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sheeshshe
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My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

I had a pumpkin plant grow out of my compost pile. It started in April some time. we had one potential frost after it came up, at that point I wasn't sure what type of squashy thing it was, so I covered it bc I wanted to see it grow. Why not, right? Well, it is a pumpkin and there are currently 8 pumpkins on it. !!!!!!!!!! This is by far the most productive plant in my garden. the rest of my garden is just not really good. I really need a cow or something to bring in nutrients LOL. just never enough money to get poop delivered :( I got some compost, but not enough.

So, the current count on this one plant is 8 pumpkins thus far. I'm sure there may be more right? pumpkin season is still young! will the plant wear itself out by october?
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

DoubleDogFarm
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

I'm no pumpkin expert, ( Jal_ut or Waterbug) but I'm thinking you should not press your luck. 8 fruit on one plant seems high. I believe that 4 to maybe 5 is recommended and even less on the large varieties.


Compost is amazing stuff.

Eric

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TheWaterbug
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

Heh. I'm no expert either, but I think they keep producing if you keep harvesting.

My first year I lost most of my early fruit to peafowl, and once I finally figured out how to protect them (in September :roll:), I got a good crop for Hallowe'en. They were all green, but they were pumpkins :D

Last year I had a couple of volunteers that had sizable fruit by now, and I just left them all on, and they kept producing into October. I don't think I had 8, but I probably had 5-6.

Harvested pumpkins keep _forever_ (I just threw one out 2 weeks ago that was from October 2012), so you can harvest the 8 you have as soon as they're ripe, and I'm sure they'll still be fine for Hallowe'en. In fact they'll keep better off the vine than on it, IME.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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sheeshshe
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

how do I know if they're ripe? I don't' know which variety they are.
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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TheWaterbug
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

sheeshshe wrote:how do I know if they're ripe? I don't' know which variety they are.
Pictures, please!
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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sheeshshe
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

It is raining today and tomorrow, maybe saturday? LOL oh wait, it isn't raining at this very moment/ perhaps I can run out there real quick :)
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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sheeshshe
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

Ok, I was able to send out my almost 9 year old haha. Here are the photos he took.
I don't know what I threw in the compost pile. I did grow some batwings pumpkins last year, they were 2 toned. but they were a lot smaller than these, but this is compost bin fruits, so that could be why they're bigger? Or, are theese two toned because they're in the ripening process? but then again, the new ones growing look 2 toned? I had some regular orange ones as well last year. I hope you can figure it out :)


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Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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jal_ut
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

I don't know what I threw in the compost pile. I did grow some batwings pumpkins last year, they were 2 toned. but they were a lot smaller than these, but this is compost bin fruits, so that could be why they're bigger? Or, are these two toned because they're in the ripening process?
The pumpkin that came up from seed of last years crop in your compost pile would no doubt be hybridizied from the two varieties you had last year. Pumpkins freely cross with other members of the same genus. It is likely the fruits this year will have similarities to those from last year, but with mixed characteristics. They are after all, a cross, a hybrid. Pepo pumpkins will also cross with crookneck and zucchini squash. One can get all sorts of weird squash growing volunteer squash plants. Have fun!

I think I have shown this before, but won't hurt to do it again. Here is a Hubbard squash and a Banana squash with a hybrid of the two in the middle.

Image

You can see what I mean.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

As far as whether to let it grow or not and when to harvest, let me just say I let mine grow till the first frost kills the vines then pick up the squash. Of course here that is usually first part of September. I don't know when you would experience frost there.

Image

One can get a lot of food from a squash patch.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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sheeshshe
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, first off, that is really cool to see the hybrid of the two all next to each other. SO cool. Secondly, that is a lot of squash, I'm impressed!!!! WOW! I wish I had a nice piece of land!

then I'd have to figure out which the SVB would leave alone :)
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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sheeshshe
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

First frost here can vary greatly depending on the year. Sometimes it is sept, sometimes october. sometimes end of october! one just never knows.
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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TheWaterbug
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

sheeshshe wrote:Image

Image
Just a guess, but these two look very close to mature in my eyes. The green parts have gone very dark, and the ribs are quite prominent compared to those on your younger fruit.

What do the stems look like? In further reading about my kabochas I've been told to look for a "corky" stem.

