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Trying 3 new plants.

Posted by slowpoke_gardener 6/7 (My Page) on
Fri, May 3, 13 at 0:45

I want to try my hand at growing Seminole pumpkin, Corn field pumpkin, and tromboncino squash. I expect the corn field pumpkin will just grow like a water melon (without a trellis). I have a trellis of 2 16' cattle panels bent in an up-side down "U" with bamboo inserted through the square holes. A question I have is, Will the Seminole climb the bamboo well, or will have to attach a rope, or something smaller and not so slick as the bamboo for the plant to climb.

The Tromboncino I hope to grow where I plan on having a small greenhouse next year, and just let it grow on the frame work this year, and then finishing it next fall. Health condition prevent my from doing a lot at one time.

Is there something I am over looking or is there a better way I can build what I need? (I have a very large supply of bamboo).


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Larry,

I haven't tried growing Seminole on bamboo so cannot say if it will or will not climb it, but in the 10 or so years that I have grown it, Seminole has climbed everything in sight: trellises, fencing, tomato cages, tomato plants, pepper plants, shrubs, trees, etc. It also grows just fine on the ground like regular pumpkins and winter squash do.

I try to keep it somewhat under control but it manages to defeat control efforts and run wild by August of every year. I've had it run down a 40 or 50' garden pathway on the ground until it reached something like a fence or tomato cages to climb and then it began climbing.

I love Seminole because pests and disease never kill it and it produces until frost. So, without a trellis it grows fine and with a trellis it grows fine. I wouldn't think bamboo would be so "slick" that it couldn't catchhd and climb it. I've even had it climb the chicken coop and the PVC pipe covered with bird netting that covers the top of the chicken run. I am afraid to stand too close to the Semimole vines in July or August for fear it might mistake me for an inanimate object and start climbing me.

Dawn


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Dawn, thanks. I will try to keep as much of the Seminole up in the air as I can. I have about 150 sq. ft. tilled and expect it may cover another 300 sq. ft.. I plan to try to keep them turned in and mow around them. The bamboo is around 12'-13' tall. I will also dig a small reservoir in the center of the plants and fill it with mulch and short hollow pieces of bamboo. There is no way I can duplicate their native area, but I want to get as close as can (without the alligators).

Larry


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Wow, the Seminole might make Tromboncino (zucchetta) look puny!!!


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Larry, If it is Zucchetta Rampicante Tromboncino it will climb everything. I have a cattle panel arched like you describe except with a visable bend at the top where I always go Zucchetta. It goes up that eight feet then usually down the other side a little before I redirect it. I try to keep it on the trellis but it always escapes. Last year it crawled across the ground in two places and climbed into the cage with the peppers. It was a bit of a surprise the first time I reached in to pick a bell pepper and had about a 16 inch squash hanging on the cage.

It is my favorite squash, but we only eat it as summer squash. We just ate some of it this week, half inch slices coated with bread crumbs and roasted. Actually it was a 'no meat' meal with roasted potato slices, zucchetta, fresh asparagus, and slices of homemade wheat bread toasted with a slice of provolone cheese melted on top.

I keep trying to grow Seminole but have failed. One year they didn't germinate, and last year my seed produced those huge squash that were NOT Seminole.

The squash will curl if grown on the ground and will be much straighter if allowed to climb.

Happy gardening and hope this weeks weather hasn't hurt your plants.


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Lisa, They are both C. moschata, so related to one another and likely their rampant growth is very similar. It might be fun to plant them together and see who wins the race.

Seminole just wants to grow like nothing I've ever seen. One year the Seminole vines grew from their spot about 20' inside the garden fence over to and then up the garden fence and back down to the ground. They then crept about 10' across the ground and then climbed 20 or 30' up into the trees. By fall we had buff-colored pumpkins dangling from oak and hackberry trees on the edge of the woodland. I think that was either in 2002 or 2004, both of which had nice rainfall and cooler summer temperatures than we've had the last few years.

I normally don't grow zuchetta although I grow the similar Tahitian Melon (it isn't from Tahiti and isn't a melon, but I didn't name it) which seems remarkably similar to zuchetta. Tahitian Melon is a vigorous grower, but Seminole easily spreads twice as far. When I grew Trombocino Rampicante, it grew like mad too. I think all C. moschatas are monster plants in good conditions., and stay only slightly smaller in poor conditions.

Carol, I saw something on BCHS's website lately the reminded me of your "not Seminole" pumpkin, but I don't remember what it was called. I bet you got either crossed seed or just the wrong seed....likely an error at either their harvesting or packing stage. I agree yours didn't look like Seminole.

Dawn


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Dawn, The taste was very light, not as strong as any pumpkin that I have ever tasted, and not as strong as butternut. It had more of a summer squash taste, but a winter squash color. I still have 2 of them and they still look perfect after being stored all winter. It is not something I would plant again, but we don't eat much winter squash anyway.


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

All this talk about vigor just gave me an idea. Larry, I can send you instructions on hand pollination of squash, and you can make a hybrid between Seminole and Zuchetta or Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin. Grow that seed next summer, but not closer than 1/2 mile to your house. What we need is some HYBRID VIGOR!

