Surprisingly, pumpkins are very delicate plants.  In my experience, the roots do not run too deep and stay within six inches of the surface, except for the main root.  It doesn’t take too much wind, hail, heavy rains, or cold weather to ruin all your efforts in growing a pumpkin.

The area I’m located in is known for strong winds and hail.  They are many days where we will have sustained 20-30 mile an hour winds they wreak havoc on my pumpkin plants.  I’ve been in Wyoming 40+ years and the running joke is as soon as you cross the Wyoming border into Colorado, the wind dissipates.  Even after burying vines, I have had entire sections of my pumpkin plants ripped up by the wind.

Protecting from Wind

If you do a Google search, you can find  several web sites where you can purchase wind fencing.  So far, the least expensive option I’ve found is buying the material off of Ebay.  This year, I have purchased seven foot steel posts that will be placed four feet apart.  Once the posts are in place, I will put up a fifty feet of wind fencing across one section of my garden.  In Cheyenne, the winds change direction in the summer time.  Our prevailing wind is from the North, North-West in the winter, spring, and early summer and then changes to  a south, south-east wind during a portion of June, July, and August.  I strategically built a pole barn to block wind coming from the southern direction.  When my garden is finished, I will have the barn, the wind fence, and then leftover snow fencing blocking my garden from the wind.

I’ll keep my finger crossed, but I’ve had the wind completely destroy pumpkin plants.

wind-fence

 

My wind Fence:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hail

I live in a hail belt as well.  We are guaranteed to have at least four to six hail storms a year.  After reading this section, I’m sure many of you are thinking it’s almost impossible to grow pumpkins in southeast Wyoming.  There are not too many pumpkin growers in this area.  Especially when you can drive south 50 miles to less wind, fewer hail storms, and warmer weather which all makes for better pumpkin growing.

I found one person in Denver that has put up hail netting across their pumpkin patch.  I tried to contact their source, but never heard back.  My research resulted in Europe (specifically Italy) has encountered the hail problem.  They often use the hail netting to protect their vineyards.  I found several companies in China, but they would only sell to me in bulk quantity.  I have been trying to buy hail netting in the US, but have been unsuccessful locating a company.  Anyway, if you find a resource here in the US, please let me know and I’ll get it posted to this site.