New To Pumpkins

little_farmJune 29, 2008

Hello All,

We planted our first pumpkins. They germinated really quickly (outside in rows of small hills). Our problem is that just about everything germinated. So, we have a lot of plants that are in the stage w/ 2 leaves. They're almost all on top of each other in their hills. My instructions say to thin them soon. Can I save any of these and transplant? I hate to lose them. Should we space them more apart next year when sowing?

More info-the varieties are 20-25 pound Jack O' Lantern, Lumina, 5-7 pound Jack O'Lantern, and Triple Threat.


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Yeah that is typically the way it goes with fresh pumpkin seeds. Pumpkins do not transplant well at all. I would recommend simply cutting the excess seedlings off at soil level. Leave the healthiest looking ones. In the future if you are like me and don't have the heart to kill little pumpkin seedlings just plant as many seeds as you want plants. This works very well for year old seeds. As the seeds get older then I plant more seeds per hill. If a hill or two of seeds don't sprout then you can just plant more. You have a fairly long growing season in zone 7 so a week or two delay because of replanting seeds won't matter much. However, I suggest that you try transplanting a hill or two to see the difference between directly sown seeds and transplanted seedlings.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2008 at 9:14PM
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Thanks for the quick response. I will thin them and plant less in each hill next year. We've had bad luck w/ other seeds so I didn't expect to see such a high germination percentage w/ the pumpkins.

Do you think we're on the right track (time wise) in zone 7 (also in MD) to have a good harvest for Halloween? We've been trying to time everything just right, but it is a guessing game!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 1:08PM
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Days to harvest (per packages) puts us right at 10/15!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 1:37PM
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I normally start harvesting pumpkins in August from seeds planted in mid-May. This year because of all the cool rainy days on the weekends I didn't have time to plant most of my seeds until a few weeks ago and there are a few more I still want to plant. I am sure you are right on track to getting lots of pumpkins for Halloween.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 10:17PM
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I am in zone 6/7 and from my experience it sounds like you are right on track for a mid-october harvest. My pumpkins are on their 2nd-3rd true leaves right now. I've learned that if you plant them too soon you end up with rotten pumpkins by Halloween! I usually try to plant around mid-june. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:24AM
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i planted some pumpkin seeds for my 2 little boys the begining of april. i got pics which i will show on here it was doing great for awhile there now it looks like it is dying it had some white spots also turning yellowish. is there anything i can buy to help it out. i will do all i can to try & save it i planted it for my 7 year old autistic son, he was so happy when he saw the flowers bloomed he cried & said oh mommy look its beautiful. when we went out in my back yard to water it yesterday it now looks like its dying. my son ryan started crying saying i sorry momma what i do. he thought he did something wrong to the plant to make it look like that. i felt so bad when he said that. so i have no idea what to buy being this my first little garden. any ideas or tips thanks so much. here are my links for the pics of the before & after.

& this is now

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 6:11PM
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Pumpkins are heavy feeders did you add much fertilizer? You could try adding some sort of vegetable fertilizer at the amount given on the label. I think your plants are probably pretty stressed. I imagine it is very hot and dry where they are because they are surrounded by concrete and don't have a lot of soil. Also since they have walls on two sides I imagine they might not get as much light as they would like.

Honestly it isn't too late to start over in another part of the yard (unless you are way up North). If you don't have space anywhere else you can buy a large pot (24" in diameter or larger) and fill with a quality potting mix (not top soil or potting soil). I like Miracle Gro potting mix. You should plant either small ornamental gourds or a small variety of pumpkin (like jack-be-little). The small varieties are always very prolific and produce early. I would plant multiple seeds but thin to the healthiest plant in the pot.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2008 at 11:38PM
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Thanks for the tips. We had a great first season with pumpkins! We're already planning for next year. We also ended up putting in a couple of other pie varieties. We ended up with 30 some pumpkins is all dif shapes, sizes and colors. We carved some, and did a lot of baking.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2008 at 9:56PM
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