Sacrifice one and see :D

If the seeds are done, the fruit is done.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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sheeshshe
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

cool! thanks :) Not gong to sacrifice them quite yet. :) but, if you're correct, each pumpkin is going to be unique! which is fun :)

We'll see how far the rest of them get, I just pulled out about 5 borers out of the plant :( I hope I caught them all, but I'm not sure.
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

n8young
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

sheeshshe wrote:I had a pumpkin plant grow out of my compost pile. It started in April some time. we had one potential frost after it came up, at that point I wasn't sure what type of squashy thing it was, so I covered it bc I wanted to see it grow. Why not, right? Well, it is a pumpkin and there are currently 8 pumpkins on it. !!!!!!!!!! This is by far the most productive plant in my garden. the rest of my garden is just not really good. I really need a cow or something to bring in nutrients LOL. just never enough money to get poop delivered :( I got some compost, but not enough.

So, the current count on this one plant is 8 pumpkins thus far. I'm sure there may be more right? pumpkin season is still young! will the plant wear itself out by october?
Do you have access to a pickup truck, and live anywhere near someone that has cows? I just go to this guys house every year, and he takes his tractor bucket, and fills the bed of my truck with aged manure for $15. My garden loves it!!!

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applestar
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

Those are fun volunteers! Best kind. :D
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sheeshshe
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

n8young wrote:
sheeshshe wrote:I had a pumpkin plant grow out of my compost pile. It started in April some time. we had one potential frost after it came up, at that point I wasn't sure what type of squashy thing it was, so I covered it bc I wanted to see it grow. Why not, right? Well, it is a pumpkin and there are currently 8 pumpkins on it. !!!!!!!!!! This is by far the most productive plant in my garden. the rest of my garden is just not really good. I really need a cow or something to bring in nutrients LOL. just never enough money to get poop delivered :( I got some compost, but not enough.

So, the current count on this one plant is 8 pumpkins thus far. I'm sure there may be more right? pumpkin season is still young! will the plant wear itself out by october?
Do you have access to a pickup truck, and live anywhere near someone that has cows? I just go to this guys house every year, and he takes his tractor bucket, and fills the bed of my truck with aged manure for $15. My garden loves it!!!

nope! nobody will let me borrow their truck to put poop in it :(
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

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sheeshshe
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

I'm seriously considering not doing anything to my compost pile next year and just planting things in it! I think I'd get more veggies out of that small pile than I do in my entire garden.....
Sheila, gardening on the zone 4b/5a line.

n8young
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

sheeshshe wrote:
n8young wrote:
sheeshshe wrote:I had a pumpkin plant grow out of my compost pile. It started in April some time. we had one potential frost after it came up, at that point I wasn't sure what type of squashy thing it was, so I covered it bc I wanted to see it grow. Why not, right? Well, it is a pumpkin and there are currently 8 pumpkins on it. !!!!!!!!!! This is by far the most productive plant in my garden. the rest of my garden is just not really good. I really need a cow or something to bring in nutrients LOL. just never enough money to get poop delivered :( I got some compost, but not enough.

So, the current count on this one plant is 8 pumpkins thus far. I'm sure there may be more right? pumpkin season is still young! will the plant wear itself out by october?
Do you have access to a pickup truck, and live anywhere near someone that has cows? I just go to this guys house every year, and he takes his tractor bucket, and fills the bed of my truck with aged manure for $15. My garden loves it!!!

nope! nobody will let me borrow their truck to put poop in it :(
My brother was hesitant until I told him I had a tarp to put down under it. Worked like a charm....back the truck up to the garden and just pull the tarp out, and flip it over. Someone should be kind enough to help you out.....the reward for them usually comes in the form of free produce from the garden of the person they helped out. :D

buttercup11
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

Hi, I'm new here and was looking for a conversation on volunteer pumpkin vines from compost piles and looks like I found one. A few vines appeared a couple of months ago from our compost pile which have produced lots of blossoms but only 2 pumpkins grew big enough to harvest - about 8" in diameter. I went ahead and picked them both when hungry bugs started arriving. One of the pumpkins was less mature than the other, or the seeds from one didn't look as well developed as the other. I went ahead and baked the pumpkins and think I have enough pulp to make at least one loaf of bread and one pie, maybe more. I think we'll save the best seeds to plant next year to see what happens. I'll put the others back in the compost pile and see if anything grows from it next year.

We live in central Kansas.
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jal_ut
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Re: My crazy volunteer pumpkin plant

Hi, welcome to the forum. Interesting to see this old thread re-up. Volunteer squash and pumpkins are often hybrids as the
plants freely cross and if you save seed you may get weird fruits that are not really like the fruit the seed came out of. If you are really wanting pumpkins it is best to buy seed of a known variety. If you are wanting to experiment and have the space, then go ahead and plant some of the saved seed and see what comes of it. Have fun!

Note: If the pumpkins the seed came from was grown in a pumpkin patch far removed from any other squashes, the seed will likely produce pumpkins.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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