Pumpkin Progress Update--Same Problems Again

football45013September 13, 2012

So I joined this forum back in June and in that post, I mentioned that every year, when my pumpkins start turning orange, they will suddenly develop a soft spot, which then develops into a black spot that causes the pumpkin to just rot away. Well, here we are towards the end of another growing season and yet again, I have a pumpkin that developed a soft spot, which then started turning black and now I'm just waiting for the pumpkin to rot away. It was starting to get really orange also. Can anybody tell me what this soft spot is and why it keeps happening year after year after year? What can I do to prevent it? I'm at my wits end, as I just don't know what to do anymore. I've attached a picture of this spot.

PS: This spot started off as just a spot that was lighter in color than the rest of the surrounding pumpkin. It then started turning black and started creating an indentation in the pumpkin. I wish I had taken a picture of the spot when I first noticed, but I didn't. Anyways, any help as to what this spot is and what I can do to prevent it next year would be greatly appreciated.

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I am no expert on pumpkins or pumpkin diseases but my guess would be Black Rot? If you go on Google and type in "photo gallery of vegetable diseases" it will bring up a very informative website from Cornell University that covers the diseases and shows photos of the different diseases and has a lot of information about every disease. Hope this helps!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 12:51AM
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Here is a link to your original thread:

Growing Pumpkins

Could you take a picture of the whole pumpkin? Where is this lesion on the fruit? Also could you take a picture of the vines? If it is black rot then it is the same bacteria as gummy stem blight and you should have some ugly oozing vines.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 10:40AM
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Below is a picture of the whole pumpkin. The lesion is in the center of a side of the fruit.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 11:42AM
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Here is a picture of a vine. The vines don't seem to be in bad shape, but I'm no expert.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Here is a better picture of the whole fruit. Again, thanks for the advice everybody.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 12:24PM
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To me it looks like sunscald and the black is a secondary infection. Black rot is black from the start and black all over. And a lot of other diseases present with many small spots all over the entire pumpkin or start at the bottom of the pumpkin.

However, sunscald would be strange to affect all your pumpkins every year. Do you notice anything else about your plants before the pumpkins do this? Like do all the leaves die back? It doesn't look like your vine picture posted.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 9:37PM
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Ok, let's try this again. Below is a picture of a vine. As far as noticing anything unusual before the pumpkins do this, there are only two things that I can think of that stand out to me. First, I did notice that the leaves up at the start of the vine, in other words, the first couple of leaves that sprouted from the ground started to brown, withered and died away. But it was just those first few leaves. The rest of the leaves look lush and green with no signs of any type of problems. Besides, I always thought as the vine grows longer, those first few leaves eventually start to brown away anyways, so I didn't think it was anything unusual. But maybe it was? The other thing that I noticed was just as the pumpkin was starting to slightly start to turn color, there was one spot that wasn't turning color, but instead was just a ghost white color. I knew that was a bad sign. When I first noticed that this certain spot was not turning color, I pressed on it slightly just to see if it was soft in any way. It had just a slight give to it, whereas the rest of the pumpkin was hard as a rock. It's like this certain spot didn't fully develop or something, unlike the rest of the pumpkin. It didn't develop that hardness to it. Those are the only 2 things I can think of that may have signaled trouble. And by the way, Trev, you are correct, that blackness was just a secondary thing. That wasn't originally there. The only thing there was the white spot. And when that white spot first developed, that spot was like indented. In other words, think of somebody peeling away the skin of an onion. If you just skin the peel away in one certain spot, eventually that spot won't be even with the rest of the onion. If you ran your hand over that onion, once your hand hit that spot where you peeled away the skin, it would be slightly indented. This is how the pumpkin was.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 11:22PM
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Do you start the plants on mounds covered w/ plastic or hay? I see that most people are doing that these days. I guess that will help keep it from getting too wet from the dew in the morning, thus developing the rot. Perhaps also you didn't fertilize it enough and over-watered. Last 2 yrs were tough on pumpkin growing -- last yr too wet at least around here, this yr too hot and dry in a lot of areas. Although our weather changed back to more normal summer like weather for us around here in PA.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 5:48PM
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It isn't unusual at all for leaves at the base of the plant to die while the rest remains healthy that isn't a problem. Do you have multiple pumpkins and is this blemish always facing the same direction? Also do you have anything reflective nearby the pumpkins? I am still stuck on sun scald but I can't imagine why it would affect every single one of your pumpkins every year.

Also next year try some small varieties in pots and see how they do, then you know if it is your soil. Also ornamental and hard-shelled gourds are less susceptible to rots because of their hard rinds. They might be worth trying as well.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:56PM
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