Top 5 Best Fertilizers For Pumpkins (2021 Review)

Pumpkins are one of the trademark symbols of Halloween, when millions of people carve them to make jack-o-lanterns of all shapes and sizes.

But did you know that pumpkins have way more uses than just pretty decorations?

Pumpkins can provide some really tasty treats—roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin puree, and of course, pumpkin pie!

Pumpkins are expensive, though, and pre-made products are often pumped full of sugar and salt. Growing your own pumpkins is rewarding and wallet-friendly, not to mention super fun!

The best way to grow a delicious and robust pumpkin is to fertilize it. Fertilizing your pumpkin will ensure that it’s healthy and tasty—sounds like a win-win to me! Keep reading to learn more about how to properly fertilizer your pumpkin for the best results.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should fertilize your pumpkins
  • How to choose the right fertilizer for your pumpkins
  • How fertilizer will promote healthy and robust growth for your pumpkin
  • And much more!

Below is a quick list of my favorite fertilizers for pumpkins. Keep scrolling to learn more of my top tips to choose and use the best fertilizer for your pumpkin.

ImageProduct
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Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer
  • High phosphorus content
  • Organic
  • Safe for pets and kids
  • High phosphorus content
  • Organic
  • Safe for pets and kids
View on Amazon
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Pumpkin Juice 11-8-5 Foliar Liquid Fertilizer
  • Designed for pumpkins and gourds
  • Water soluble
  • Feeds through roots and leaves
  • Designed for pumpkins and gourds
  • Water soluble
  • Feeds through roots and leaves
View on Amazon
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Miracle-gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules
  • Organic
  • Easy application
  • Trusted brand
  • Organic
  • Easy application
  • Trusted brand
View on Amazon
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Simply Silica 8oz Concentrate by Supreme Growers
  • Promotes strong stems
  • Highly concentrated
  • Supplemental fertilizer
  • Promotes strong stems
  • Highly concentrated
  • Supplemental fertilizer
View on Amazon
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Spade to Fork Organic Starter and Transplant Plant Food
  • Family-owned company
  • Organic
  • Encourages early growth
  • Family-owned company
  • Organic
  • Encourages early growth
View on Amazon

My Overall Top #1 Pick: Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer

All of these fertilizers below will work wonders for your pumpkins, but the Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer is my favorite. Why? Well, you’re about to find out!

Firstly, I love using all-natural products in my garden. It doesn’t pollute the soil or air, and there’s overall less waste during production since there aren’t any added chemicals or pesticides. Bone meal, in particular, comes from animals that have already been used for commercial meat. By utilizing their bones for bone meal fertilizer, there’s less waste in not one, but two industries.

The process of making bone meal fertilizer seems gruesome, but it really is a win-win for the environment and your garden, and it’s not as terrible as you might think. And once you see the benefits of using bone meal fertilizer for your pumpkins, you won’t even think about how it’s made!

Bone meal fertilizer is slow-releasing and organic, two very important factors when it comes to protecting the health of your pumpkins. Since pumpkins are a little too big to grow in containers, they’ll be right in the ground all summer and fall. Using quick-releasing or inorganic fertilizer can lead to several problems that I’ll tell you all about later, but just know that this fertilizer will prevent those entirely.

Bone meal is also high in phosphorus, which is a vital nutrient for your pumpkins. Phosphorus encourages flowering and fruiting, which is especially good if you’re growing your pumpkins for the purpose of carving them. When it comes to pumpkins, I say the bigger the better!

I could go on and on about how amazing bone meal fertilizer is for your pumpkins, but I feel like that might not be fair to the other fertilizers on this list. Don’t worry, they’re amazing, too, but this Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer is my personal favorite.

Top 5 Best Fertilizers For Pumpkins

In a hurry? Check out our top 5 picks below! Keep reading to learn more about these wonderful fertilizers for your pumpkins.

  1. Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer (My Top Pick)
  2. Pumpkin Juice 11-8-5 Foliar Liquid Fertilizer (Most Specific Product For Pumpkins)
  3. Miracle-gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules (Best Budget Pick)
  4. Simply Silica 8oz Concentrate by Supreme Growers (Most Gentle Product For Mature Pumpkins)
  5. Spade to Fork Organic Starter and Transplant Plant Food (Best Organic Product For Young Pumpkins)

Why Should You Invest In A High-Quality Fertilizer For Your Pumpkins?

Pumpkins (and their cousin, squash which you can get specific fertilizer for) are a great way to add a little whimsy to your garden. They grow on long, twisting vines, and it can be really fun to watch them grow. In my family, we take bets on who’s going to grow the biggest pumpkin every year!

Our pumpkins would not be so glorious without a high-quality fertilizer, though. For years we struggled with misshapen or too-small pumpkins. And what a waste!

Pumpkins take up a lot of valuable room, and to have them turn out poorly is a big let-down. To see how to reduce the amount of space your pumpkins take up while also encouraging fruit growth, check out this YouTube video:

Pretty cool, right? Thinning your pumpkin vines makes your plant more efficient, allowing it to conserve its energy and spend it on growing big, round pumpkins. But fertilizing your pumpkins is really important, too.

