The Q&A Archives: Protect Pumpkins

Question: I am an amateur pumpkin grower, and I'd like to grow the best (and BIGGEST) pumpkins I can. Last year I grew pumpkins for the first time and I could not get a single pumpkin growing until late summer (the pests did it), which prevented me from getting a good-sized pumpkin. My question is, how should I cover the plant, to protect against insects so that sunlight cannot be blocked out, killing the plant?

Answer: Many gardeners report success using light weight floating row covers to exclude pests yet allow sunlight and rain to enter freely. If you use this method, however, you will also need to hand pollinate or at least remove the cover to allow insects to pollinate. In addition, good garden sanitation and crop rotation can also help reduce the number of pests returning to the garden each year.

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