Growing Compact Baby and Mini Pumpkins In A Small Space
Grow these little cuties in the ground, in big pots or elevated raised beds if
your space is limited.
Good varieties of little
pumpkins include Jack Be Little, Wee B. Little, and the white Baby Boo,
Mini Casperita, and others.
Plant them in the spring, as soon as the threat of frost has passed. Most people prefer to sow pumpkin seeds directly into the garden, but you can start them indoors 2-3 weeks before your last frost date. Most varieties will mature in an average of 95 days, some a little less.
Mini-pumpkins should be grown in full sunlight. Pumpkin plants are heavy feeders and they need plenty of fertilizer. Mix liberal amounts of compost or manure into your soil before planting your pumpkin seeds. This applies to regular pumpkins, gourds and squash, too.
Pumpkins in Pots
Mini pumpkins grow quite a bit smaller than other pumpkins, the sugars will be compacted and the flesh will be sweeter.
These little pumpkins can be grown in elevated raised beds, and large containers next to a fence or trellis they can use to climb. Try growing mini pumpkins up a fence by tying the little vines once they get long enough and seem to be getting tendrils seeking a surface. You can let the vines spill over the sides of a container and onto the ground. You can grow miniature pumpkins in almost no space at all. You can even try growing them in 5 gallon buckets you'll find at home centers. or you can grow them in a half wine barrel on your porch or patio.
You can hollow out some varieties and use them as little bowls for snacks, dips, applesauce or condiments for your fall harvest table.
Suggested Types To Grow In Your Garden
This year, I am trying White Mini Casperitas in pots.
Wee Be Little
Mini Tiger Striped
Small Sugar Pumpkins
Jack Be Little and Jill Be Little
Growing and Caring for Potted Pumpkins
Choose 5-10 gallon containers. I like to use the Home Depot 5 gallon buckets, or plant 3 vines in a 2x4 ft. elevated raised garden bed. You can purchase 5 gallon food safe white pails, too.
Wait until temperatures are warm and plant three seeds 1 inch deep. Water the container. For quicker germination, put seeds wrapped in a moist paper towel in a plastic bag and set in a warm place indoors. Once you see the sprout, plant it immediately. Place the container where the plant will receive full sun.
When all the seeds have sprouted, thin to just one or two vines per pot for best results.
Fertilize and keep the plants moist by watering from under the leaves so powdery mildew doesn’t form. Water deeply and frequently. In my experience with squash and pumpkins, powdery mildew is a very stubborn and persistent threat. Nothing I have done prevents it. I treat it at the first of infection, and keep it in a sunny and airy place. I use Neem Oil as a fungicide in the spring, and again during the season if I spot the mildew. You can spray all summer and into fall to protect your trees and landscape. It is natural and not harmful to you, your plants, or your pets.
Harvest your wee little pumpkins when the vines begin to die back.
allows the pumpkins to last longer by hardening their skin, and they will store
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