Knowing what kind of fertilizer your pumpkins need is vital in ensuring beautiful fruit. During early growth, nitrogen-heavy fertilizer promotes sprawling vines. Potassium and phosphorus encourage flowering and fruiting, so in theory, using more than one fertilizer is the best way to go.

Now, if you aren’t a champion pumpkin grower, don’t worry about that (but if you are, I’d love to hear about how you grow such huge pumpkins. Seriously, it’s an art form). Most soils have enough nitrogen to produce lengthy vines, but it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of nitrogen deficiency in your plants.  

Again, you don’t have to worry about the nitrogen content in most soils because nitrogen is one of the most abundant natural elements. Phosphorus and potassium are a little rarer, however, which is why fertilizing your pumpkin with these elements, in particular, can be beneficial. If you find that your soil is deficient in any particular element, I recommend learning how to make your own organic fertilizer at home so that you can tailor it to your garden’s specific needs.

A lot of low-quality fertilizers are generic with their ingredients. High-quality fertilizers tend to be more specific about tailoring their ingredients to your plants’ needs, which is why I recommend buying fertilizer for your specific plant. Now that there are even special fertilizers formulated just for your cactus, I always say to buy a high-quality, specified product.

Keep reading to learn more about picking the right high-quality fertilizer for your pumpkins, and which ones will be best for your patch!

How to Pick the Best Fertilizer For Your Pumpkins?

Composition

I know I touched on the different components of fertilizer earlier, but an in-depth knowledge of fertilizer composition is vital for robust and beautiful pumpkins.

The composition of your fertilizer has a direct correlation to the pumpkins you grow. Fertilizer is composed of three main ingredients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Any fertilizer you buy should have three numbers representing these three ingredients (they look like this: 10-10-10).

A good fertilizer for your pumpkin (especially during the flowering and fruiting stage) will have a lower nitrogen number and will look something like this: 5-15-5 For example, my top pick on this list has a ratio of 6-8-0. Obviously, this fertilizer does not contain any potassium but does have nitrogen, which means it’s good for both the leafy greens and fruits of your plant.

There’s no need to stress over the numbers on your fertilizer, though. Just because that particular fertilizer doesn’t contain potassium doesn’t mean you won’t grow amazing pumpkins.

Any of the fertilizers in this article are great for your pumpkin plant and are designed specifically for producing awesome, carve-able pumpkins.

Organic Versus Inorganic

In my experience, organic fertilizer is almost always better than inorganic, especially when dealing with edible plants. If you don’t plan on eating your pumpkin, don’t worry too much, but I still think organic is just higher-quality.

“Organic” means exactly what you think: all-natural. It doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat with a spoon, but it is safe to apply to plants that you eat. It’s also less likely to crust on the soil or burn your plant, and since pumpkins are outdoor, in-the-ground plants, this is important.

The hot summer sun can react with the chemicals in an inorganic fertilizzer and burn your plant, or the fertilizer won’t release the nutrients your plant needs at the roots. And who wants to buy fertilizer only for your plant to not get all the nutrients?

Inorganic fertilizers typically have pesticides or some kind of additive in them to keep away bugs or other critters that could harm your pumpkin. There are some common garden pests that find pumpkins delicious (me too!) that inorganic fertilizer can help keep away.

Despite the other problems that inorganic fertilizers can cause, they’re definitely beneficial if you have trouble with garden pests or bugs. If you invest in a high-quality inorganic fertilizer and stay conscious of how it impacts your pumpkins, then you shouldn’t have a problem.

My Reviews of the Best Fertilizers For Orange Trees

  1. Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer (My Top Pick)

This awesome fertilizer is at the top of my list for a reason!

It’s organically made from animal bones that have been cleaned and processed, which is good for the environment and your garden. No added preservatives or chemicals for your pumpkins!

The nutrient ratio is 6-8-0, so it’ll promote green growth as well as fruiting, which means you’ll have happy and hopefully-gigantic pumpkins by the end of the season.

This 3lb bag costs $12.99, coming in at $4.33 per pound. For a high-quality organic fertilizer that you don’t have to use very often, that’s a great price.

Using it early in the season promotes strong root growth as well as early foliage, and using it later in the season will produce perfect jack-o-lantern pumpkins. There’s never a bad time to use this fertilizer!

The only downside is that this product isn’t vegan, so if you don’t like the idea of using animal products in your garden, this one should be avoided. But since I’m not vegan, this product is 100% my favorite fertilizer for pumpkins!

PROS (+) CONS (-)
+ High phosphorus content
+ Organic
+ Encourages using all parts of the animal
+ Sustainable ad environmentally friendly
+ Safe for pets and kids
– Not a vegan product
– No potassium

2. Pumpkin Juice 11-8-5 Foliar Liquid Fertilizer (Most Specific Product For Pumpkins)

This product is my high-end pick, but in my opinion, it’s worth the money, especially if you plan on growing state-fair pumpkins.

The formula is designed specifically for your pumpkins, so you know they’re getting the exact nutrients they need.

