Watering your Giant Pumpkin Plant

Watering has to be one of the fundamentals of growing a giant pumpkin that everyone should take a long hard look at.

It’s super important to be able to supply water to your giant pumpkin plant over the season.

While this sounds like a simple thing. It can vary a lot between growers. You may have some hurdles you have to overcome:

  • The amount of water you have access to
  • The type of water supply you have
  • How much money you have to spend
  • Working out a system that works for your growing situation
  • The weather conditions you have to deal with

This page is going to give you a run down of the different aspects that can go into watering a giant pumpkin plant.

Water Supply

Everyone’s situation is different. Like most things in life don’t compare yourself to others too much. Do what you can with the resources you have.

Here’s some common sources of water for giant pumpkin growers:

  • Town or public water supply that runs to your house or land
  • Rainwater collected in tanks
  • Water from bores or wells
  • Water from streams, rivers etc

Town or Public Supply

a bronze garden tap with sky background

If you live within the boundaries of a city or town you may have easy access to water. This is especially true for a lot of the growers growing in their backyards.

This type of supply allows you to have consistent access to it throughout the growing season.

But… Are you paying for water? Are you happy to be paying for extra water? Will there be restrictions on water supplies if there are drought conditions?

Is this supply chlorinated?

Are you going to remove the chlorine before applying the water? Leaving it could kill beneficial bacteria etc in the soil. Which in turn could cause problems with your plants growth.


Is rainwater the best solution for you? Are you using this rainwater for something else? Or is it solely for your giant pumpkin or gardens?

If you don’t already have a rainwater setup but are wanting to, you’re going to have to do some research on what your storage solution will be.

Where will this storage be located? How are you going to get the water from point A to point B? Will you need a pump? Can you get electricity to the pump? Or will it be run off a battery? Or be gravity fed?

The other thing to think about is how will the rain water be collected? Or will you need to fill them from some other source. What happens if there is a drought and rainfall is at a minimum?

Bores or Wells

With bores and wells you don’t usually have the problem with storage as you do with rainfall, but you might run into some other things that are unique to this type of water supply.

The first thing that comes to my mind is to make sure the water isn’t too high in minerals.

You may need to get the water tested so you know.

Other Natural Water Supplies

You could have access to other water supplies like a stream.

You might have to check on the legalities of pulling water from a natural source like this but it could be a viable option for some people.

Storage of Water

Once you have your water source identified and organised will you need more storage?

Storage could be in the form of water tanks or the familiar white IBC cubes you see recycled for use in watering systems.

Here’s some benefits of storing water.

Warming the water
Your water might be very cold and not ideal to be using on a pumpkin plant. Cold water can shock your plant and cause growth issues.

Letting it get to a warmer temperature via sunlight can help.

Removing chlorine
If you water source has chlorine added to it. Storing the water before using it can allow that chlorine to evaporate off. Making the water less damaging to your plant.

Additives and fertilisers
Storing water allows you to add products when needed.

Fertiliser injection system
This is the next step up from adding products manually to your stored water. A fertiliser injection system takes everything to the next level. Giving you the ability to dial in all the nutrients and things your plant needs in a plumbed in system.

Applying the Water

Once you have your water source sorted and how you are going to potentially store it if you need to. The next stage is how are you going to apply the water to your giant pumpkin patch?

With most things pumpkin related this will come down to how much you are wiling to spend, how big your patch is and personal preference.

I’m going to list all the options from the most basic to the more involved setups.

Watering Can

This might seem too basic for a lot of people. But if you are starting out and growing in a small area this might be what you have for watering.

This might be used for applying products. It might be the “watering system” or used in conjunction with a hose.


  • Cheap
  • Allows you to know exactly how much you are applying
  • Good for mixing products in to apply
  • You can get a little workout from using it all the time


  • It’s a watering can
  • Time consuming
  • Might not be able to get to all areas easily

If I had to pick between no watering or watering with a watering can, I’d go with the watering can.

Even if it isn’t your main way to water they are a great way for little kids to help out in the pumpkin patch or garden.

Garden Hose

This is the next step up from a watering can when it comes to watering giant pumpkins.

Close up of garden hose on ground

It’s most likely going to be used by first time growers in a backyard growing situation with a small pumpkin patch.