George


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

George, I could not help but laugh, but it does sound like fun. I could grow the hybred over in my parents garden. I could make a better spot to grow over there anyway because of sandy soil and almost endless supply of almost free water. I have never tried anything like that, but I am game for anything.

Larry


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

George, lol lol lol I'm afraid that if the C. moschata family had hybrid vigor (I'm snickering here), they'd take over the world.

I kind of think hybrid vigor is overhyped. I can see it in some hybrid tomato varieties at times, but it seems less noticeable in most other veggies.

Larry, That actually sounds like a good idea, you know, There's lots of plants that would love that sandy soil. One of my two new garden plots this year is in very sandy/silty soil. It will take a lot of amending over the next few years to get that soil in great shape in terms of organic matter and fertility, but after dealing with clay for 15 years, it is fun to have some soil that will drain well. Of course, the real issue will be that maybe it will drain too well. I will find out about that when the real summer heat arrives.

If you get a hybrid of these three types of pumpkins, with the rate at which they grow, you could market them to people in hot climates as a method of shading their homes because the hybrid undoubtedly would climb to the top of the house and completely shade it by the end of the summer. That could save folks (especially in brand new houses with only tiny trees out in the yard) a lot of money on their electric bills. So, you wouldn't be breeding this new pumpkin just for yourself---you'd be doing it for all of humanity.

Dawn


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

It would actually be very easy to do. Back in the 90s my father accidentally crossed Warsaw Buff Pie Pumpkin with Calabaza de Castilla (a Mexican moschata with tons of vigor but day length sensitivity). The resulting plant was monstrous, taking over the neighbor's willow tree and producing a 40 lb behemoth of a squash. Unfortunately, the day length sensitivity must have stayed with the hybrid, as it only produced the one squash.

I have seed of a cross between Old Timey Cornfield Pumpkin and Warsaw Buff Pie Pumpkin. But I neither have time nor space to grow it out. Perhaps I'll freeze it for future use.

George


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Dawn, I bought an extra pack of Seminole and Tromboncino seed to send to Ghana, Africa, hoping that it may be of use there. (I had not thought about growing them on the house) The two African men that I met showed interest in some of the crops grown here. They both had an interest in garlic, but I am not sure I can find a garlic that will grow in zone 12. I am trying to contact some Mexicans and see what type is grown in Mexico. I have seen garlic in zone 9 in Mexico, but I am not sure it would grow any farther south. Anyway I will get the other seeds to the man that has not gone home yet (he leaves this month). I have already given him a good size package of seed, I may have to mail the rest to him because I dont know how much he can take on the plane.

Larry


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Larry, I grow garlic which I purchased in Mexico. I believe almost any garlic will grow there as I've never observed any problems with growing Mexican garlic here, up North.

George


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

George, what do you think about Ghana, Africa? I would like to find some that would grow there. One of the fellows that came here did not know what garlic was, but wanted to try to grow some in Ghana. The other Gentleman, I understand had a rice plantation, grain mill and a warehouse , seemed to know a lot about agriculture and said they imported garlic. I have been looking on the Web, and it looks like a Creole type may grow in Ghana. I think one of the problems is that it never gets down to 50 F there.

I am in over my head here, but would like to try to help these guys.

Larry


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.?

I like George's idea about trying to cross breed pumpkins. I went to Ft. Smith and bought a load of mushroom compost and plan on making well amended beds for the three types of pumpkins (in different locations), and try my hand at hand pollinating.

I have not started any of the seed yet, but I expect it is about time, any advice?

Thanks, Larry.


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Larry, They will be the easiest things you've ever grown. Just throw the seed in the ground, water, and then get back out of the way. Once they start vining, you cannot stand still near any of those C. moschata types too long or they'll use you as a trellis.

George has a great "how to" document on how to hand-pollinate squash. If you say "pretty please", maybe he'll link it for you.

Dawn


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

Larry,

Here's a link to read and or download the guide Dawn mentioned. It's really not hard.

As to garlic, I read that Ghana is at only 5-6 degrees North of the equator. My location in Mexico was at 20 degrees. So there is not a complete correlation. However, the climate looks fine for growing garlic. It's a bit hot. But I believe one could do it with adequate irrigation. I'd simply have them take some supermarket garlic and try. I'd donate some of my Mexican garlic. But it's all growing, and that definitely wouldn't pass customs.The bulbs should, unless they're dealing with a cantankerous official.

Just because something isn't being grown somewhere doesn't mean that it can't be grown there. When we lived in the high desert of Hidalgo, I grew sweet potatoes and they did splendidly. Yet, when I suggested the crop to local farmers (who purchased them for eating in the market) they always objected: "But they are not grown here!" I'd point out that I was growing them. And they'd go off into some other excuse. I suppose gringos didn't count.

George

Here is a link that might be useful: Hand Pollination of Squash


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RE: Trying 3 new plants.

George, thank you for the info. Mary, the wive will be going back to Ghana this month also. She will return for her final semester this fall at U, of A.. When she goes home I will try to have another seed package ready for her.

I will study the hand pollinating material and give it my best shot. My largest concerns are water rationing and running out of growing season. I will try to sprout the seeds and have everything ready within a week,surly that will give me enough growing time.

Larry


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