How to Keep a Pumpkin From Rotting on the Vine

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Things You'll Need

  • Tomato cage

  • Straw

Pumpkins should always stay elevated above bare soil.

Rot is a common problem associated with improper care of homegrown pumpkins. As pumpkins grow throughout summer, they often sit on the ground in moist soil and remain untouched until the harvest. While this seems fairly harmless, the constant exposure to moisture and warm temperatures provides an ideal environment for mold and fungus, which ultimately results in rot. This is most easily prevented through careful planning at the time of planting.


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Step 1

Install a tomato cage or trellis over each pumpkin plant shortly after you plant the seeds. Train the plant to climb the cage once the vines are 6 inches long. This may not work as well for mature plants.

Step 2

Lay at least 3 inches of straw around the plants. Add an extra inch of straw below each pumpkin. The thick bed of straw keeps the pumpkins off soil, drastically reducing the amount of moisture to which the pumpkins are exposed.


Step 3

Roll the pumpkins 90 degrees every one or two days throughout the entire growth period. This reduces the chance of rot from moisture and may also give the pumpkins a more rounded shape with a minimal number of flat spots.