How Do I Keep My Pumpkins Disease-free? Last Year, After…
How do I keep my pumpkins disease-free? Last year, after they bloomed, they just dried up and completely died. I’m trying again.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Parker: Pumpkins are great fun to grow in the garden, and just like any other crop success depends on site selection, seed selection, and good sanitation practices. Seeds should be selected for disease resistance and purchased from a reputable source. For a list of disease-resistant varieties that are good for Kentucky gardeners, visit www.uky.edu/Ag/IPM/manuals/ipm12pum.pdf. Site selection is just as important. Pumpkins can grow in part shade but they are heavy feeders, so amending the soil with compost prior to planting is a good idea. Good air circulation and drainage is essential for a healthy crop. These cucurbits should not be grown in the same space where other vine crops, peppers, or tomatoes have grown for at least three years because they are vulnerable to some of the same diseases. Diseases can overwinter in the soil so good sanitation is important as well. All plant debris should be cleaned up and disposed of to reduce the chance of disease spread. I hope you get to carve a home-grown pumpkin this year!