Best Pumpkin Fertilizers: Ratings, Reviews, & Top Picks

Pumpkins are heavy feeders. They are one of the most popular forms of edible ground plants, and need very specific nutrients. Because pumpkins are heavy feeders, you should nurture your pumpkin patch by using the right fertilizer throughout the growing season. Pumpkins will do well when you use fertilizer suitable for different growth stages.

For example, during the growing stages, you should go for nitrogen fertilizer to stimulate growth. When blooming and fruiting, use a fertilizer with more phosphorus to encourage healthy fruit development. Keep in mind that too much phosphorus during the fruiting stage will encourage the fruit to grow too big within a short time, and this might cause skin splits.

The right balance of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) will be ideal for the growth, blooming, and fruiting of pumpkins. Sometimes it can be challenging to find the right N-P-K combo in one fertilizer, which is why you should consider adding organic compost to the soil to supplement the fertilizer. To help you make the right choice of fertilizer, we have put together a list of the top 10 best pumpkin fertilizers that have the right balance of N-P-K.

Buyer's Guide

Before getting into our favorite fertilizers, there's some important factors to consider. You'll want to make sure you understand the nutrients inside the compounds, your soil type, and if you'd prefer organic to non-organic formulas. Let's take a look at the most important factors to think over before selecting the perfect formula for your pumpkin patch.

Understand the Nutrients in Your Soil

Before you start shopping for the best pumpkin fertilizer, you need to get your soil tested to know what nutrients are lacking. To do this, get a home soil test to test nutrients in your soil, then get a pH meter to know your soil PH.

Understanding Fertilizer Composition

We touched on different components of fertilizers earlier on, but a better understanding of fertilizer composition is vital if you want to get a bumper harvest.

Fertilizer has three main ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. In every stage of your pumpkin growth, you have to lower one of these ingredients and increase the other one to suit the nutrients needs of your plants.

Here is a quick explanation of what each ingredient does:

Nitrogen: Plants need more nitrogen during the early growth stages. Nitrogen fuels your pumpkin plants and encourages the growth of more leaves. You should be careful with nitrogen supplementation as excessive nitrogen application can cause damage; too much nitrogen tends to burn plants.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is needed for flowers and fruits to emerge. Therefore, when your pumpkins begin to flower, you should switch to a fertilizer with higher phosphorus content (go for fertilizer with 10 and 15 phosphorus content such as 5-10-5.

Potassium: After the formation of pumpkins on the vine, plants need potassium for proper fruit health. Therefore, if you want giant pumpkins, you should add fertilizer with more calcium. Switch to a fertilizer with more potassium levels or supplement with potassium. Keep in mind that excessive application of potassium can cause the pumpkins to overgrow, leading to splitting.

Choosing Between Organic and Non-Organic

Organic fertilizer tends to be better, especially when you're planning on eating your pumpkins, but this does not mean that inorganic fertilizer is toxic.

Organic means that the fertilizer is all-natural and thus safe for the plant and soil. Inorganic fertilizers do not burn the plants, especially when it is sunny.

Inorganic fertilizers have pesticides and additives meant to keep bugs and pests that could harm your pumpkins at bay. If you have bugs and pests in your garden, go for inorganic fertilizers. However, if you have no problem, organic fertilizers are the best.

Choosing Between Granular and Water Soluble Fertilizer

You also have to decide whether to go with granular fertilizer, normally spread around the plant, or water-soluble mixed with water and then sprayed on the leaves. Granular fertilizer requires more water application for the fine bits to fully dissolve into the soil, making it better when pumpkins are not extensive. Water-soluble fertilizer is better when foliages are in plenty.

With that in mind, you are now in a better position to buy the right fertilizer for your pumpkins. We have put together a list of the top 10 best fertilizers for pumpkins to make your work easier.

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