While many people think of the pumpkin as something you carve or make pies out of, gardeners know pumpkins are notorious for taking up space. With a vigorous growth habit, pumpkin plants enjoy spreading out and need room to sprawl as well as breathing space for setting down pumpkins, which can grow to massive sizes. You'll need to follow a few rules for the pumpkin plant spacing needs in order to line up plants in a pumpkin garden, but once they're lined up you should be able to grow pumpkins successfully.
Dig the soil in your pumpkin bed area to loosen it up to 8 inches deep, and break up any large clumps of dirt. Add 4 to 6 inches deep of compost or well rotted manure over the bed and work it into the soil.
Use the hoe to form hills 6 to 8 feet apart. Make the hills 8 to 12 inches tall, adding more compost or manure if needed. Typically a hill this tall will be approximately 1 foot to 1 1/2 feet in diameter.
Plant each hill with five or six seeds, 1 inch deep, spacing the seeds 3 to 4 inches apart. Planting a single seed in the center of the hill and working the remaining seeds in a circle around it will keep the plants high up on the hill.
Water the hill to moisten the soil well and completely. Continue to water the soil as it dries to maintain a damp consistency. As seedlings emerge, avoid wetting the leaves or stems and focus on watering the soil around the plants.
Thin each hill to leave only the strongest most successful two or three plants on each hill by clipping or cutting the weaker seedlings with a knife or garden scissors. While you can pull the less fortunate seedlings out, this may disturb the root systems of the plants you want to leave growing.
Place a board under each growing pumpkin to keep the skin or rind from coming into direct contact with the soil. Your pumpkins will be ready for harvest when the vine starts to dry and turn brown.