One of the most important things to address with your Fall harvest is how to keep pumpkins from rotting on the vine.
Pumpkins make a great addition to your garden. These fresh meaty fruits are great for making a wide variety of sweet treats or roasting for a delectable side dish. Children love carving and painting pumpkins as part of their fall activities and celebrations.
Sadly pumpkins tend to rot on the vine before they are ready to harvest rather easily. There are severe causes and easy solutions to keep pumpkins from rotting on the vine.
Why pumpkins rot on the vine
Often, pumpkins rot on the vines before they are ready to pick. This can happen directly after the flowering stage or sadly while the pumpkin is growing before you can harvest. Rot is usually caused by excess soil moisture, which is a breeding ground for fungal issues.
Another common course of pumpkins rotting on the vine is lack of nutrition or not enough water to move that nutrition to the plants during the flowering stage.
If your soil is depleted your pumpkins can not gather enough nutrients to grow. This can lead to blossom end rot causing your pumpkins to rot on the vines. Please remember to fertilize your pumpkins at the correct time to help prevent this issue.
How to stop Pumpkins from Rotting in the Garden
Amend the soil before planting – By adding in plenty of nutrition to your garden beds before you start planting you raise the chance of your plants having what they need to thrive.
Start out by adding fresh compost to give your soil an advantage. This compost can help your pumpkins grow without issues from lack of nutrition.
Plant your pumpkins in mounds with plenty of mulch – When you plant your pumpkins in mounds you help improve drainage around the base of the plant.
After your mound is sufficiently built you should mulch around the mound and along the area your pumpkins will vine out. This will help protect your pumpkins from the moisture in the soil before you find them to place a barrier lifting them off the ground.
Water well during flowering – Pumpkins need extra water during the flowering stage or they are likely to form a pumpkin that cannot thrive. Not enough water for lack or pollination are the main causes of pumpkins rotting on the vine right after the blooming stage.
When your pumpkins are in bloom opt to water them a bit more to help them take up the nutrients from your soil. Compost tea is a great option for watering and adding nutrition to the soil if you did not mix in compost at the start of the season.
Invite pollinators into your garden – If your pumpkins are not properly pollinated they will easily die on the vines before they have time to form. No female pumpkin flowers is a massive problem but can be prevented.
To increase the odds your pumpkins will be properly pollinated grow more than one plant in the area and invite natural pollinators. This can be done by planting flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to your garden. If you are still having issues there are other ways you can pollinate pumpkins.
How to keep pumpkins off the ground to prevent rotting
When your pumpkins do form healthy fruits you need to get these fruits up off of the ground as quickly as possible and keep them this way all season long.
This will keep moisture from the soil from leading to your pumpkins rotting. You want good air circulation and a dry space for your pumpkins.
Baskets – The most convenient option for getting your pumpkins up off the ground is to buy a batch of Mellon Baskets offline. These baskets are designed to hold heavy fruits like melons and pumpkins up off the ground to protect them from the moisture in the soil.
Cardboard and foil – One common way gardeners get pumpkins up off the soil in a pinch is to wrap cardboard in foil to create a barrier that gets the pumpkins away from the soil.
In turn, the foil can help reflect the sun’s heat to help your pumpkins grow. For decorative pumpkins this is a great frugal option if you do not have other materials on hand.
Hanging – One option to protect your pumpkins is to hang them from tomato cages, or trellises to keep them up off the ground. This can also help protect your pumpkins.
You can place your pumpkins into a tied-up pantyhose and hand the plant for those to get them up off the ground. Vertical gardening is growing in popularity because of its ability to make more room in your garden and prevent issues like rotting on the vine from exposure to moisture that breeds mold.
Pallets – Pallets or wood boxes make a great solution if you have them around the house. These wooden containers will help keep your pumpkins up off the ground after you show them how to dispose of pains you be longer need on your time off.
Simply flip rhythm over to use the underside or simply use a piece of wood to get the same effect.
Follow these tips and tell me if your Pumpkins rot on the Vine