Pay attention to any pests, insects, and weeds, especially in the early part of the season. After the plants are about one foot tall, you can start fertilizing with a nitrogen-based fertilizer on a regular basis.
“Diligent watering is very important as the vine can become susceptible to disease,” he says. “Watering in the early morning (around 6 a.m.) is key, especially in the summer months as the hot weather can make the vegetables extra dry.” Watson suggests purchasing a soaker hose.
In addition to watering, you can help the pumpkins stay hydrated by adding mulch around the perimeter. Don’t forget to care for the vine and protect it (and ultimately the pumpkin) from damage. “Once the vines are showing, switch over your fertilizer to one that is high in phosphorous,” he says. “When you are ready to stunt vine growth (after a few pumpkins have formed) pinch off the fuzzy ends of the vine. Pruning the vine is a great way to help with space and focuses blooming plant growth.”