What's going on with my pumpkin plants?

ohmygourdAugust 12, 2013

Hi everybody! I'm a complete novice when it comes to gardening. In fact, these pumpkin plants are the first plants I've ever grown, so please forgive my naivety!

I planted my pumpkin seeds on July 25th. They sprouted on July 30th, one full day ahead of schedule. The little guys couldn't wait to get started!

Everything was looking good. Then the rain came. When I stepped outside to check on my seedlings, I discovered that my gutter had a serious leak. The seedlings were growing directly underneath it. It would only be a matter of time before the heavy sheets of rain destroyed them. I had no choice. I had to transplant.

When the seedlings were two weeks old, I transplanted them to a new spot in my garden. I dug my shovel deep into the soil and moved the mounds in one swift motion. Some of the mounds broke apart and exposed the seedlings' roots. I watered the seedlings immediately afterwards with a mixture of sugar, urine, and water.

Sadly, they were never the same.

They are almost three weeks old now. Their leaves are turning yellow. Every morning they look wilted and shriveled but - and here's the interesting part - by the end of the day they look healthy again.

1:00pm - droopy, shriveled, and downright depressing

5:00pm - perky and ready to party

I don't understand this phenomenon. It's as if they've suddenly developed a heat intolerance. But pumpkins love direct sunlight, and I planted them late in the season, so it's not very hot outside. They were fine before I transplanted them. What gives?

I water my pumpkin plants every day at noon. I realize the sun is hottest at this hour, but this is the most convenient time for me. I cover the plants with a bucket so their leaves don't get wet. Would it help if I started watering them earlier in the day?

In addition to their daily watering, it has rained here several times since the day they were planted. I doubt they're getting too little water. Maybe they're getting too much?

Another possibility is fungus.

I found several patches of brown, splotchy grass on my lawn. Several people have said that it looks like fungus. I'm worried that it might have spread to my pumpkin plants. Take a look at the leaf I found this morning:

Questionable, no? I didn't want to take any chances, so I cut the leaf off. Hopefully that was the right move.

What exactly is going on with my pumpkin plants? Is all of this due to transplant shock? Am I over-watering? Under-watering? Is it some kind of fungus, or nutritional deficiency?

Your insight is greatly appreciated.

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planetes(7b (Cascadia - PNW))

A little hard to tell but looks suspiciously like powdery mildew in the later stages of the leaf's infection. Use a diluted milk solution.

High moisture levels could be contributing. Also what zone are you in? It's a bit late in the season for northern zones to successfully plant pumpkins.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 1:22AM
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Thanks for your response, planetes. I'm in zone 7a. It's still somewhat warm down here in the south, so hopefully the little guys will be OK.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 4:09PM
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i think the droopiness might just be from the transplant, i had to move a plant of mine and it had the same effect. the leaves just eventually fell off and the new growth just exploded, im a newb too so i could be wrong

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 7:07PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

This might come a bit too late, butI thing they got Sun burn. If you have several days of rainy , overcast skies, then suddenly "HERE COMES THE SUN..", There you have it.

What puzzles me is that, why you have planted pumpkins in late july ? do live in the tropics ?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:29AM
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