AG Pruning Question

wayne_perrier(z9 CA)June 23, 2005

Here's the situation: I've got a baby pumpkin about 13 feet out on the primary vine and it looks like it's taking hold. I pollenated it on June 18, it's got a 9.5" circumference now. This is the only one on the plant that has taken hold, out of 5 pollenations.

Thing is, its stem is curved upward at a 90 degree angle and the baby pumpkin is leaning against the stem of a big leaf that starts at the same axil as the pumpkin.

I'm concerned that as it grows that leaf stem is putting pressure on the pumpkin stem. Thing is the leaf is shielding the pumpkin nicely from the sun. My common sense is telling me to cut off that leaf so that there is no pressure on the baby pumpkin, which will also allow the pumpkin stem to straighten out and the pumpkin to lie flat on the ground.

Opinions / suggestions appreciated. thanks

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douglas14(z3/4 MN)

Wayne,
I'd absolutely cut off that leaf and stem. I'd remove anything that looks in danger of rubbing against the pumpkin.
Small scratches now can equal large blemishes later.
I hope your pumpkin's stem straightes out, otherwise your stem may end up under the pumpkin. You may need to support the pumpkin some as it hopefully eases to the ground.
Can you post pictures Wayne?

Douglas

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 4:19PM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Thanks Douglas, I'll prune it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 5:02PM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Hi Douglas: I pruned away the leaf stalk. Sure enough, there are already some abrasions on the baby pumpkin. I also pruned away the tendril and a secondary vine that had started. Hope this doesn't cause problems at this early stage. Took a good look at this baby pumpkin. Its stalk comes off of the primary vine at about a 45 degree angle -- not the best situation. But, it's the only one I have to work with so far, so we'll see how it goes. Maybe there'll be others in the next couple of weeks..... I can't post pictures, but I can email some to you if you want. I lost your email address after a computer crash, but mine is wperrier@charter.net.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 2:07AM
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douglas14(z3/4 MN)

Wayne,
When the pumpkin is resting on the ground, you can gradually adjust the pumpkin to a preferred 90 degree angle to the vine. This should be done very gradually, over several days. Do it during mid-day or afternoon, if possible. I've heard that the pumpkin vines are more flexible during warmer temps. I banked dirt along the pumpkin, to hold it in place as I moved it a little each day. I'm guessing it isn't too common for an A.G. to have a 90 degree vine angle naturally. Error on the side of caution, so you don't cause damage to the vine or pumpkin stem.

Douglas

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 11:56AM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Hi Douglas: the pumpkin is already starting to lower itself to the ground. I'd say the stem is around 60 degrees to the ground as opposed to 90 a day ago. So that's good progress. The pumpkin is growing -- 11 inch circumference today. I'm wondering if I can make a fixture for slowly bending the primary vine away from the pumpkin, a little each day. What do you think ?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2005 at 11:00PM
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wayne_perrier(z9 CA)

Bad news -- developed a stem split, about 2.5 inches long. I'm going to start another thread on my AG travails, Douglas, are you going to do that this year too ?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 12:31PM
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douglas14(z3/4 MN)

I do plan to Wayne. I encourage others to do the same. We can root each other on:-)
I'll probably start mine on July 1.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 5:11PM
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