Last year, I had pumpkins everywhere that came up from seeds in the compost from our store-bought jack-o-lantern pumpkins the year before, but I only ended up with one tiny pumpkin because those invasive Asian stinkbugs ate all the vines! I didn't bother to plant any this year for fear that the same thing would happen, but I might try again with some of Cbrinkley's tips!
I've just grown little sugar pumpkins - I think I got my seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. I haven't had a big problem with squash borers, but I'm going to try the radish idea next year anyway.
He drew a circle that shut me out-- Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But Love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle that took him in! -Edwin Markham
Squash vine borers - there are a couple of things you can do to help protect your pumpkins against them. They are laid by moths at the base of the plants. You can create collars of toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes. You need to extend these about an inch below the soil as well as above (you can put the collars right at the soil level, then hill up the soil a bit instead of digging down below the surface, which does the same thing), and wrap them so the ends overlap (as the vine gets thicker, it will allow for it to expand. You can also tie panty hose or cloth strips around the vine from the base of the plant to 6" above to prevent the newly hatched vine borers from being able to reach the vine. Panty hose will expand as the vine grows, so it is preferred. One thing I always do is plant radishes around the pumpkins. Icicle works best, but any kind will help, as these do repel the squash vine borer moth. If you plant in hills, then plant 3 pumpkin seeds per hill, with a radish seed inbetween each as well as one in the center of the hill. If you plant in rows, then plant a radish on either side, a few inches away from each pumpkin seed. Don't pull the radishes! Let them go to seed. The bigger they get, the stronger they repel the moths.
If you do get squash vine borers in your vines (you can usually see the hole at the base of the plant, as well as some droppings around the hole), then you can sometimes successfully cut out the worm. Slit the vine from the base towards the end until you find the borer. Remove it and kill it. Then bind the slit vine with cloth and cover the vine with dirt until you are past the point where you found the borer. Burying the vine allows it to better form new roots past the destroyed part in order to feed the plant. It's worth trying, as you don't have anything to lose.
I tried to plant pumpkin seeds along with watermelon, cucumber, and butternut sqash. Usually I will get some growing with little effort (and the wildlife will get a good bit), but this year we had so much rain nothing grew. Even the flowers that usually grow readily from seed that I plant for splashes of color did not come up this year. I tried several times. Usually one planting is enough.
I was able to plant several tomatoes I started fom seed in a starter pan so they will be big enough to bloom and produce fruit earlier (particularly the strains that produce when the day lengths are a bit shorter so I can get two yeilds instead of one...but they were not out in all of the rain until they were were several inches tall. I just tried to plant the other seeds in the beds like I have done for years with out any problems. Maybe next year.
I have been trying to grow pumpkins for the last 6 years. Squash vine borers get them every year and I never get any fruit. I'm trying again with Rumba squash (like a big ugly pumpkin), Big Max (100 lbs) Connecticutt field pumpkin and little cooking pumpkins. I like the seeds more than anything else.
Anyway, this year I'm trying to keep them covered with garden cloth until there are a lot of flowers. I always thought the borers came from the ground but I read that they come from the moths which lay eggs on the young plants.
Edited - just found out that they also lay dormant in the ground from last season!
Planted some pumpkin for cooking primarily and we'll also have a few for Halloween. I saved the seeds of the ones we bought last year, so not sure about the variety; it's not giant, that's for sure though. Can't wait to see the little patch :)
Fitness Minutes: (171,649) Posts: 4,540 6/22/12 1:17 P
Last year my husband planted giant pumpkins, and they were. We gave them to the kids in the neighborhood. This year we planted the normal size, I just went to the garden seed area it will say what size they are.
Fitness Minutes: (0) Posts: 8 6/22/12 12:00 P
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