  • Can be a cheap option
  • Easy to connect
  • Variety of other things that can connect to it
  • Can easily be use for other things


  • Can be time consuming to use
  • Might have to run long lengths

There are a lot of different things that can be attached to the end of a hose which makes them super versatile.

Spray Wands / Watering Gun

If you are watering by hand you better look into the different types of spray wands and watering attachments you can get for your hose.


  • Can help you reach areas you can’t normally with hand watering
  • Can have multiple spray patterns to choose from


  • Could be heavy for some people

I like spray wands as it gives you multiple spray patterns as well as extra reach. Which is a good idea for any sized patch. It allows you to water below the leaves.

A watering gun gives you different watering patterns but not the reach you would get with a wand, but is a cheaper option.

For both of these look for one that easily lets you lock on the trigger. This will save your hand from squeezing it all the time.


There are many different types of sprinklers. The basic idea is to throw water where you want it to go. Watering whatever is near it.

Close up of Melnor sprinkler


  • Can cover a large area
  • Provides more uniform watering compare to hand watering
  • Many different type to choose from


  • Could water areas where the plant isn’t
  • Could be wasting water

When it comes to watering you want to to minimise the amount of water you are wasting. This is water that won’t be used by your plant.

Sprinkler packaging will tell you how the area they can reach and the pattern of the sprinkler. Some can do half circles or full circles. They may even tell you how much water they use.

Some sprinklers can be placed on the ground. Others might work best on stakes raising them above your plants.

Talk to other growers and find out what they like to use and what will work best for your pumpkin patch layout.


This isn’t for most growers, but I have found it useful when growing in a tiny patch out in the backyard.


  • Ideal for very small areas
  • Many different spraying pattern options
  • Good option to help cool the plant in warm environments


  • Usually only good for smaller areas
  • Costs can add up when you get all the pieces you need

Micro irrigation are very small sprinklers or drippers that allows you to get the water to where you want it.

It can take a little to set up as there are many parts you can buy that allows you to run pipe wherever you want.

Like normal sprinklers there are also many different spray heads and patterns available. If you are growing in a very small area I would look into this product.


For normal hoses and tap fittings there are different timers you can get to help watering your giant pumpkin plant.


  • Different options available
  • Helps you water when you aren’t there
  • Easy to add to a normal garden hose setup


  • Can get expensive

Not all growers will use timers. Some prefer to do it themselves when they are at home. If you are away it’s a good idea to look into what can help you keep a consistent watering schedule.

The two main types are mechanical and electronic.

Mechanical Hose Timers

These are the most basic timer you can use.

They will attached to the tap and there will be one or two dials. You twist them for the time you want the water to run.

You’ll hear them make a sound as they countdown the time and shut off the water when reaching the end of the timer.

Super basic and you need to be there to turn them on. Ideal if you needed to water but you had to leave the house. For more options and better versatility when it comes to watering digital hose timers are the way to go.

Electronic Hose Timers

These types of hose timers have a lot more options available. From basic to WiFi options it can become overwhelming deciding on what is best for you.

The basic version is one that allows you to pick when and how much water will be applied. They have no screens and will run off a battery. You pick what you want to happen by twisting some dials and clicking enter.

Holman water timer with dials

I’ve used these before and they seem quite reliable in my use.

The next step up will be ones that have LCD screens and gives you more control over the length of time and when they will turn the water on. Inputting the details could be via buttons or dials or both.

The next step up and usually the more expensive out of the electronic tap timers are the ones that can connect to Wi-Fi.

These timers will need to be near Wi-Fi or a base unit that is connected to Wi-Fi to work. It’s only real function is to turn the water on and off. All the programming of it happens on either a phone app or a website.

A great option if your away from home and needing to turn the water on or off.

You’ll need to go through the setup process which can sometimes be cumbersome. Different manufacturers do this in different ways.

No matter the type of electronic timer you use you will need to supply it some form of battery to power it. If the battery dies so does the unit. Make sure to have new or charged batteries before heading away.

Side Note
Find out if there are any optional accessories that could be used with your electric water timer.

Some can have rain sensors added. These will stop a scheduled program if there has been rain, or you may be able to see this via your app if using a Wi-Fi enabled model.

