to pick a place out in your garden where you plan on growing them. Keep in mind that pumpkins have a long growing season so pick a place where you are ok with them being for a long time.
Is this place in the sun or the shade? It needs to get between 4 and 6 hours of sun each day at least.
Before planting, add 2-3 inches of compost to the area where you will be planting your seeds. Plant your pumpkin seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep and cover them with soil. Give the area a good watering.
Once your pumpkins have sprouted be sure to keep them watered and keep the weeds away from the plants.
When your plants have put on some true leaves and reach about 6-8 inches long they will start to develop tendrils which is the part that wraps around a trellis to hold them in place.
Related: How to Grow Pumpkins In A Raised Bed
How to Train Pumpkin Plants onto A Trellis?
Training pumpkin plants onto a trellis is an important step in ensuring that your plants have all the support they need to thrive.
Next, select one of your strongest plants early on in the growing process and gently secure its tendrils onto the trellis.
In order to ensure that your plant grows thoroughly along the desired route, be sure to gently wrap its tendrils around as many points on the trellis as possible.
Once your pumpkin plant has a firm grasp on the trellis, it will quickly begin spurring new growth in that direction and you can gradually train other stems onto the same path.
You will have to do this every day to ensure that the plant stays on the trellis as it continues to grow. The good thing is it only takes a few minutes a day to do this job.
By following these steps for training pumpkin plants onto a trellis, you’ll help ensure that your plants grow vertically and take up less space than you can use for other plants.
Do You Need to Tie the Vines to The Trellis?
The pumpkin vines are very strong and their tendrils can generally hold them to the trellis but when the heavy pumpkin fruit starts to develop, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to give the vines some additional support.
You can use jute twine or even use an old t-shirt cut into strips to gently tie the pumpkin vines to the trellis structure. This will give them a little extra support.
How Often to Water Pumpkin Plants
Watering your pumpkin plants is an important part of keeping them healthy and producing big, delicious fruits.
However, how often you should water your plants can be a bit of a tricky question, as the needs of different plants will vary depending on things like soil type, weather conditions, and the stage that they are in.
Generally speaking, though, it’s best to water your pumpkin plants deeply at least once a week or so during the summer months. This should be about 1-1.5 inches of water per week.
This will help ensure that the soil stays moist and prevent your pumpkins from withering or wilting.
Just make sure to keep an eye out for any signs of overwatering – if you see things like yellow leaves or drooping stems, it’s time to cut back on your watering schedule.
How Often Should I Fertilize Pumpkins
You should fertilize your pumpkins once every 7-10 days with a well-balanced organic water-soluble fertilizer like compost tea or a seaweed and fish emulsion. The water-soluble fertilizer is readily available to your growing plants as soon as you water, unlike a granular fertilizer that has to break down over the season.
Pumpkin Flowers and Fruit Production
Once your pumpkin plant has grown and put on some good size, it will start to produce regular flowers.
It is pretty common to see only male flowers at first. Male flowers are just a flower on the end of a long stem.
It is best to hand pollinate these early flowers as it will send signals to the plant that there are pollinators nearby thus causing the plant to produce female flowers.
To hand pollinate them all you need is your finger or a q-tip to run around inside the flower. Do this to every male flower you see until it starts to produce female flowers.
Female flowers are the same type of flower but they will have a baby pumpkin right at the base of or right behind the flower on the stem.
This is the best way to tell which is a male and which is a female flower as only the female flowers will have the baby fruit.
If you still haven’t noticed any bees in your garden then you will need to continue to hand pollinate in the same way but you take the pollen from the male flower and insert it into the female flowers.
These flowers will appear in the morning and will generally close up in the afternoon so stay persistent in checking for new flowers.
You will know if your pollination worked when you start to see the baby pumpkins start to grow. If they do not grow and start to turn brown or black then you weren’t successful.
In this case, snip off the male flowers and remove their petals. Take what is left of the male flower and insert it into the female flowers. This should increase your chances.
Once these pumpkins have started to grow you will need to consider how you will support this heavy fruit on the trellis.
How Do You Support the Pumpkin Fruits on The Trellis?
When it comes to supporting the actual fruit on the trellis you have to do something as the pumpkins can weigh a lot and that can put a lot of pressure on the vine and the stem of the pumpkin.
When I first started growing pumpkins vertically in my garden I would take old pantyhose or even just buy brand new ones to use. If you are using actual pantyhose, you just need the legs of them.
You just take the leg of the pantyhose and tie one end to the trellis itself. Put in your pumpkin or melon on the hose and then wrap the other end around the pumpkin and tie that end to the trellis as well creating a sort of hammock for your pumpkin.
You can also use a mesh hammock or bag as well to support your pumpkins or melons on a trellis. It really just depends on what you want to use.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some commonly asked questions about growing pumpkins in raised beds:
Do pumpkins do well on a trellis?
Yes, pumpkins will do well on a trellis provided you have given them the support they need and kept them fertilized and watered throughout the season.
Growing pumpkins vertically is a great way to save space in your garden, and with the right care and attention, you can produce a bountiful harvest of these delicious fruits.
We have outlined the basics for you here, but be sure to check out other articles on growing pumpkins if you need more information.