CORNSiLKDreamer
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Pumpkin Crosses

I apologize if a thread like this exists, I searched and couldn't find anything on pumpkins.
And I know that pumpkins are technically a fruit, but tomatoes are under vegetables, so I figured pumpkins might be similarly grouped. if I'm wrong though, I would be grateful if a mod could please move this to the correct section?


I have pumpkin and acorn squash sprouts. I know that pumpkins and squash can cross, but I'm wondering if that is a good or bad thing. Do the resulting fruits taste good?
Or if I want to avoid crosses, how far apart would I need to keep the two?

I take great pride in having a patch of pumpkins that my nieces can come and choose their Halloween decorations from, so I'm hoping for good sized fruits.

If anyone can supply photos of pumpkin hybrids, that would be extremely helpful.

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Kisal
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I think it's impossible to know in advance whether a particular pumpkin cross-pollinated with some other type of squash is going to taste good.

The fruit of the vines you grow this year should produce fruit that is true to the type you planted. It will be the seeds from this year's fruits that will produce something different if this years flowers are cross-pollinated.

There are some that are intentionally cross-pollinated. 'Red Warty' -- aka 'Red Warty Thing' -- is one that is said to have very sweet flesh. :)

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CORNSiLKDreamer
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I see, that is interesting. So I won't get any squashkins this year at all then.
Good to know, thanks!

The red warty pumpkin is fantastic! I love unusual results like that. :)

TZ -OH6
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Always assume that a good tasting variety crossed to a not so good variety will give you a not so good variety uness you can grow out a couple of dozen and pick the one that is not so bad. If you cross two good tasting varieties you have a better chance. In any case the cross will not affect that year's fruit, only the seed and the next year's plant. Corn is different since we eat the seed so cross pollination will affect what you eat that year.


Orange Jack O Lantern pumpkins and acorn squash are the same species (C. pepo) so they will cross pollinate, But I just found out that the white pumpkin, Lumina, is a different species (related to hubbard squash) so I don't have to worry about it crossing with the C pepo I am growing and can safely save seeds.

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Kisal
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I read online that that 'Red Warty Thing' is a cross between and unknown pumpkin and a Red Hubbard squash.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams

CORNSiLKDreamer
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I'm taking notes here!
Lumina is a different species? I had no idea; I tried growing those last season but the chickens developed a taste for pumpkin so none made it, unfortunately.
But I have a fence now so hopefully I'll have better luck this year.

Red Hubbard squash... I know I know what that is but I can't call an image to mind. I'll Google Image it :)

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applestar
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If you want to prevent cross pollination for seed saving purposes, you would need to tape the flowers buds closed so no insects get in, then hand pollinate, and then, I think, bag them. The details are in a book called Seed to Seed. I might try this technique this year since I'm wanting to grow so many heirloom variety pumpkins and gourds and I'll want to save the seeds.

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Yep, Lumina is C maxima. I had no idea until I got the seed pack home. That is probably the reason that it has a better flavor than the orange Jack-O pumpkins.

CORNSiLKDreamer
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I'll definitely try Luminas again this season. I thought that they were just oddly colored pumpkins!
I enjoy cooking lots of pumpkin based treats in the fall, so anything with a good flavor is definitely on my list. :)

I'm not sure yet if I want to avoid cross pollination or not, it could be fun to grow some crosses.

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