Experience with Pumpkins on plastic mulch

chrisbmoJanuary 25, 2010

Thoughts on pumpkins/squash and plastic mulch. Seems like after drip irrigation and plastic mulch, profit may be small.

Any thoughts on herbicide/insecticide. I had crazy squash bugs this past year and weeding is difficult in pumpkins without damaging plants. Anyone have any good material?

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prmsdlndfrm

I wont grow any of them without plastic mulch anymore. You get a bigger healthier and higher quality crop which equals to more money. With plastic mulch you dont have to spray herbicide, and insect pressure is lower.
plastic mulch itself isnt that big of an expense, if you buy in bulk. But if you look at the back of seed catalogs, that is focused on suburbanite homeowners who only plant a couple plants. You need to google for bulk suppliers, Indiana irrigation, has a link to a supplier to plastic mulch and equipment dealers.
josh

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 10:56AM
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chrisbmo

Thank you.

Do you use clear plastic to cover plants before flowering to reduce insect pressure as well?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 1:31PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

Josh,

Small scale operation like I have. 3ft X 20ft rows. Could I use basic black vapor barrier plastic. If I'm careful I'd think I could roll it up and use it for several years.

Eric

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 1:49PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

Chris,

For insect control, I like floating row cover. aka Reemay.

Eric

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 1:59PM
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randy41_1

I know some people who use landscape fabric instead of mulch plastic. And you can cover the plants with floating row cover but you need to let the pollinating insects do their thing when there are blossoms.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 4:32PM
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prmsdlndfrm

I wont cover my plants with plastic, you risk mold or mildew, but those poly spun floating row covers work well, and also protect against frost. But make sure to get it up intime to let the bees do thier thing.
Eric any heavy plastic will work good, put your drip tape down first, the plastic works better if you create a raised bed, at least 4-6 inches, leave a shallow trench down each side of the bed, spread your plastic, make sure that it is tight, it has to be tight and smooth like a skin. Pull the sides down into the trench, then bury it. when you plant seeds, I use transplants mysef, just cut an x were you want to plant, dont cut a hole, if you do weeds will come up by your plant, just cut an X leaving the plastic, it will not interfere with your plant.
hope this helps
josh

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 7:21PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

Thanks Josh,

Haven't decided if I'll use T-tape or 1/4" in-line drip tubing, emitters 6" on center.

Eric

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 8:10PM
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prmsdlndfrm

In my opinion T tape is the best, its less expensive , easier to use, less complicated, and requires minimal labor, and it can be reused if taken up at the end of the season, and it can be repaired. I use it on all 8 acres, I purchased a add on to my bedder layer machine that rolls it up, several thousand feet. I spend winter rerolling it looking for any repairs that need to be made. I have a thousand foot section that is five years old. Your operation is small enough you could do it manualy.
josh

    Bookmark   January 25, 2010 at 8:49PM
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prmsdlndfrm

I love to grow pumpkins and squash, they just are so cool to watch grow, a blank field soon covered in creeping vines and huge leaves, followed by big ole flowers, which are tastey when fried in butter, then you get small little green balls that turn into either big ole pumkins or huge zucchinnie or butter squash, man wish this snow would go away, Im climbu=ing the walls, I want to build some beds and lay drip tape and plastic...............
josh

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 1:44PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

It's ok Josh, the men in white jackets will be there soon to help you out. Don't struggle it will only make things worse.

Eric

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 2:11PM
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prmsdlndfrm

OK hahhahahehehe
josh

    Bookmark   February 11, 2010 at 5:31PM
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