BP
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If you are going to build a trellis for melons, I suggest using wood instead of pvc. A couple of those 5 foot sections on mine are sagging pretty bad from the fruit being tied to them. I'm going to make a few modifications to that trellis and use it for beans and pickling cucumbers next year.
I can't plant melons again til around June 1st, but am already in the design phase of the next trellis for them. It will be wood frame covered with fencing with crossbars fairly close together. I want to build detachable shelves so I can place them wherever I want on any crossbar to set growing fruit on.

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^^^I can imagine all the weight their putting on the trellis :? So I'll most likely use wood. The shelves do sound like a good idea.

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I can relate to some of the posts in here! I couldn't stand it anymore, so I planted three pumpkin plants. In a pot, in hopes that the vines would droop over the side of the pot (it's a 30") and take over the patio to their hearts desire! They are strangely doing well, but so far all male flowers but no females. They are growing into the pot surface itself as well, and I know they're crowded, but I'm hoping to get at least one sugar pie pumpkin this year! Next year, they can have their own section of the yard :)

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Liska wrote:They are strangely doing well, but so far all male flowers but no females.
Liska, I have read about a dozen pumpkin-growing websites in the last week or so, and I can't find the one I was going to show you :evil: In it, the author said that pumpkins put on male flowers first so the bees learn to include it on their morning run, sort of like penciling you in for an 8 AM pick-up. By the time the female flowers have bloomed, you are a regular stop on their route.

If you want me to find that website for you, let me know. The above is a liberal paraphrase :-)
C00KiE46 wrote:^^^I can imagine all the weight their putting on the trellis So I'll most likely use wood. The shelves do sound like a good idea.
This link will take you to a fascinating link on[url=https://www.informeddemocracy.com/pumpkin/growing.html#how_much]pumpkin trellisses.[/url] The author describes how pumpkins can be trained to grow up onto a roof. Seriously. It's pretty brief, but it might make you think. I know it's making me think.
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I think that instead of a trellis just building a shelf would be best. At the very least, don't bother with the standard trellis sheets. You'd be better off crossing 2x2s so you have the added strength.
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stella1751 wrote: Liska, I have read about a dozen pumpkin-growing websites in the last week or so, and I can't find the one I was going to show you :evil: In it, the author said that pumpkins put on male flowers first so the bees learn to include it on their morning run, sort of like penciling you in for an 8 AM pick-up. By the time the female flowers have bloomed, you are a regular stop on their route.
That actually makes a lot of sense, I just put the pumpkins in a really freaking stupid place. Up on my patio, by itself, out of sight of any thing that flies by. So i moved it down by the shed to where the bees already hang out instead. Hoping that when they finally do come up with a female flower, the bees are more likely to notice!

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Stella, I mentioned the male flowers opening first so the bees are around by the time the female flowers opens as a working theory of mine (as in a passing :idea:) I had) a while back :wink:. I love it when more methodical and scientific brains confirm things I've been noodling about, so do let us know if you come across that website again. :D

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Liska wrote:That actually makes a lot of sense, I just put the pumpkins in a really freaking stupid place. Up on my patio, by itself, out of sight of any thing that flies by. So i moved it down by the shed to where the bees already hang out instead. Hoping that when they finally do come up with a female flower, the bees are more likely to notice!
Liska, here's a brief, user-friendly, clearly illustrated blog on [url=https://gardeningwithwilson.com/2008/04/22/pollinating-pumpkin-flowers/]hand-pollinating pumpkins[/url]. (BP mentioned this re: watermelons in another thread.) I did this for the second time today, and it's easier than I thought it would be.

Cautionary note: Hand-pollination is addictive. I have reached a sorry state in my hand-pollination phase, taking it to excess as I so frequently do when I discover something new and interesting. This morning, I felt a stab of extreme annoyance when I found I would have to wait for a bee to finish with a female flower before I could hand-pollinate the flower with the male anther I was holding in my hand :oops:
Applestar wrote:Stella, I mentioned the male flowers opening first so the bees are around by the time the female flowers opens as a working theory of mine (as in a passing I had) a while back . I love it when more methodical and scientific brains confirm things I've been noodling about, so do let us know if you come across that website again.
Applestar, I'm off to look for it now!
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applestar wrote:Stella, I mentioned the male flowers opening first so the bees are around by the time the female flowers opens as a working theory of mine (as in a passing :idea:) I had) a while back :wink:. I love it when more methodical and scientific brains confirm things I've been noodling about, so do let us know if you come across that website again. :D
Ha! It took a while, but I found it. Best of all, given your reference to "methodical and scientific brains," the article's publisher is indeed reputable, [url=https://urbanext.illinois.edu/pumpkins/qa.cfm]the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign[/url].

