In growing pumpkins and winter squashes there are many things you must plan for and consider. One of these considerations is how much sun do pumpkins need to grow well in. The amount and type of sun your pumpkin plants receive will have a great influence on your harvest. This article discusses how much and what type of sun is most beneficial for growing pumpkins.
Pumpkins and winter squashes are in the same family as watermelons and cantaloupes and just like the other members of this family, pumpkin plants need full sun to grow in and thrive. You should try to find the sunniest location you can to grow your pumpkin plants. Partial sun maybe acceptable if it’s all you can get at your location, but if it is less than 5 hours per day then it may be best to grow something else. Unfortunately, you can have everything else perfect for growing pumpkin plants but if you don’t have enough sun then you simply cannot grow pumpkins unless you have a source of artificial sun like a heat lamp. The plant receives sunlight through its leaves that it then converts into energy for the plant. This process is called Photosynthesis, and this is of course a very basic explanation of the process but there is a link to more in depth information in the Resources section below. Photosynthesis is the process by which the pumpkin plants ultimate survival is based.
In a nut shell, the sunnier the location you choose to plant the better. However, while pumpkin plants do love sun, they don’t thrive as well in excessive heat. They can still certainly grow well in very hot climates and produce great yields, but sunnier, yet cooler climates tend to produce the best. In very hot climates, it’s a good idea to find ways of cooling the pumpkin plants during the extreme heat of summer days (85 degrees Fahrenheit and plus) such as with a misting system or sprinkler system.
Another aspect to how much sunlight pumpkin plants should ideally receive is a factor based solely on the geographic location of the pumpkin patch and that is the number of sunlight hours received during the day of the growing season. Regions in the northern United States and southern Canada represent nearly the very best locations for growing pumpkins as the hours of daylight are longer (more so than at the equator) and the summer growing temperatures are more mild and not very cold or excessively hot as would be found further north or south, respectively.
While the geographic location in which you live and grow pumpkins is not something you can necessarily change, when planting your pumpkin plants in a location of adequate sun you can harvest a full abundant crop of pumpkins.
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Vermaas, Wim, Professor, School of Life Sciences, and Center for the Study of Early Events in Photosynthesis. An Introduction to Photosynthesis and Its Applications. College 0f Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University. Retrieved From: http://bioenergy.asu.edu/photosyn/education/photointro.html
Langevin, Don. (1998). How To Grow World Class Giant Pumpkins, II. Norton, MA: Annedawn Publishing.