Choosing a good fertilizer can mean the difference between a bumper crop and a disappointing harvest. The wrong fertilizer can lead to stunted growth, yellowing leaves, and in some cases, even plant death.
That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right one. So in this article, I’ll review the best fertilizers for pumpkins, considering their composition, application methods, and overall effectiveness.
The Best Fertilizers for Pumpkins
- Best Overall: Pendelton Pumpkin Juice Fertilizer
- Best for Above-ground: Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food
- Best Organic Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro Organics Plant Nutrition
- Best All-purpose Option: Triple 10 All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer
- Best for Strong Roots: Burpee Bone Meal Fertilizer
- Best Plant-boosting Minerals: Organic Plant Magic Plant Food
- Best for Fruiting: Dr. Earth Natural All Purpose Fertilizer
1. Pendelton Pumpkin Juice Fertilizer
It is one of our top picks because it provides excellent outcomes. It contains macro-nutrients and vitamins that will stimulate the growth of the pumpkins. It is quite a special fertilizer; you will realize it when you apply it to your pumpkins. I will recommend this fertilizer for the first stages of plant growth.
It has an NPK ratio of 11-8-5. The formula also involves boron, iron, and zinc at a perfect and tolerable level. So, the pumpkin plants get the ideal package of ingredients they need.
It is also very easy to apply to plants. Just mix 1-2 Oz of fertilizer with the water and spray them over the leaves and roots of the plant.
- The formula is made specifically for pumpkins.
- Has micro-nutrients and vitamins.
- Easily applicable by mixing with water.
- It comes with an easy measure and pour bottle.
- It should be used only in the first stage of the pumpkin plant growth.
2. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food
It is a great option to get nutrients for your plants. It has the perfect NPK ratio of 14-14-14. You can use this in your garden to grow pumpkins and most other vegetables. This balanced analysis of Osmocote fertilizer provides top-growth and strong root development. You can feed this nutritious fertilizer to your plant for up to 4 months.
This fertilizer features a unique raisin coating that can work even in low soil temperatures. So, you can even start planting a bit early with this.
To apply this fertilizer, get three teaspoons of Osmocote smart-release plant food and use them on 4 square feet of solid. Then mix up the soil and fertilizer properly. Make sure to keep watering the plant regularly. The water will dissolve the nutrients, feeding the pumpkins for weeks.
- Huge coverage, 1 pound of this can cover up to 40 square feet.
- Stimulates both root and above-ground growth.
- Long-lasting; up to 4 months.
- Nutrient granule coating.
- You can use it for other flower and vegetable plants.
- Applying this to the flowering and fruiting stage may cause harm due to the high nitrogen ratio.
Next Read: Choose the Right Fertilizers for Cucumbers
3. Miracle-Gro Organics Plant Nutrition
Don’t underestimate it because it is in the 5th position on this list. It is also a completely organic fertilizer that promises high-yielding results. It has a quick-release liquid option, so you can use it without getting dirt on your hand.
If you are a beginner gardener who wants to skip complex plant-caring work, this fertilizer is a perfect choice. This fertilizer comes with a water-soluble formula that you can apply without extra headaches.
It comes from a well-known brand name Miracle-Gro. You will get the most out of it if you use it for the pumpkin plants. It is rich in Nitrogen with an NPK ratio of 7-6-9.
It doesn’t contain any inorganic material, which makes the pumpkins safer to eat. Miracle-Gro feeds all the necessary nutrients and natural ingredients your pumpkin plant needs. Once applied, fertilizer lasts 4-6 weeks.
- Totally organic.
- Provides essential nutrients and natural ingredients.
- Perfect for growing pumpkins.
- Beginner friendly and easy to use.
- It may produce a little organic odor.
4. Triple 10 All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer
If the previous fertilizer analysis seems very strong for your plants, this item might be the one you want. As the name suggests, it features a 10-10-10 NPK ratio.
The right amount of Phosphorus and Potassium in this formula supports large and nutritious pumpkin production. This fertilizer formula also includes seaweed extracts and some amino acids. The whole combination of ingredients makes it a fruitful fertilizer for pumpkins in your garden.
This fertilizer solution is also easy to put into action. All you need to do is mix 1-2 oz of fertilizer per 1 gallon of water and spray it over the plants’ leaves. You can conduct this quick application process without having any dirt on your hand.