Way to go! This wouldn't have occurred to me, but it does make sense.
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Thanks, Stella! :D
I'm going to go read it as soon as I'm done! :wink:

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I hear what you are saying about the hand-pollination. I found myself going out into the garden every mornig and taking the male flowers around to the female ones.

I wonder which is better, using the actual male flower, or just transferring pollen with a q-tip. I would think that using the actual flower is better.
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This was the biggest pumpkin in my garden. My dog got to it and either clawed at it or tried to eat it :x Will it be ok?
[img]https://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa241/M0MMiE_album/IMG_3634.jpg[/img]

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C00KiE46 wrote:This was the biggest pumpkin in my garden. My dog got to it and either clawed at it or tried to eat it :x Will it be ok?
I'm thinking your dog clawed it. That particular pumpkin definitely looks like a cat or a squirrel and, as such, probably deserved a clawing. (Well, close enough for dogs, anyway.) :lol:

I recently found a website that talks about writing your child's name in a young pumpkin, using a sharp instrument, which I found a little odd, but it's been a long time since I had a yound child onsite. Supposedly this is an acceptable gardening practice. Based upon that website, which I can find if you are interested, I'm betting this clawing will not harm the pumpkin.
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^^^I'm relieved. That was the biggest one so far so I'm glad it will be ok. I think I read an article about that. I don't remember on how deep they wanted you to carve in. I'm just glad it will be ok :)

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I've heard about that, too. I think you're just supposed to scratch the skin. what will happen is it will scar over and grow with with pumpkin. Haven't yet has pumpkin big enough to try it with, though.
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Re: Hand Pollination. I had five female blossoms this morning! How exciting is that?

I did not touch them. I restrained myself. By mid-morning, two had closed, but the other three remained open. (This was an experiment.) I'm betting, not a lot of money, but a buck, that the three that are closed are closed because they got pollinated. If so, the bee pollination is more successful than my own. Hmmm.
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My pumpkins came in so early last year, that I decided to move my planting date about 4 weeks later ... this year, I sowed the seeds in the garden on July 2nd. I'm thinking that I should have Pumpkins ready to pick around the first and second weeks of October. I hope it works out that way. :)
I'm sure that's too late for a lot of folks, but I like to have "fresh" Pumpkins just before Halloween. I will just have to wait and see if I planted at the right time.

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I think my pumpkin is a goner :( It doesn't seem to be growing. It was my biggest one.
[img]https://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa241/M0MMiE_album/IMG_3643.jpg[/img]

One of my smaller pumpkins is now bigger than that one.
[img]https://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa241/M0MMiE_album/IMG_3645.jpg[/img]

Hopefully I get a few more with all the powdery mildew that I'm faced with.

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I'm still waiting :( My plants currently are all male flowers. Bleh! I just want one pumpkin before the winter- it doesn't even have to be good in time for halloween, just before it snows!

I did move the planter they were in (30") from the porch to the ground by some other bushes, etc. though where I know the bees hang out. It blooms every morning at least, maybe i will get a few when it comes time for a female flower to appear :)

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farmerlon wrote:My pumpkins came in so early last year, that I decided to move my planting date about 4 weeks later ... this year, I sowed the seeds in the garden on July 2nd. I'm thinking that I should have Pumpkins ready to pick around the first and second weeks of October. I hope it works out that way. :)
I'm sure that's too late for a lot of folks, but I like to have "fresh" Pumpkins just before Halloween. I will just have to wait and see if I planted at the right time.
I am envious, Farmerlon! We'll have a hard freeze long before Halloween. I read that they can be stored in a cool dry place, so I might try to put some in the basement, which stays about 55 to 60 degrees. However, if they are as similar to summer squash as I think they are, I doubt I'll make it.

I now have fifteen pumpkins! Those plants are producing like mad. I also have many more female flowers, so I could wind up with a heckuva lot of pumpkins. I sit out and watch the bees do their thing, and the next morning, voila! I have a new pumpkin or two.

Liska, I suspect you'll be happy your pumpkin plant held off. My first pumpkin should be ready in two to three weeks, about two months too early for Halloween :-)

Cookie46, how big are your dogs?!! I've got a 70-pounder who is adamant I not grow peas this year, so I feel for you.
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The one that did it is half chihuahua and half dachshund. Last night she was in the garden bed AGAIN :x While the other two (a boston terrier and her sister) were sitting outside the bed staring at her. She managed to lightly scratch two watermelons, which I'm positive will be ok and left teeth punctures in a tiny watermelon which I know will end up dying. When I seen her in there I ran out like a mad woman and yelled at her. The other 2 seem to get it. I don't know what's wrong with her.

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I just harvested my first pumpkin.......it's the size of a large roma tomato! It was growing well, then it just fell off at the slightest touch. Eh, it was rotting on the bottom from being in the grass, anyway :roll:.

