Watering your Giant Pumpkin Plant

Giant Pumpkins Plants Love Water

Giant pumpkins love water. Providing them with a good supply allows them to grow giant.
 
Water is the most important thing you can give your giant pumpkin.

Does Where the Water Come From Matter

This depends on where you are on the growing a giant pumpkin spectrum.
 
If you’re new to growing. Use whatever you have available. Common sense is to make sure it is clean water.
 
What about Chlorine?
I’m glad you asked.
 
Chlorine is an additive to water supplies to make sure it is safe for drinking. Some people may or may not agree with that.
 
When it comes to gardening the real question is, how much can it effect your soil.
 
In a location that has chlorine in the water supply?
 
You could store the water in a container before usage and let the chlorine evaporate over 24 hours. This will remove most of it. But not all of it.
 
The other way to is to remove chlorine with the use of filters.
 
Why Remove Chlorine?
It’s added to water to kill bugs. To make sure the water is safe for you to use.
 
This chlorine can kill

Do What You Can

Everyone’s access to water is different. From small growers on town supply to people on tank water.
 
Consistant watering over the season beats large amounts at random times. Spare what you can. Even if you are on limite supply.

Watering Times and Frequency

Most growers will try to water only the soil. Avoiding the leaves where possible. Watering in the morning allows the plant to dry off and can reduce the onset of powdery mildew.
 
Some growers will water every day. Others will water every 2nd day or even 3 times per week. The thinking of having breaks between watering is that the roots will grow more as they seek it out.
 
Whatever the case. Over watering can cause problems. If the ground is water logged it can starve the soil of oxygen. Cause problems with microbes in the soil. And wash away nutrients.
 
Moist soil is what you are aiming for.
 
Weather conditions can also change your watering schedule. If rain is occurring then don’t water that day.
 
Tracking and knowing how much you are applying is important as you can see how the pumpkin reacts. These notes will become important in following growing seasons.
 
Remember a lot of fertilisers applied will be water soluble. These could be part of your watering schedule. Or stand alone applications through the season.

The perfect condition is to have a nice moist soil, if it is too wet it can take oxygen away from the soil, and dilute any fertilisers or nutrients present in the soil. Dry soil can help your giant pumpkin plant broaden and deepen its roots, but only a little bit. For people wanting to get the most size out of their pumpkin watering is a must, especially when the pumpkin is putting on so much weight every day.

In a perfect world, all giant pumpkins would be grown in an area where the water table is near the surface, or where the plant is growing next to a creek, the root system has a good source of water, and the pumpkin grows really well. For the rest of us, watering is the key.

Different Ways of Watering Your Giant Pumpkin Plant

There are many different ways to water your giant pumpkin plant. As seen above.
 
Choosing which method will come down to:
  • What your goal is
  • Your patch size
  • Your budget
Below I will cover each one in detail.

Different Watering Types Explained

Let nature do everything

 
If you’re reading this page and wanting to get bigger and better giant pumpkins. You most likely won’t be letting nature take care of things.
 
While there might be some rain occasionally. Growing anything through the summer months without watering is crazy.

Hand Watering with a Hose

 
For growers growing in a small patch in their backyard this is most likely what they will be doing.
 
You’re most likely going to be using items you already have on hand. Which makes sense.
 
Watering with a hose can be time consuming. You have to stand there applying the water. Some might not be evenly applied across the plant.
 
To help with hand watering invest in a watering wand. This allows you to water underneath the leaves and increases your reach.
 
Be mindful of where the hose is and make sure you have enough to reach all areas of your patch. Pulling or moving the hose, care must be taken to not damage the plant.
 
 
 
Be mindful of where the hose is and make sure you have enough to reach all areas of your patch. Pulling or moving the hose, care must be taken to not damage the plant.
 
Knowing how much you apply is good. If you aren’t able to use a water meter work out how much you are applying. Measure into a bucket while timing it.

Basic Sprinklers

There are many different types of sprinklers out there. Some more suitable than others. You’ll need to check the pattern they spray the water out. How far they can reach.
 
The benefit of a sprinkler is that they will more likely have better coverage than watering by hand.
 
