Anyone starting Pumpkin seeds?

AlyoshaKJune 30, 2014

Is anyone starting Pumpkin seeds? Or is everyone just planing their seeds directly into their soil? Thought I might experiment with seed starting, but not sure if anyone really does this with pumpkins.

Charles

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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

im becoming quite the pro at sowing pumpkin. I planted a couple about a month and a half ago and they got destroyed by squash bugs. I re-planted about 3 weeks ago. so far they are doing good.

mike

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 3:45PM
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slowpoke_gardener

I started pumpkin inside last year. They were a little early. If I plant them this year I will plant direct into the soil.

Last year was my first year to try to grow pumpkin, but I had a very nice crop. I grew Seminole and Old Timey Cornfield pumpkin. If yours produce like mine did one plant will be more than you need.

Larry

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 3:51PM
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AlyoshaK

Wow, that much from one plant? Maybe I can find an outfit thats sells seeds that will produce half a plant. But I'd want the half that produces pumpkins naturally.

Mike I've got my share of squash bugs right now. Just barely keeping 'em at bay, but squash plant is still producing.

Charles

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 4:26PM
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chickencoupe

Oh, yes. Recently planted Old Timey Pumpkin. But what I really did was sow seed for war tween me and the bugs. However, it's growth rate seems inexhaustible. I just might conquer the territory, yet.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 8:14PM
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AlyoshaK

Lol! I never thought of gardening like that before but it's so true. Gardening is a kind of declaration of war. War against weeds, war against sloth, war against grasshoppers, war against . . . not-gardening!!

    Bookmark   June 30, 2014 at 10:24PM
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macmex

Hey folks,

After observing this battle for some years, it suddenly dawned on me, that I can use a simple, all natural technique to save my squash/pumpkin plants, at a critical stage, when they are still only about the size of a coffee mug. For some years I've had plants reach this stage and get wiped out by squash bugs. Try as I might, I couldn't keep them from finding my plants, and I simply didn't have the means to cover them.

But last year I stumbled upon something. My Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkins were at this stage and stalled. They just sat there for over a week without growing. I finally took the time to examine them closely, and I discovered that squash bugs were attacking them at the base of the stem and hiding in the soil/litter at the base of the plants. Tinkering, I tried pouring about a gallon of water at the base of each plant. Presto! Whatever squash bugs were hiding there, instantly came up for air. I caught and killed them. I went back each day for about five days, repeating this process. By the end of this time my plants had picked up a rapid rate of growth. Soon they were starting to sprawl, and though I saw some squash bugs, they never became a threat to the plants.

This year I had the same thing happen with Dolma Kabak, a Turkish summer squash (very rare in this country). I let the languishing go on a little too long, and may have lost one hill. But the other two affected hills are now making a comeback. I have poured water on them three days with only one squash bug coming to light. Another hill, in a different location has "tested negative" for squash bugs, using this same technique.

This year's crop of Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin has yet to encounter squash bugs. But it is no where near the area where I have had them. Its vines are now starting to "zoom," I am no longer concerned about it surviving. Once it begins "zooming" the leaves and stems become coarser and, apparently, less appealing to the bugs.

George
Tahlequah, OK

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 10:07AM
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chickencoupe

George;

I am so happy you shared this. It explains what happened the other day when I first killed bugs. Then, I watered, went over to water the luffah and returned to find more bugs.

So, I'm learning this year and my two (sacrificial) yellow squash vines taught me much. Those bugs are sharp. The squash was planted amongst my corn plants. After a while I stopped seeing squash bugs. I was dilligent, but eggs would suddenly appear. I'd look... even in the soil. Nada. Eventually, I'd find an occasional nymph indicative that things were progressing normally for the squash bugs but not prolific. They were still there, but having a hard time keeping things organized.

Turns out the bugs were creeping over to the vines, eating and retreating to the corn. While inspecting corn I found a small nymph hang out. This was after the squash went caput.

Now that the squash vines are dead, they're after the pumpkins. And they're trying to pull the same stunts ...retreating into the weed line nearby. It's really hard to see them on the soil, but they're burrowing! I started taking a spoon out with me and digging the soil under them. Then, I dump the soil and the bug in the water before they realize what's going on.

Now I can flood the buggers. I really have a hard time seing them at the soil level because my eye sight is poor at that exact dimension. My glasses only work up close. I should get my son out there with me.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 2:10PM
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AlyoshaK

Yes, George, your post definitely helped me too. I'm now wondering, since am about to plant pumpkins, if I can do anything to facilitate this flood-and-destroy method. If I did it now with my only squash plant I think it would wash the bugs in various directions. Perhaps I can have a slight bowl shape where the pumpkin emerges from the ground so that as the water fills the "bowl" the bugs are exposed in a way I can easily catch them.

Charles

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 2:18PM
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macmex

Yes Charles, planting in a slight depression would probably help.

