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Can this pumpkin be saved?

Posted by seegengrow Chicago, IL (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 8, 10 at 22:56

Alright, folks--so I KNOW this is a long shot.

But I planted some pumpkin plants in the ground, one of which was doing especially well, and then was notified that my landlady's selling the place and I have to move. Naturally, the pumpkins were my first concern so I ran outside to have a look, and LO and BEHOLD, one vine in particular has already set fruit (beautiful fruit that's growing quickly, too!).

This plant looks happy and healthy and I know that everyone says pumpkins don't transplant well. But I've been asked to dig up the plants, nevertheless. So my question is: even though the chances for success might be slim, is there any way to transplant this plant to a new patch of earth? What precautions could I take to reduce the shock?

If I don't try, I'll still be losing this plant anyway, so I may as well give it a shot, right?

Thanks so much for any help you can offer!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can this pumpkin be saved?

You can't dig the whole plant up and move it but you might find that somewhere along the vine little roots have been put out. Make a cutting that includes these little roots and a few leaves and it might live.

RE: Can this pumpkin be saved?

Well, it is a long shot. I don't know that you would have time to make a cutting, as rockguy suggests, simply because it would require, probably six weeks to re-establish a sufficient root system to support fruit. Then it would have to set... and mature that fruit.

It is really "iffy" moving a big vine like that.
1) Try not to move it far. Time in transition will reduce you odds of success.
2) Get as much soil around those roots as you can. You'll probably need some help and want to try to use something to ball up the roots. The roots are not really of a tight and sturdy design. So it would be very easy to leave most of them behind.
3) Have your new site prepared ahead of time, good soil, hole already dug, etc.
4)When you plant it in the new site, plant a fair amount of the vine under the soil. As alluded to by rockguy, those parts will grow roots, assisting in the plant's survival.
5) Protect it from direct light for a day or two after transplant.
6) If you can, keep a drip going on the roots, at least for a week.

These are some ideas. Good luck.

Tahlequah, OK

RE: Can this pumpkin be saved?

Thanks, rockguy and macmex. The cutting is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure if it would work in my zone. The Chicago growing season is pretty short, and I can't see the first freeze holding off long enough for the fruit to mature.

Macmex, I'll try all of your suggestions. The part that worries me most is getting enough of the roots to not set the plant back too badly. I'll report back and let you all know how it goes!

Thanks again,

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