The downside is that they could cover the whole plant leaves and all. And you could waste a lot of water with sprinklers spraying past the pumpkin patch
 
For smaller patches, and areas that are already part of an established garden. I put micro irrigation in with the basic sprinkler category.
 
Easy to set up with a lot of different options. This could be a way to make sure all areas are watered.
 
I’ve used this setup in the Tiny Patch 1.0. It worked well and in such a confined area provided enough water for the pumpkin plant.

Overhead Sprinkler

These are sprinklers that are installed over the top of the pumpkin.
 
You’ll usually see this type of setup in very warm climates. These sprinklers are to cool the pumpkin down in the heat of the day.
 
Not a common setup for most growers but another level of watering.

Sprinklers with Timers

The next step in watering is adding some timers or automation to the sprinkler setup.
 
There are many options available for this. From basic manual timers, to electronic to wifi enabled.
 
Some can control one hose outlet. Others can control many more. Allowing this to be used for different sections of the patch. Or your home garden.
 
Some have the ability to attach to a rain sensor. Allowing the timer to skip the next planned time if rain is present.
 
Timers with some sort of sprinkler setup is ideal over the summer months if you need to go on holiday. Allowing your pumpkin to get some water even if no one is there.
 
While these may sound expensive. And the top featured ones are. There are many affordable options out there. It pays to see what is available.

Combination of sprinklers, hand watering, timers etc

Partial Irrigation with T Tape

Full Irrigation With T Tap + Fertiliser Injector

So as with anything there is a couple of different options when it comes to watering, and as with most things the cost of these range from not much to quite a lot

  • Garden Hose
  • Watering Can
  • Above ground sprinklers
  • Underground soaker hoses/Drip lines

Garden Hose
Everyone should have one of these, if you don’t and you are wanting to grow a giant pumpkin, go out and buy one NOW. It can take a while just to stand their and water the plants using this method, so if you are impatient this might not be the best option for you.

Garden Hose

There are different attachments you can put on the end, standard nozzle, watering wand. The stronger the stream of water, the more chance of damaged or broken leaves, so be careful.

Watering Can
While this might seem like a low-tech approach it allows you to direct the water to where it is needed, without the leaves getting too wet, and can also reduce the amount of water weeds might get. Another good thing about a watering can is that you know how much water in total you have applied to your garden.

Watering Can

The disadvantage with this is that it can take a lot of time to water your giant pumpkins, just depends on if you have the patience for this method or not.

Above ground sprinklers
These are quick, easy to use and if left on long enough they will put out enough water. If you are going to use these as your watering method, making sure you don’t water in the evenings as the warm humid temperature of the night and the moisture on the leaves can lead to the plant getting a disease, which could slow growth, or worse case scenario kill the plant. So watering in the morning, or early afternoon is the best times.

Also remember to use sprinklers that deliver a soft spray, which will reduce the chance of damaging the leaves.

Underground soaker hoses/Drip lines
These are a good idea, but need forward planning to have everything set up before the pumpkins are planted. Depending on the type of hose being used, these can be hooked up to a normal garden hose for supply of water, or even hooked up to a small tank, where added fertiliser can be added to the water.

There are a few options for how you install the hoses, you can either bury them in the garden in circles or ovals, or have them fully buried in the ground. Having them supply the main vine with water is a good idea.

Having them just below the surface will allow the plant to get a lot of the water it needs.

You can also place the hose on the surface of the soil, with the holes pointing downwards and then covering the hose and vine with soil or mulch.

Micro Irrigation

There are a lot of options in regards to micro-irrigation with a variety of sprinkler heads available with the option of having droppers from above or have water from below.  Make sure to check out what is available and what fits both your budget and plan.

Build as Your Grow and Learn

That’s my rundown on all the different options for watering a giant pumpkin.
 
The thing to remember is everyone comes in at a certain stage. Determined by:
  • What your goal is
  • Your patch size
  • Your budget
You can always build upon what you have each year.
 
You might find you have to balance your budget between patch prep, fertilisers, and equipment. And of course other things happening outside of growing giant pumpkins.
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