It’s water-soluble and easy to use; just mix 1-2oz in a gallon of water and apply to your pumpkins. It feeds through the roots and promotes strong growth, and one jug makes up to 32 gallons of high-quality fertilizer.

The only downside is that there is a high nitrogen content, which promotes foliage growth. Best to use this product early in the season before flowering and fruiting.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Specially formulated for pumpkins
+ Water soluble
+ Built-in measuring system for easy application
+ Long-lasting
+ Feeds through roots and leaves
– High nitrogen content promotes foliage growth
– Should be used early in the season, but could be too strong for young pumpkin plants

3. Miracle-gro Performance Organics Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules (Best Budget Pick)

This budget-friendly pick is perfect if you don’t want to get your hands dirty, or you’re a beginner gardener.

Miracle-Gro is one of the most trusted and well-known brands in gardening, and with their organic products gaining popularity, I always recommend them. I’m excited to see them branching out and providing organic products for gardeners who don’t want any added chemicals or pesticides in their gardens.

The slow-releasing formula won’t burn your plant but will provide it with vital nutrients for up to 60 days.

The biggest downside is that this product should be applied every 4-6 weeks, and this jug is only 2.5lbs. If you have a sincere pumpkin patch, you might go through this pretty quickly.

PROS (+) CONS (-)
+ Organic
+ Easy application
+ Perfect if you plan to eat your pumpkins
+ Budget-friendly
+ Trusted brand
– Can crust on the soil
– Should be applied pretty frequently

4. Simply Silica 8oz Concentrate by Supreme Growers (Most Gentle Product For Mature Pumpkins)

While the other fertilizers on this list contain a multitude of ingredients, this potassium silicate concentrate is super specific in its composition.

It’s called a supplemental fertilizer, meaning it doesn’t have all of the normal ingredients, since those are already in your soil. This one is potassium silicate, so no nitrogen or phosphorus.

That’s not a bad thing, though! Potassium also helps to grow the actual fruit of the pumpkin plant, so this product is definitely ideal for a later-in-the-season boost once your vines have flowered and started to bear fruit.

This is the most gentle product on this list, but it’s also highly concentrated, so one little bottle makes a whopping 47 gallons! Just add one teaspoon per gallon of water and you’ll be well on your way to bigger pumpkins.

The biggest downside is the nutrient content, however. If your garden does lack nitrogen and/or phosphorus, then this one won’t check off all the boxes for you.

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Promotes strong stem and rind growth
+ Easy application
+ Makes up to 47 gallons
+ Perfect for jack-o-lantern pumpkins
+ Supplemental fertilizer
– No phosphorus or nitrogen

5. Spade to Fork Organic Starter and Transplant Plant Food (Best Organic Product For Young Pumpkins)

The other fertilizers on this list are all fantastic but are more suited for mature pumpkins. This organic starter/transplant plant food is perfect for young pumpkins, especially transplants.

This gentle fertilizer has a 3-3-3 ratio, making it perfect for young pumpkin plants that are just getting established.

It’s certified organic and the packaging is environmentally friendly. Oh, and did I mention it’s made on a family-run farm in coastal Oregon? Seriously, just check out their website.

The pair that makes these products are named Jeff and Ana, and they have three adorable kids. Who doesn’t love supporting a small family business and growing amazing pumpkings at the same time?

The only bad thing I can say about this product is that it isn’t suitable for the whole growing season unless you have strangely delicate pumpkins. It’s best to use early in the season on young plants, so just keep that in mind. But other than that, I can’t recommend this product enough!

PROS (+)CONS (-)
+ Family-owned and American-made
+ Organic
+ Gentle nutrient composition for young pumpkins
+ Encourages strong early growth
– Gentle formula may be too gentle
– Equal nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus content

My Top Pick: Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer

In my opinion, you can’t find a better pumpkin fertilizer than Burpee Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer! It’s organic, sustainable, and perfect for growing amazing pumpkins.

The ingredient in this fertilizer (aka bone meal itself) is not vegan or even vegetarian, however, it helps cut down on waste in the meat-packing industry and honors the idea of using every part of the animal. Buying this product also keeps one more bag of chemically modified fertilizer out of your garden and off the shelves.

As gardeners, I feel like we all have a deeper appreciation for the earth and what it can provide for us. Why not give back to the planet by using organic and all-natural fertilizer? You’ll be thanking Mother Earth for some pretty spectacular pumpkins before long!

Final Thoughts On The Best Fertilizers For Pumpkins

Pumpkins are a fun and whimsical addition to any garden, with their long trailing vines and festive fruit. They’re delicious in fall recipes and you can even eat the flowers and leaves (no, seriously, there’s tons of recipes for them).

With the right fertilizer, you’ll be growing huge pumpkins in no time. You can’t go wrong with any of the fertilizers on this list, and I can’t wait for you to grow jaw-droppingly-awesome pumpkins this season. Better get those carving tools out and preheat your oven for some roasted pumpkin seeds!

Emma Grace

Emma Grace

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Emma Grace

Emma Grace

About Learn Planting

Here at Learn Planting, I review the best planting tools and products so that you can get everything you need to create your vibrant garden, whether indoors or outdoors!

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