Growing pumpkins in Large Container

mary_maxJune 3, 2012

Do you think I could grow pumpkins (not the small ones ) in LARGE containers and let the vines flow onto a large cement area or driveway that is not being used? Would that work? Need some pumpkins for the kids for Halloween and almost forgot about sowing the seeds! YIKES!!

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howelbama(7 NJ)

It's possible, how large are the containers? You should prob only do one plant per, and only allow one or two pumpkins max to set on each plant. Also if the area is black asphalt, it may cook the vines, so the cement would prob be a better option. They will need regular fertilization and watering. If you are inconsistent with watering while the pumpkins are growing, they are likely to split. I would also place the pumpkin on some straw bedding or something as it grows.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:29PM
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The containers are very large. The black containers that large trees are sold in. Do you still think only one plant per pot? Actually all I really want is a few pumpkins for the kids. The area the vines would be on would be cement. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 6:40PM
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howelbama(7 NJ)

Even with containers that large I would still say only one plant per. Their roots are large, and they're heavy feeders. You could experiment, do one in one, and two in the other, that way you will have an idea of how far you can push them for next year. Just don't let too many pumpkins set, or they wont get very big. Also, make sure the containers have good drainage, and set them up on bricks or something so the drainage holes have good clearance and can do there job. You will want to fill them with a light potting mix, not regular soil. Water them when the top one to two inches drys out, and mulch the top as the season gets hotter. You will probably want to fertilize on a weekly basis. When you water, do so that a good percentage of water runs out of the drain holes.

There are all types of recommendations on potting mixes and fertilizers in the container gardening forum.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 7:04PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I believe it can be done. But, in zone 5 you need to look for a variety that is labelled as taking 100 days or less to maturity. Pumpkins need lots of sun, warmth, fertilizer and even moisture. I'm growing three in a 27 gallon half whiskey barrel. I intend to remove the smallest when the larger ones start flowering and only letting one or two per vine to develop.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 7:05PM
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I'm trying this myself. I've got seven going, each in a black plastic nursery pot (#7 tall = 8 gallons). Started from seed, two weeks ago which is possibly too late but wanted to give it a shot. Hoping for a good Summer! Variety is "Amish Pie", which can get very big as far as pie pumpkins go (reputedly up to 60lbs!)
Since the fruit is so heavy I am planning to let the vines trail on top of a pretty big area, maybe 6 feet wide by forty feet long, of low mounds of some type of grass, which should hopefully keep the leaves up in the sun but the fruit will be able to squash the grass and thus sit on dirt, pretty much. Either that or I could let the vines run around a concrete area and get more warmth that way, but then would definitely need to do something to lift the fruit up off the hot concrete. Anyone got experience with this and think one of those options has a better shot of working out?
Since they are not in the ground I am planning to feed pretty heavily with water soluble fertilizer, maybe fish emulsion? Also, I am debating whether I should cut back to just one, or try two fruits per vine?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:41AM
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Trying this for the first time. Zone 9. Container planting due to rabbit infestation. What do I need to know??? Specifically what type of fertilizer is needed and how often?? I understand about turning the pumpkins and when to harvest. Let me know the critical points!!!!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 9:04PM
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I would put one in a 36" diameter pot. Maybe as low as 24", if it's the very tall kind of pot (30" tall, I think).

I laughed when I read the title of this thread, because I thought, 'Sure, if your container is the size of a Volkwagen bug!'

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 10:50AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Lynda: the critical points probably are that you need a container that is at least 20-25 gallons; full sun; fast draining potting mix (not soil); at least a 120-day growing season; and regular fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer containing all the trace minerals. Pumpkins need a lot of moisture and food. I suggest you read the most popular thread in the Container Forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Container Soils

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 12:47PM
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For fertilizer, its important not to give them too much nitrogen. Too much N and you'll get tons of vines, and no pumpkins at all (female flowers don't set if there's too much N).

Also, pumpkin vines will want to root along the vine, and that will greatly help pumpkin development. Don't just give it one pot at the base, have a couple of extra smaller pots that you can put the vines in for secondary rooting.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 2:43PM
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