JohnnyB60
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Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

I just got back from Lowe's and there are no more vegetables to be bought except for seed and someone there said it was the same thing at Home depot. Will I have to wait until next year to grow anything? :?

I wanted Zucchini, but I will settle for any squash at this point. I thought that since pumpkins are usually harvested in the fall that maybe I might still have time to grow them from seed. :oops:

Any help will be appreciated. :)

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GardeningCook
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Here in the Northeast it's WAY too late to start pumpkins, but perhaps someone here from your part of the country will chime in. Could be different.
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JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

GardeningCook wrote:Here in the Northeast it's WAY too late to start pumpkins, but perhaps someone here from your part of the country will chime in. Could be different.
Thanks for replying

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applestar
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Do you get frost? Depending on variety of squash, summer squash like zucchini and yellow crook neck only takes 50-60 days to maturity (start producing harvest size young fruits). I'm guessing watering and heat might be an issue at this point for you. I imagine humidity isn't going to be a problem?

Winter squash and pumpkin that are grown until fully mature will take 90-120 days from seed, depending on variety.
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JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Oh Thanks Applestar, that's even better news. I didn't realize that the growing time was different and was focused only on the start time.
Well in that case I'm going to forget about pumpkins and focus on zucchini or yellow crook neck. September is the hottest month around here :()

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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Winter squash is still grown in summer they just keep longer because of their hard shells. They still need 100-120 days of sunshine.

There are a lot of zones in 'California Desert' from the frosty high desert to the interior desert near Arizona.

This is a link to the Farmers almanac planting calendar. Input your city and it will tell you what you can plant when. It does not work for me since they don't have planners for frost free zones.

https://www.almanac.com/gardening/planti ... MI/Detroit

The other thing I use a lot is the Sunset Western book planting zones. They have I think 24 zones, so it covers more microclimates. If you find one that describes your conditions it works pretty welll. Sunset magazine puts out a monthly planting calendar and to do list. It even has zones for Hawaii. I am in zone H2.
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JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Thanks imafan26, that helps a lot :D

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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

I bought a packet of grey zucchini seeds this year; it says on the pack only 45 days to harvest. I didn't plant any this year, don't have any more room, but will try them next year. Might be an option for you. (got em at Wal -M)

JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Taiji wrote:I bought a packet of grey zucchini seeds this year; it says on the pack only 45 days to harvest. I didn't plant any this year, don't have any more room, but will try them next year. Might be an option for you. (got em at Wal -M)

Thanks I'll see if I can get over there tonight or 1st thing in the morning.

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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

My experience with pumpkins:
Timing is important for the seeds. Not too early and not too late. I planted mine too early last year and it took forever for the seeds to sprout. They need a good dose of sunshine to sprout. If you plant too late, the pumpkins wiill grow but probably won't have enough time to mature into orange pumpkins. Howden is a great Jack-o-lantern pumpkin. Cinderella is great for pies, I think that's the one anyway. I had problems with powdery mildew and so did my friend. I think I will try a trellis next time. Baby Bear Pumpkins are fun for little kids to grow. They are a good starter pumpkin plant for little kids.
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

In this high mountain desert, Nothern Utah, May 5 is the day to plant pumpkin seeds. Right in the garden where they will grow. We barely get the 120 frost free days here, but the pumpkins always make it. If you think you are looking at 120 frost free days there, go for it. For sure you could get some crookneck or zucchini. They come on pretty fast.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

My pumpkins were off to a slow start this year, late planting, shady spot, and cucumber beetles. They are just setting their first fruit now. I hope I get some pumpkins before the mid October frost...
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GardeningCook
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

You could probably get away with a late crop of any type of summer squash - zucchini, yellow summer, patty pan, etc. While a lot of stores already have their seed racks dismantled, some of the big box stores (Lowes, Home Depot, etc.), supermarkets, & Walmart still have small seed displays up somewhere.
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Yes, I was in Wal Mart and Home Depot both yesterday, WM had moved their seeds to an obscure corner of the store, but HD still had their large seed display racks in place.

JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Thanks everybody for responding. I didn’t get a chance to look at WalMart last night, but I think I'm going to give up on the pumpkins for this year and try something with a shorter growing span. I don't know how long seeds last, but I may buy some pumpkin seeds and try to get an early start for next spring.
I originally wasn't going to put in a garden this year because of the drought, but I decided to grow tomatoes and peppers in pots after seeing the prices of vegetables at the market. I didn't think I would be able to grow squash in a pot so I didn't even think about it.
Then it just dawned on me from all the weeds coming up under my pots that I could utilize the excess water from the pots to water something edible on the ground.

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GardeningCook
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

You can definitely grow bush-type squash varieties in pots; the vining types may get too unwieldy grown that way.

As far as longevity of pumpkin seeds - buying them now (& probably at discount prices) for sowing next year will work just fine, as if stored properly the seeds can remain viable for years. I've had the seeds from rotten Halloween pumpkins sprout the following spring all on their own after having endured the weather & frigid temps of winter. I've also had pumpkin seeds sprout in the yard after having - ahem - worked their way through the digestive system of a dog. Now that's some diligent germination - lol!
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JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

GardeningCook wrote:You can definitely grow bush-type squash varieties in pots; the vining types may get too unwieldy grown that way.

As far as longevity of pumpkin seeds - buying them now (& probably at discount prices) for sowing next year will work just fine, as if stored properly the seeds can remain viable for years. I've had the seeds from rotten Halloween pumpkins sprout the following spring all on their own after having endured the weather & frigid temps of winter. I've also had pumpkin seeds sprout in the yard after having - ahem - worked their way through the digestive system of a dog. Now that's some diligent germination - lol!
Thanks so much for the information. I'm learning so much here.