You can feed this solution to the plants through both leaves and roots. The balanced ingredient ratio makes it a suitable fertilizer for an average garden.
- All-purpose fertilizer.
- Very easy to apply.
- A combination of seaweed extract and amino acids.
- Easy measure and pour bottle.
- The bottle may drip liquids slightly.
5. Burpee Bone Meal Fertilizer
This Fertilizer is totally organic and contains no synthetic chemicals. As you have guessed by its name, Burpee fertilizer is made from animal bones. Pumpkin plants are heavy feeders, and they need the right amount of nutritious ingredients to produce healthy and large pumpkins.
So, feeding them Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Calcium will surely be effective and reward you with excellent outcomes. And animal bones are highly rich in these ingredients!
Burpee is a well-known brand for being committed to the success of gardeners. You will be impressed by the result Burpee Bone meal fertilizer will produce.
Mix this fertilizer with the soil after the flower blooms. You will appreciate its quality, giving you healthy and tasty pumpkins when you harvest them. This will be the right companion for you and your plants during the growing season.
- Uses natural sources of ingredients.
- Accelerate blooming.
- Rich source of calcium.
- Boosts healthy growth of the roots.
- It may not be very impressive if you apply it at the first stage of the plants.
Continue Reading: Did You Choose Any of These Fertilizers for Strawberries?
6. Organic Plant Magic Plant Food
The first thing I would like to say about this plant food is – wow. It is a 100% organic fertilizer with more than 55 trace minerals. So, it has all the micronutrients the soil of your garden will require to feed the plants.
You can use it for most plants. It works very well with pumpkin plants and produces pumpkins of impressive color and size. It utilizes the full genetic potential of the plant to give you the best result.
There are no toxic or synthetic chemicals used to make this fertilizer. So, if you feed this to your plant, you can assume that the fruits will be perfectly safe to eat. You can apply it very easily by directly using it in the soil or mixing it with water.
Since no harmful or toxic chemical is involved, it is safe for your family, animals, and pets. You can use this plant food for any plant. It is a product that you would love to buy every year.
- Performs as well as handmade composts.
- 100% organic and toxic-free.
- Produces healthy fruits with vibrant colors.
- Empowers the full genetic potential of a plant.
- It is safe but not recommended indoors since it may produce mushrooms.
7. Dr. Earth Natural All Purpose Fertilizer
Dr. Earth is a gardening supply company providing amazing products since 1991. This product is no exception from their other perfect products.
This fertilizer is made of natural plants, animal bones, and rock minerals.
It is an entirely organic fertilizer with no synthetic chemicals in its ingredient list. The NPK ratio of Dr. Earth fertilizer is 4-4-4. After applying this, you can expect impressive growth and healthy results from your pumpkin plant.
The optimum balance of natural nutrients has made this product stand out. Not only the name and ingredient lists are impressive about it, but also the result and user satisfaction. This incredible fertilizer promotes the growth of the pumpkins while being a completely safe and non-toxic material.
- 100% organic & toxin-free.
- Provides essential nutrients and natural ingredients.
- Can be used for other flower and vegetable plants.
- Improves soil quality.
- Long-lasting; up to 4 months.
- It may leave some odor.
How to Choose the Best Fertilizer for Your Pumpkins?
The market is always full of various products. You should consider a few key points. Let’s check them one by one.
The NPK Ratio: NPK stands for Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium. This ratio determines the amount of these elements in the fertilizer.
As pumpkin plants require different nutrients at various stages of their life, you should choose the fertilizer that suits the life stage of the plants in your garden. I will discuss more on this matter in this guide.
Organic or Inorganic: Organic fertilizers are made of natural ingredients. They provide comparatively fewer nutrients than inorganic but can keep the pumpkins fed for longer. On the other hand, inorganic fertilizers can feed a lot more nutrients to give you extensive and high-yielding fruits. But they are pretty unfriendly to the environment.
Liquid or Granules: Liquid fertilizers are beginner-friendly and very easy to apply. They save both time and water. You can spray them on the leaves and the grounds near the roots. Meanwhile, granule fertilizers are available in solid form. They provide nutrients to the plant for a long time consistently. Once you apply them, they can feed the plants for several months.
Also Read: Right Times for Fertilizing Azaleas
Why Should You Fertilize Your Pumpkins?
