Pumpkin plants looking wimpy

Joey_1970July 19, 2012

I planted 4 Conneticut Field seeds at the end of May in a new 3' x 8' raised bed that I filled with half top soil and half cow manure (I mixed well). The seeds sprouted after 6 days but since then the plants are not growing very well, to my eye. They do not look very big but I have feed them with Neptune's Harvest Organic Fish and Seaweed Blend Fertilizer, 2-3-1 twice so far but it doesn't look like it has helped much. I water them to keep the soil at least barely moist because I hear pumpkins like to drink a lot.

One vine is only 4 feet long with some male flowers on it and the base of the stem is only about 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter. I thought it would be bigger. The other vine is only 2 1/2 feet long. I thought they would be progressing more than this.

Any thought as to what I could be doing wrong?

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weirdtrev

A picture would be helpful. Do the plants look healthy? You haven't described any problem other than they are smaller than you think they should be. But since they are about a month and a half old what you described doesn't sound unreasonable depending on the variety. Be patient, as long as the plants look healthy you are fine.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 10:09AM
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Joey_1970

Sorry for the delay.

Here is a pic of one of the plants. IT just looks kind of thin for the variety that it is.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 2:40PM
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Joey_1970

Here is another. THere were two potential pumpkins on this vine but both turned yellow and fell off. This leads me to believe that the vine is too wimpy to carry a pumpkin.

Thoughts?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 2:50PM
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weirdtrev

Now I see exactly what you mean. They certainly do look wimpy. However you seem to be doing everything right, burying that vine will help a lot. And you are 100% right about those two pumpkins that fell off, it is because the plants are stressed

What are they growing in? I've seen people try to market stuff like that as compost but all it really contains is sand and hunks of wood. If that isn't mulch on top of the soil with better soil underneath, then that is your problem. As those large hunks of wood decompose they rob the soil and your plants of nitrogen. Which is why you are seeing that pale green, almost yellow color.

So first thing you need to do is fertilize regularly. There are a lot of products out there, but any general purpose vegetable fertilizer will do.

And if that soil is large hunks of wood and some sand, then you've probably found it doesn't hold water really well. Is that the case? If it is you will likely need to water more frequently.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 4:43PM
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tcstoehr

They do look wimpy. If they're getting enough sun and water that leaves the soil medium as the likely culprit. Like weirdtrev, I'm suspicious of the quality of your "cow manure". Alot of waste sawdust and wood chips are marketed as soil amendments by mixing and handful of manure into each bag. The wood chips on your soil surface look suspect in this regard. I think you are a victim of cheap soil amendments. That's my 2 cents. Adding liquid fertilizers at this stage of the game I think is of little use, but why not try. Next year try some high quality composts or manures or other organic fertlizers. It takes some research to find out what these are.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 12:13PM
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