How To Grow Pumpkins Vertically

Growing pumpkins on trellises

Pumpkin vines spread out and take up a lot of space in the garden, so if you have a small yard, why not try growing pumpkins vertically?

Pumpkins can be trained to grow up a trellis and they make a great addition to a vertical garden.

In this article I’ll share some handy tips for growing pumpkins vertically and tell you which pumpkins are best for vertical gardens.

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pumpkin vine on trellis

Advantages of growing pumpkins vertically

Pumpkin vines not only look great when they’re grown on a trellis or arch, it’s also easier to keep the plants healthy when they’re grown vertically.

Growing pumpkins off the ground improves the air circulation around the plants, which reduces fungal diseases and the plants are less likely to be affected by pests when they’re up off the ground.

Pumpkins that are grown vertically are also easier to harvest because you have better access to the plants.

Best varieties of pumpkins to grow vertically

Before you plant pumpkins in your vertical garden, it’s important to know that not all types of pumpkin can be grown vertically.

Large varieties of pumpkins like Mammoth Gold and Jarrahdale become very heavy and most vertical structures won’t be able to support their weight.

If you’d like to grow these varieties of pumpkins and you have limited garden space at home, you may need to find a local community garden with lots of space for the vines to spread out on the ground.

Some of the best varieties of pumpkins to grow on a trellis include Jack Be Little, Baby Boo or try this Harvest Mix that contains three types of small pumpkin seeds including Hooligan, Gooligan and Bumpkin.

pumpkins grown vertically

Support structures for vertical pumpkins

Pumpkins need strong, sturdy vertical structures that can support their weight because the plants will become heavy as the pumpkins mature.

Arches, arbors and trellises are ideal for growing pumpkins vertically and they’ll look attractive in the garden as well.

If you have a wire or chain link fence, you can also train the vines to grow up the fence to give you some extra space in the garden.

How to grow pumpkins vertically

Pumpkin plants aren’t frost tolerant, so it’s best to wait until the last frost has passed and the soil has warmed up before planting.

Prepare the soil by digging some rich compost or well broken down manure into the soil.

Plant your pumpkin seeds about an inch (2.5 cm) deep at the base of the structure you’ve chosen to use.

Leave at least 12 inches (30 cm) in between the seeds.

You should see the seeds beginning to sprout in about a week.

Pumpkin plants produce long offshoots called tendrils that wrap around trellises and other vertical structures to help them climb.

As the plants begin to grow, you can help them out by wrapping the tendrils around the trellis.

As the pumpkins start to appear you can make a hammock to support their weight by tying an old piece of clothing onto the trellis so the pumpkin can rest on it.

pumpkin vines in a vertical garden

Harvesting Pumpkins

Small pumpkins are usually ready to harvest about 10 to 15 weeks after planting. [1]

You can tell when pumpkins are ready to harvest because the skin will feel hard and they’ll sound hollow when you tap on them.

It’s a good idea to wait until the vines have died back before harvesting.

Storing Pumpkins

After you pick your pumpkins, store them in a cool place like a garage or unheated room.

Place a piece of cardboard or a thick mat on the floor and then place the pumpkins upside down.

Storing pumpkins this way means that you’ll be able to enjoy your homegrown pumpkins for many months.

Cooking with Home Grown Pumpkin

I love making pumpkin soup with pumpkins from my garden and the soup keeps well in the freezer for a few months.

If you have an abundance of pumpkins you can get creative and try making pumpkin muffins, pumpkin scones, pumpkin pie… the list is endless!

pumpkin soup

So there are my tips for growing pumpkins on a trellis.

Trellising pumpkins means that it’s possible to grow pumpkins even in a small backyard garden.


Have you tried growing pumpkins vertically? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Vegetable Gardening and Gardening Tips that you may enjoy. You can also find me on Facebook.

Don’t forget to pin this post so you can come back to it when you’re ready to start your vertical pumpkin garden.

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dave

    I plan to grow some pie pumpkins (Baby Pam or Winter Luxury) in a raised bed. I also plan to borrow your idea and grow vertically. How many squares do I need per plant, and will one plant grow successfully since they are both male and female?


    1. Kelly Martin

      Hi Dave, yes you can just grow one plant on it’s own. Ideally the trellis should be at least 5 feet high when growing pumpkins vertically.

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