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jal_ut
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

On the ground? Hey plant those squash on the ground not in a pot!

https://eartheasy.com/raised-beds-soil-d ... ments.html
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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GardeningCook
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

jal_ut wrote:On the ground? Hey plant those squash on the ground not in a pot!

https://eartheasy.com/raised-beds-soil-d ... ments.html
Hey - to each his own!!!! I've had wonderful results planting squash in containers. There is no ONE WAY to garden.
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

You are right GardeningCook. Now here is the test: since you have both a pot and some ground, plant some in both places and later see which did better? We learn to do by doing.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Well my squash has come out only it looks like I managed to get two seeds in the hole. I’ve never grown anything from seed before so I hope this isn’t going to cause problems. I don't know if I can separate this into two plants at this time or not. :?
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Just out of curiosity, what did you end up planting? Zucchini? It looks like it will be a little difficult to separate those 2 without damage at this point. Maybe you just need to choose one to keep. You are planning on planting them outside, or into a bigger pot, no?

JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Taiji wrote:Just out of curiosity, what did you end up planting? Zucchini? It looks like it will be a little difficult to separate those 2 without damage at this point. Maybe you just need to choose one to keep. You are planning on planting them outside, or into a bigger pot, no?
Oh I bought a package of summer squash at HomeDepot. They really didn't have much to choose from in the way of vegetables, so I just grabbed one of these. I didn't want to wait for one to mailed to me. I was almost just about to forget about the whole thing, but figured it might be fun to see if it would grow.

The funny thing was that after I went through all the trouble to buy these seeds, I noticed some larger seeds laying on the kitchen counter while my wife was cooking diner. When i ask where the seeds came from my wife told me she just cut up some squash for dinner. :roll:

Anyway I am going to replant this plant in a larger above ground planter when it gets a little bigger. I'll keep the rest of the seeds to plant in the spring.

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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

You could grow some carrots ir lettuce this year.
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

BirdLover wrote:You could grow some carrots ir lettuce this year.
Thanks Joy, I don't remember if I ever tried to grow carrots, but I have tried lettuce once. I didn't have much luck with it because something was eating it.
It does bring something else to mind. I stopped buying lettuce because I started to question the nutrition value of it and replaced it with spinach. I looked into growing spinach a few years ago, but it was too hot here so I was thinking about trying to grow it during the winter. A lot of people thought I may not be able to and I can't remember what the problem was at the moment.

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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Oh well. Gardening can be fun but it is challenging at the same time. Carrots are easy to grow, at least that was my experience. I had the problem with slugs eating my lettuce. I like your idea about postponing until next year.
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

depending on your soil and climate, carrots may or may not be easy to grow.

You should be able to grow spinach in the winter. Swiss chard is a green you can grow in warm weather, though I'm not quite sure how it would handle desert summer. But it has a way longer growing season, bigger range of temps it grows in than spinach.
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JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

The only reason why I was interested in spinach is because I eat a lot of it every day in almost everything and it seems a little expensive around here, but I'm just in the wrong place to grow it.
We’ve had a garden every year for over twenty years and have grown a lot of different things. I have a lot of snails that eat most of the leafy vegetables and I'm constantly fighting off horn worms although this year has been pretty good. (Knock on wood)
I was looking for old photos of our early years when we grew corn, pumpkins, squash, peppers and zucchini to see if we ever grew carrots but couldn’t find anything. I’ll have to ask my wife when she gets up after a late night of babysitting.
I really didn’t start taking photos until I got a digital camera and then it became of everything. This is the earliest photo I can find which isn’t too long ago and you can see we’ve had lots of trouble with the heat for a long time. I even tried to use umbrellas during parts of the day to keep things from baking on the vine.
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Do you grow flowers for the braconid wasps?

https://www.pacifichorticulture.org/arti ... nid-wasps/

they are a tiny, stingless wasp whose larvae parasitize the hornworms. The adults are nectar feeders, who need to have flowers that have nectar in tiny florets. Sweet alyssum, all the carrot family stuff (carrots, parsley, dill, fennel, etc), chamomile, daisies, buckwheat are all food sources for them.

If you ever see a hornworm looking like this:

Image
https://cache3.asset-cache.net/gc/128624 ... 6rw5ddjt1y

leave it alone. It has been parasitized; those are the cocoons of the wasp larvae. Eventually you will find them empty with little exit holes and you will know you have another generation of braconids on the job. In my garden, I have few hornworms and every time I find one, it has already been parasitized.
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JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Thanks for the link! I read about wasps eating the hornworms and had many wasps flying around my garden, but found out later that I had the wrong kind of wasps. This is the first I’ve heard of plants that attract them so no I guess i don't have the correct flowers.

I can’t view the photo you have. It says restricted.

The photo below is the only way I’ve ever seen hornworms and is one of the reasons why I moved my tomatoes out in the open so I can get all the way around them to look for the hornworms.
Image

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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

sorry about the photo. This one should work:

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https://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/ins ... 4-1-lg.jpg

parasitized hornworm with braconid wasp cocoons.

And no, you would have to be watching very closely to ever see the braconid wasps . Braconid is a family name and there are a number of different ones (which also attack things like cabbage worms, etc). The specific braconid that parasitizes the hornworms is about 1/8 of an inch long.

You can order them commercially, but if you have the right flowers for them, you shouldn't have to. If you don't have the right flowers for the adults, once they emerge from cocoon, they won't stay in your yard anyway.
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JohnnyB60
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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

Wow! :shock: No I have never seen anything like that and I think I would have been freaked out by that.
Thank you very much rainbowgardener.

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Re: Is there a season to start pumpkins or is it too late?

What a coincidence, I saw that yesterday, flushed it down the toilet, then kicked myself when I figured out what it was.

My pumpkins have set many nice fruit and several are full sized and nice deep green.
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