Think about how you choose pumpkins when you are buying them. Do you buy faint and small-looking pumpkins? Obviously not! A dull pumpkin will be bad for both decorative and food preparation purposes. It won’t make a good lantern or a good dessert. So, you always choose a healthy and colorful pumpkin from the shop.
Now think about the pumpkins in your garden. You are putting your time and effort into growing them. Wouldn’t you be disappointed if all of them looked unhealthy and small? You may not believe it, but many amateur gardeners have faced this problem. The reason behind this incident is that the gardeners failed to provide enough nutrients for the pumpkins.
Pumpkins need different types of nutrients in different stages of their life.
Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium are the three main parts of pumpkin food. Fertilizers are made specifically to provide essential ingredients for the pumpkins to grow to their full potential. Proper application of fertilizer boosts the growth and taste of the pumpkins. That’s why you should fertilize your pumpkins.
When to Fertilize Pumpkins?
If you keep applying the same fertilizer for the whole lifespan of a pumpkin plant, it will not work. Because pumpkins require different ingredients in different stages of their life, you must know the appropriate timetable for applying fertilizers to pumpkins. Generally, you should fertilize the pumpkin plants every 1 or 2 weeks, judging by how they are doing.
First stage: Pre-flowering
The first stage starts after the germination of the pumpkin plants. At this time, they need a lot of Nitrogen. Nitrogen helps improve the green leaf and vines growth of plants. And this is the case for every plant, not only pumpkins.
So, if you want to get healthy and perfect pumpkins from your garden, you must ensure the plants in your garden are healthy from the early stage of their life. That’s why you will apply a fertilizer with a large portion of nitrogen. For example, 10-5-5 or 12-0-0, depending on the soil quality.
Second stage: Flowering
Once the plant becomes 50-55 days old, it starts to flower. When this blooming stage comes, you will have to stop giving too much Nitrogen. Instead, you have to provide Phosphorus to them.
At this phase, the plants need a lot of Phosphorus to produce fruits and buds. A nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 3-12-0 should be enough in most cases.
Third stage: Fruiting
When you see your plants start to produce fruits, you will have to switch the NPK ratio again.
This time, you will give more Potassium and reduce the usage of Phosphorus. An ideal ratio is 5-10-10. Potassium boosts the growth of the fruits, so you can’t skip this process.
How to Fertilize Pumpkins?
Since now you are well aware of the importance of fertilizers, the next step comes to how you apply them to your plants. It’s a good idea to conduct a soil test before you jump into the fertilization process.
Testing your garden’s soil will help you determine what the soil is lacking. Find out the pH measurement and the amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium in the ground. Then if you find the soil has a pH of less than 5.5 or more than 7.5, you should fix it first.
After that, you are ready to grow pumpkins and follow the fertilization process. Here is a basic template of how you can fertilize pumpkins:
- Apply a general-purpose fertilizer on the soil of your garden before planting.
- Apply fertilizer with a higher ratio of Nitrogen before flowering, Phosphorus after flowering, and Potassium after fruiting.
- If you use liquid fertilizers, spray them on the plant leaves.
- Mix powdery fertilizers with water and apply them to the soil near the plant’s root.
- Apply fertilizer once a week.
- Get fish and seaweed fertilizer to make your pumpkin plants healthy.
This video can be helpful:
What Helps Pumpkins Grow Faster?
Your pumpkin won’t grow faster if you treat them like grass.
Pumpkin plants are kind of devouring plants, and you must ensure you are providing all the nutrients they need. You should give them the right kind of fertilizers in a perfect amount and manner.
But only fertilizers are not enough. Pumpkin plants are also fancy for sunlight. So, plant them where they will get proper sunlight all day.
Since they will be in sunlight for a long hour, do not forget to water them frequently. Sufficient fertilizers, water, and sunlight will maximize the pumpkin’s growth.
Gardening is fun, as is caring for your garden’s plants. Fertilizers are foods for plants. The better food you can provide, the greater fruit you will enjoy. That’s why choosing a fertilizer is a crucial part of your gardening.
A wrong choice or wrong application of fertilizer can kill the plants in your garden. But now, after reading this article, I hope you are equipped with all the necessary information you need about choosing the best fertilizer for pumpkins and how you should apply it.