George

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 3:05PM
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slowpoke_gardener

Charles, here is a picture of how I made my pumpkin bed last year. I made it this way because I have almost no top soil, and watering was the top thing on my mind, but I had very little trouble with squash bug also. I planted on the inside slope. I planted 4 plants and got 70 pumpkins up to 35# ea.. I liked this method of planting so well that I just finished another bed like this (for test purposes for pine shavings)

Larry

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 3:35PM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)

So, Larry, you make a separate bed for testing oganic material...in case it is herbicide contaninated? I think that is a great idea. Do you then just call it a new bed, or do you move the soil elsewhre? Have you noticed a plant that is especially sensitive for testing purposes? My husband gets frustrated when I tell him how stuff can be contaminated. He doesn't want to think about that stuff. How do you keep grass from growing up from below?
Amy

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 4:03PM
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slowpoke_gardener

Amy, the spot in the picture was a test site. I have tested all the hay I have stockpiled and used this bed for pumpkins last year and cantaloupes this year two. I have just found out I have been using Pine shavings for mulch, when I though I was using Oak. It was a stupid mistake on my part. I should have know it was pine, but I thought I had been told it was oak. There seems that no harm was done but I am collecting pictures and plan on making a post about pine shaving and what some believe to be turpentine damage. I just picked the worst spot on my lawn where I have had pine shaving piled for two years.

I like testing with pea or bean seeds because they are cheap and fast.

The bed I made today( my granddaughter made) has sweet potato cuttings and roma bean seed in it. The bed has pine shavings tilled into it and is mulched with pine shavings.

I mulch heavily and have very little problems with grass where I mulch.

I will cover this is greater detail on another thread in a day or two. If the test spot shows damage I will smooth it back into lawn, and if needed burn the material.

Larry

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 4:54PM
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AlyoshaK

Larry,

So you planted one pumpkin plant on the inside slope of each of the four sides there?

Charles

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 6:14PM
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slowpoke_gardener

Charles, yes, sorta. I had two plants on the far side, 2 in the center on this side. I started the seed in a 4 pack and somehow had 2 plants come up in one chamber. I will try to find a couple of pictures, but be warned, they are space hogs.

Larry

I cant find the picture I was looking for, but this will give you an idea of what to expect. By harvest time the vines were over the fence and 20 or 30 feet out into the pasture.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 9:08PM
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AlyoshaK

Been scouring the internet for Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin seeds. Found only one place that sold "Cornfield Pumpkin", but I'm not certain they're the same thing. Anyone know where I can buy some seeds?

Charles

    Bookmark   July 1, 2014 at 10:07PM
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slowpoke_gardener

Charles, George usually has them. I had some but I think I gave all of my away. If I can find any I will let you have them. I just happen to think, my DIL has one setting in her window. I think I can take seeds out of it if you want them. It is from last year but I expect the seeds will still be good. I have Connecticut field pumpkin seed and Seminole pumpkin seed if you want them.

Larry

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 1:04AM
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macmex

The only place I know that carries Old Timey Cornfield is Sandhill Preservation Center.

Larry, I sent Charles an e-mail. I'll take care of him.

Here's a link to our first thread on this variety. It includes some history on the variety.

George

Here is a link that might be useful: Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin 2009 thread

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 5:19AM
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chickencoupe

Good thread. Thanks for reviving it. I hope I can save pure seed from mine. I still have the thread on your instructions for squash. I'm assuming it is the same or very similar.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 6:39AM
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AlyoshaK

George and Larry,

Thank you. I could use some of the OTCP. Just recently bought the other pumpkin seeds I need. Much appreciate the community spirit here. I've gotten your email George and will reply.

I want to read that old OTCP thread also.

Charles

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:02AM
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AlyoshaK

Will I have to plant these in an old timey field of corn in order to get the seeds to grow? :)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 11:39AM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)

Y'all know I get nothing done around the house cause I spend all my time reading old threads like the one above! I am sad though, I thought I was clipping posts I wanted to remember, but I didn't follow through and finish the clip, so who knows what I've forgotten!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 2:24PM
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chickencoupe

Same here, Amy.

A rule of thumb: If George is involved in a discussion be ready to book mark instead of clip. LOL Absolutely good stuff, too.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 4:28PM
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macmex

Bon, the instructions on hand pollination are exactly what you would need to produce pure seed of this squash. Either you have considerable isolation distance (1/2 to 1 mile, more is better) or you hand pollinate, if you want pure seed. It's really not hard to do, though it does take a little bit of practice to recognize which flowers will open on the coming day.

In case anyone would like the sheet I did. Here's a link for it. I've seen others which are extremely good. But when I wrote it, I couldn't find one.

George

Here is a link that might be useful: Hand pollination of squash instruction download

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 6:12AM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)

Yes, ChickenCoupe, I found George and Dawn before I ever joined the forum, from googling Oklahoma gardening questions. I have an ap that files things into notebooks and categories. I normally save things there, like a private Pinterst. But I had just discovered the clipping option and thought I would clip and then go back and figure out what to save. Goes to show you have to read the instructions.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2014 at 11:32AM
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chickencoupe

The war is still being waged with the Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin. Between me and the squash bugs. Some of the leaves are turning from disease. Is it better to cut those leaves off? It might be from SVB in that area, but I don't really see signs although the stem is dying, too. Nonetheless, its growth is exceptional and I keep burying and watering in the new vines so they'll root out.