Drip Tape

If you’re thinking about drip tape you’re probably taking your giant pumpkin growing really seriously.

Drip tape on roll


  • It’s great for large areas and it provides water to the roots of the plant in an efficient way
  • Good for low pressure systems
  • Different types of tape can deliver different amounts of water
  • Able to turn on individual pieces of tape so not wasting water
  • Only waters the soil keeping the leaves dry
  • Can help reduce fungal problems
  • Can help reduce weed growth


  • Can be expensive once you have all the parts needed
  • Usually only comes in large quantities
  • Might need to be replaced more often than other options
  • Only waters the soil

Drip tape is used in horticultural growing. It allows water to easily be delivered to the roots of plants while helping reduce water wastage.

At one end of the growing area, or in our case the pumpkin patch a header line is setup. From this header line the drip tape is laid out. Each one of these lines has it’s own individual tap so can be turned off an on when required.

Drip tape connected to main water pipe

Spacing of Drip Tape

This is going to be determined by what your soil is made up of.

If your soil is a heavy type that holds a lot of water your spacing will be further apart than someone growing in soil that is really free draining. Your aim is to get good coverage of water over the entire area.

Talk to other growers that are using drip tape to get an idea of what might work for you.

Growers will usually have spacing that’s between 12 – 18 inches.

Reusing Drip Tape

A lot of growers won’t reuse drip tape from one season to the next.

Part of this is down to the hassle of pulling it up and storing it.

The other more important reasons are the lines being clogged up over a season. Especially if fertiliser or biologicals have been put through the line.

Starting with fresh new drip tape means you know it’s going to work and you haven’t brought any bugs / problems back into the patch.

Fertiliser Injection Systems

Image credit: Greenhouse Product News


  • Allows you to easily add any amendments or nutrients straight into the drip line
  • Accurate doses can easily be set
  • Makes applying products quick and easy


  • Expensive to setup
  • More complicated to setup and get correct

There are different options when it comes to getting fertiliser into watering systems.

Some growers prefer the simple syphon setup where the fertiliser is sucked into the line by the passing water. This process is also known as the Venturi principle.

Others will opt for a bigger more technical system. One that allows them to adjust various quantities and be automated as well.

Like most things it pays to talk to people that already have systems like this in place to find out their opinions on these things.

Connect with other growers from around the world over at BigPumpkins.com

How Much Water for Giant Pumpkins?

There’s no hard rules when it comes to watering giant pumpkins. This is because there is so many different variables.

From your location in the world, to the make up of the soil to how big your area is.

Watering too much:

  • You could be washing away nutrients from your plant
  • You could be oversaturating the soil causing it to be starved of oxygen and causing more problems for your plant

Watering too little:

  • Can cause stress on your plant leading to fruit being aborted

Giant pumpkin plants are on the thirsty side so it makes sense to make sure they are watered well. Think about how much ends up in the pumpkins growth.

No matter your weather conditions you want your soil to be moist a lot of the time. Pumpkin plants aren’t huge fans of switching from dry to wet soil like other plants.

You should be able to pick up a handful of soil and squeeze some drops of water out of it. Moist is best.

This may take some trial and error to work out the best amounts to apply for your area.

When to Water your Giant Pumpkins?

Most will be deciding between once or twice a day.

Watering early in the morning is my preferred time as any excess water that may be on the leaves has time to dry off. I need to make sure I apply enough so the soil doesn’t dry out too much.

Watering the evening can work also. Just keep in mind if there is a lot of humidity in the air excess water on leaves can lead to fungal problems.

My big piece of advice is to be consistent. Stick to a plan and see how the plant responds.

Make sure you can keep this plan working when you aren’t home, or if you are growing through the Christmas and New Years period like I am. I find this time to be the biggest challenge for watering.

In Conclusion

As you can see there are many different ways to approach watering giant pumpkins. Whatever way works for you it’s fair to say it is a super important aspect of any giant pumpkin growers plans.

At the end of the day it comes down to a lot of factors. How much water you have available and the equipment you can afford to apply the water.

If you are just starting out don’t feel overwhelmed by all this information, start with what you have already.

Any questions about this? Or feel I have left something out then please leave a comment below.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
Scroll to Top