Now, I've got the problem of pollinated fruit falling off before the female flower even opens. Hopefully, things start to get better.
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stella1751 wrote: Liska, I suspect you'll be happy your pumpkin plant held off. My first pumpkin should be ready in two to three weeks, about two months too early for Halloween :-)
I suppose you're right. I'm just worried! Instead of trying to nurse my plants through the hot weather, I ended up letting most of them (except my tomatoes which are doing well) Bolt and go to seed- - it's a learning experience for next year! Fall crops vs Spring ones :)

Even if i don't get to pick a lot of other stuff this summer, i'd at least like a little sugar pie pumpkin! :D

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sugar pie is a great variety, it's very early maturing compared to some other varieties.

Stella, has the clawed-up pumpkin shown any improvement yet? From your pic, there doesn't look like there was enough damage to its stem to stunt/stop its growth.
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I had planted jack-o-latern pumpkins and thier small! There smaller than the size a volleyball. Once they turn orange do they stop growing?
[img]https://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa241/M0MMiE_album/IMG_3681.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa241/M0MMiE_album/IMG_3682.jpg[/img]

I have one that is bigger then the other 2. It's starting to turn orange.
[img]https://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa241/M0MMiE_album/IMG_3684.jpg[/img]

Also, out of all the vines I have I only have 3 jackolanterns! I get female flowers but they drop before they bloom.

I also planted sweet sugar pie pumpkins. I was gonna make pumpkin pies with those. Do you think I can make jackolanterns outta those since I'm short?
[img]https://i203.photobucket.com/albums/aa241/M0MMiE_album/IMG_3683.jpg[/img]

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Jack-O-lanterns?......Jack-O-nightlights, maybe :lol:.

Eh, I have no room to poke fun. My largest pumpkin this year was the size of a small lemon :?.....and it never even turned orange!

Glad to see that you are at lest getting some pumpkins, hopefully more follow.
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They could be be used for night lights since their sooo small! I'm hoping I get a few more and hopefully bigger ones.

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I am freezing my pumpkins today. I think all but two or three are ripe. Cookie46, these guys range in size from a big 10" inch one to a little 6" one. As the plants put on more and more pumpkins, each pumpkin matured progressively smaller. Finally, the plants said, hey, we're outta here. They are dying, completely worn out. I'll bet yours are saying the same thing, what with the female flowers dying before blooming. That's what mine did right before it began to poop out.

I'm glad. They were fun while they lasted, but I'm ready to prep that bed for next year. So, today I'm freezing pumpkins.

I think your Jack-O-Lanterns will make very cute Halloween decorations. You will have to use a smaller knife to carve them, that's all. However, because they will be smaller, you can put them in the window, and you won't suffer from a pumpkin-bashing trick :-)

As for the sugar pie pumpkins, I'm not certain, but I think any pumpkin, even a squash, can be carved.
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Stella do you freeze your pumpkins whole? Are you trying to save them for Halloween? I went out earlier today and seen a female flower open and bees doing their business so I hope it matures.

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C00KiE46 wrote:Stella do you freeze your pumpkins whole? Are you trying to save them for Halloween? I went out earlier today and seen a female flower open and bees doing their business so I hope it matures.
I'm glad to hear you have a new pumpkin coming! Way to go :clap: When I was studying pumpkins online, one website said that pumpkins put on 2 to 5 pumpkins per vine. I couldn't decide whether that meant 2 to 5 pumpkins per plant or, literally, per vine. One pumpkin plant can put out a whole lot of tertiary vines per plant.

My three pumpkin plants were up to 21 pumpkins when things started to go downhill. First, the female flowers started to die before blooming, and then the smallest of the pollinated pumpkins began to die, in order of size (smallest first). You said, I think, that you have three on your one plant, so maybe you could get two more, right?

I'm not trying to save my pumpkins for Halloween. I'm just baking them, blending them, and freezing them, one pumpkin at a time. It's kind of like baking cookies: put one batch in the oven, clean and prepare another one for baking, peel the cool one while the other is baking, blend another while another one is cooling. And so on. I'm starting to get bored with it. I think I'll only get four done today, so the others have been given a reprieve until I feel like processing pumpkins again.

I found a great website for you, one that discusses how to save your pumpkins for Halloween: [url=https://urbanext.illinois.edu/hortihints/0410c.html]University of Illinois Extension[/url]. Apparently, the process is pick 'em, disinfect 'em, cure 'em, store 'em. From the sounds of it, they keep quite well.

This article talks about even picking them in August, honest!
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Ha, yeah, the kids will pass-up the smaller pumpkins....they only want the behemoths (you can imagine why). See, every cloud has a silver lining.