I'm beginning to see the base stems becoming woody. Relieved to see that happen. Cannot imagine the entire plant remaining succulent to encourage SVB or SB. ugh

bon

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:16PM
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macmex

Bon,

I suspect, with this one, that it would be best to just leave those leaves on the plant. I'd be afraid of leaving an open wound.

George

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:29PM
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chickencoupe

Okay. Thank you, kindly!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:21PM
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chickencoupe

Welp... uh... I need to go vertical if I'm going to do this again. I really love this pumpkin plant, it's vigorous growth. Now I have gobs of little pumpkins growing! But in the battle with the squash bugs I've reached a limitation. It is excruciatingly painful to stand precariously among the leaves while bent over hunting bugs. I can handle it in 5-10 minute increments with a couple hours recovery. These squash bugs are going to be the death of my garden!

And I planted all four of the pumpkin seeds on a hill nearby the gourd vines. All these are going wild. What a mess!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:13PM
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chickencoupe

But, then, it might be worth it. lol

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 9:35PM
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macmex

That's beautiful Bon! I also reach a point that I can't keep up. But that's one of the reasons I love Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin. It just keeps going without my help! My three plants are doing pretty well, even though I planted them outside of the garden (in our orchard area). Two of the three are starting to climb supports such as the grape trellis.

George

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 7:27AM
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chickencoupe

I'm truly glad to hear that, George. Makes me feel better. All you master gardeners are perfect and hold an unobtainable standard, doncha know. LOL Not that I'm competitive, I only need to set my scope on a reliable standard for decent progress.

This really is a remarkable pumpkin plant with its growth pattern.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 12:58PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Bon, Pumpkin vines grow like nothing else, and you can use them to hide a multitude of sins. I like to plant them on the far edge of a garden and let them work their way inward, taking over real estate once covered by plants that have finished up and no longer are producing. I'd rather look at huge green leaves running rampantly throughout the garden than look at spent plants that are past their prime. In 2011's horrific heat and drought, the one thing I had that still looked really good in August was the Seminole plant....you couldn't even see where the corn, squash, tomatoes, etc. had grown because all those drought-killed, roasted, toasted plants were buried under Seminole's vines, and we harvested dozens of pumpkins right up until the first hard freeze. Even after that freeze, I found another dozen or two pumpkins buried under the dead foliage that I had missed when I harvested everything the afternoon before the freeze. Because Seminole is so hard-shelled, those frozen pumpkins weren't even damaged. I harvested them green, put them in the garden shed on a shelf, and they matured over a period of weeks and months. Nothing will make you feel like a super gardener any more than a rampantly running pumpkin vine that produces scads and scads of fruit.

The downside, of course, is that they take over every available inch of space, so for gardeners with less space, their rampant growth can become a problem. Some years I let them climb the fence and thence run upward into the pecan trees. (I didn't plant any in that corner this year though.) By the time the pumpkins are turning from green to their mature buff color, it is autumn and to a person driving by or walking by, it looks like we have a pumpkin tree. One year Chris' large iguana, Alex, escaped from his cage and climbed to the top of a 40' tall pecan tree that had pumpkin vines running through it. Our neighbors were treated to the sight of an "alligator" climbing a pumpkin tree. One neighbor looked at it, stopped and talked to me, and said he needed to call his wife and warn her so she wouldn't wreck the car while looking at the alligator in the pumpkin tree. A lot of people think of pumpkins as kid stuff. If that is true, then I am just a big kid.

Dawn

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 3:27PM
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kfrinkle

Dawn,

I hope you got a picture of that!

On the recommendation of the forum, I ended up buying some seminole seeds, and they have so far not succumbed to SVBs or SBs. Also, I killed two SVB moths at 10:35 in the garden this morning. I have not felt that good in a while. :)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2014 at 8:46PM
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chickencoupe

Here's that pumpkin. I damaged the stem last week when itwas cream colored. It has turned a light orange. Family loves it like a new gardening milestone.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 11:49PM
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macmex

Looks ready Bon! Congratulations!

George

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 6:09AM
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chickencoupe

Thanks, George. It's been an absolute delight even with the darned squash bugs. lol

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 7:39AM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b(6b)

That is great, Bon! I cooked my first Seminole yesterday. Very good, it is definately going to be around next year. DH got into the squash bug battle today, clearing out dead leaves and shop vac-ing up the bugs. I vac-ed up a big ole grasshopper. I could still see borer eggs, but didn't notice adults today.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 1:35PM
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chickencoupe

I harvested another today. A third is nearing, a fourth will be ready in about a week and two younger ones. This is fabulous! lol

bon

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:05PM
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