Stella, I never though of pumpkins as winter squash, but technically, they are. So, no wonder they store well. Hopefully, I'll have a chance next year to find out first-hand :).
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garden5 wrote:Stella, I never though of pumpkins as winter squash, but technically, they are. So, no wonder they store well. Hopefully, I'll have a chance next year to find out first-hand :).
Garden5, I think they're summer squash, but I'm not certain :oops:
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stella1751 wrote:
garden5 wrote:Stella, I never though of pumpkins as winter squash, but technically, they are. So, no wonder they store well. Hopefully, I'll have a chance next year to find out first-hand :).
Garden5, I think they're summer squash, but I'm not certain :oops:
Summer squash? I'll have to look into that one as I was certain they were a winter squash :?...................Ok, I checked one gardening book and it refers to pumpkins separately from summer or winter squash, hold on a sec......................arg, another book refers to pumpkins as, well, pumpkins. well, I'll try to find something online. I just would think that they'd be winter squash since they have such a long maturation time. Oh, and yes, I am making way too big of a deal out of this :lol:.
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garden5 wrote:Summer squash? I'll have to look into that one as I was certain they were a winter squash :?...................Ok, I checked one gardening book and it refers to pumpkins separately from summer or winter squash, hold on a sec......................arg, another book refers to pumpkins as, well, pumpkins. well, I'll try to find something online. I just would think that they'd be winter squash since they have such a long maturation time. Oh, and yes, I am making way too big of a deal out of this :lol:.
You can never make too big a deal out of trivia :lol: I think the difference lies in our respective definitions of the term classification. I was thinking botanical classification, and you were thinking functional classification. Botanically speaking, they are in the same family as the bush summer squash. However, functionally speaking, they have the characteristics of a winter squash.

[url=https://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-031.htm#classification]The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food & Rural Affairs[/url] breaks down the botanical classification as follows:

Pumpkin and Squash Classification

The genus cucurbita (gourd family) falls into 4 major categories (species) comprising the majority of pumpkins and squashes. It is important to know where individual varieties belong for cross-pollination. For more practical reasons, a pumpkin is carved, a squash is cooked, and a gourd is to look at.
  • 1) Cucurbita pepo can be subdivided into two groups:
    • 1a) Cucurbita pepo var. pepo (true pumpkin)
      This group comprises mainly the field pumpkins and acorn squash, e.g. Acorn, Delicata, Sweet Potato, Howden, Connecticut Field, Spirit, Happy Jack, Jack-O-Lantern
      1b) Cucurbita pepo var. melopepo
      Bush summer squash such as Zucchini, Yellow Crookneck, White Bush Scallop, Patty Pan, Cocozelle,
    2) Cucurbita maxima (true squash)
    Hubbards (all types), Giant pumpkins, Banana, Boston Marrow, Buttercup, Delicious (all types), Turban, Marblehead

    3) Cucurbita moschata
    Butternut, Winter Crookneck, Dickinson, Kentucky Field or Large Cheese

    4) Cucurbita argyrosperma (formerly known as C. mixta)
    White Cushaw, Green Striped Cushaw, Tennessee Sweet Potato, Japanese Pie
[url=https://www.texasgardener.com/pastissues/mayjun02/pumpkins.html]Texas Gardener[/url] magazine, however, classifies squash and pumpkin according to their culinary use:

Some Basics of Squash Classification
  • There are two basic types of squash, when classified by their culinary use. Summer squash are harvested when immature. Examples include yellow crookneck and straightneck, zucchini, and patty pan. Winter squashes are allowed to mature and typically have a dense, hard flesh that is fine grained and mild flavored. They are usually used in soups, baking and pies. Unlike summer squashes they store well, often for months without significant loss of quality. Examples include acorn, butternut, kabocha, buttercup, delicata (or sweet potato) and sweet dumpling.

    Pumpkins, although technically a type of winter squash, are specifically those types considered to by drier, coarser and with a stronger flavor. They are typically spiced up and baked into pies rather than utilized as a baked vegetable dish. So for the sake of our discussion here we'll refer to pumpkins and winter squashes separately.
Interesting stuff, huh?
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Ha, you beat me to the research. It looks like you are right, pumpkins are in the same family as the summer squash (well, some of them).

That second article, about the culinary uses of squash, makes me fell better in knowing I'm not the only one mis-clasifying pumpkins :lol:.

However, it looks as though not all pumpkins can be consdiered summer squash, as the giant varieties are a member of the cucurbita maxima faimily which is comprised of mostly winter squash.

Looking at the cucurbita pepo families, I suppose we could also say that acorn squash is a summer squash, as well.

I don't think "winter" and "summer" are scientifically derived categories. Really, when you think about it, they sound like informal groupings that possibly came about by farmers planning their harvests and their planting layouts. That is, they were going by the growth, production, and storage characteristics (of course, this is all just my hypothesis). Which makes me wonder, does botanical classification play any role in the determination of weather a squash is winter or summer?

This is interesting stuff, indeed.
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