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Pruning Pumpkins?

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by Szykniej on May 18, 2004 09:54 PM
I enjoy growing all types of vegetables, but my garden space is limited and I really don't have room for long vine plants like squash and pumpkins. So I had an idea I'd like to run by the board to see if anyone thinks it makes sense.

I know pumpkin plants have male flowers that appear first, followed by the female flowers that ultimately turn into fruit. If I keep the plant cut back to the first female flower, will that keep the vine short and give me one big pumpkin on the plant? Or does the vine gain length from the other end, making my whole scheme useless?

Tony

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Tony from Massachusetts
by obywan59 on May 19, 2004 07:53 AM
To get really big pumpkins, you need to have a lot of vine growth, so trying to keep the vines short won't work.

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Terry

May the force be with you
by Phil and Laura on May 20, 2004 11:19 PM
Well, here is my take on it, not an expert;however, I am a member of Mn. Giant Pumpkins, and WILL give the world record a run for the money this year! [Big Grin]
One of the larger pumpkins grown recently was grown 5 ft. out on the main vine, 5 ft. beyond, with the secondary vines being 5 ft, You can train your vines to a pattern to suit your space, popular patterns are: Flag and X-mas tree, and the vine layiut is just what they say,flag: main vine with secondaries pruned off on one side completly. X-mas, secondaries allowed to grow on both sides,but pruned shorter towards the growing tip. How much space do you have, and If you aren't going for a 1500 lb. pumpkin, you can prune to your hearts desire!
You can keep track on on my progress and see what I have done so far at this Link 2004 ATTEMPT AT WORLD'S RECORD
by Szykniej on May 21, 2004 09:41 PM
Those pictures were great! What a fun project you've undertaken!
If I could keep the vine at about 3 feet, that would be ideal. I have no delusions about growing a giant pumpkin. With the length of my growing season and the fact that my garden is shaded for part of the day, I'd be happy with a softball sized pumpkin.

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Tony from Massachusetts
by Mikizinaniisii on May 21, 2004 09:55 PM
When pruning pumpkins it is a good idea to push the pruned end into the soil to help maintain moisture. Pumpkins and many varieties of squash need to be kept moist, not soaked and pushing the cut end of the vine into the soil is siad to keep the plant from losing nutrients and moisture.

Mikizinaniisii
by Phil and Laura on May 21, 2004 10:53 PM
You are correct Miki..ahhh, lets just say Miki [dunno] (gonna have to shorten that one up! [Big Grin]
Some Growers bury the ends; however, not all, if pruned early in the day they will heal on their own, some growers cover the vines completely!
by Szykniej on May 22, 2004 03:21 PM
Interesting! So if I made a circle on the ground with the vine, buried the pruned end, and kept the secondary vines trimmed, would that work? TONY

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Tony from Massachusetts
by Phil and Laura on May 22, 2004 03:41 PM
Yes, that would work; However, Make sure that the plant has good air circulation and remember that the vine sends down roots at each leaf internode, so Exercise caution when moving the vine Slowly work the vine up from the ground while moving it.Also, off of the secondaries grow... tertiaries! You can prune all of these also, Have fun and send me a jacko pic! [thumb]
by Szykniej on May 23, 2004 04:26 AM
Thanks! Will do!

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Tony from Massachusetts
by Mikizinaniisii on May 23, 2004 02:25 PM
I was taught that to grow a worlds record pumpkin, you need to still prune back the vines allowing only 8 to 10 feet to grow past the Pumpkin you've chosen as your best on that plant. This is said to keep the plant itself from leeching all the nutriants and water from the fruit/vegetable. I use to grow pumpkins as a kid for 4-H *county fair*, and my Dad had me put my patch where the garden stayed the moistest all the time. Never had a worlds record, but had some doozies. I was not going for size but flavor, so much but as a kid I use to pray they would just get huge.

This years my son is growing. He started them in the house in Egg cartons, moved them outside first of this month. They are looking good already. My son is trying to grow the "BIG" one but my biggest fear is we live on a mountain, if the pumpkins grow up the back hill (mt) and he grows that big one and it rolls....it would be by by house! and neighbors house...which is my brother in laws. Giggle! He planted in the flat of our property (west side), but we only have 14 feet between the house and the mountain in the back where he planted, the front was a no go it goes straight over the mountain and well anything grown there ends up at my Brother in laws if it is sizable. The yard NOrth to south is long and also part of it is the ROAD AND DRIVEWAY, another obsticle for son to over come as he has to keep the plants from extending to the drive, and the pool the other way. Gosh reading this, really makes me smile, son has his hands full!

Miki
by Phil and Laura on May 23, 2004 04:22 PM
Miki, I would be glad to share my collection of seeds, There is a excellent site, family oriented, no ads,pop-ups that your son should go to, if nothing else, for the photos and grow tips...Pix of the world record, 1385 pound Daleta's pumpkin. And you are correct, there our many approaches to the growing of these giants and it is good to get some of these growers tips, but one always has to sort through the ideas and remember that THEY are excellent Gardeners, and in my case, with YEARS of exp. and ribbons behind them, like I said read, analyze...GROW, I hope your son does well and Check out the Diaries on Bp. Giant Pumpkins
by Mikizinaniisii on May 23, 2004 04:34 PM
thanks for the link. Son is so anxious to the first female and male so he can learn to pollenate them or what we call tickling their fancies. The best thing so far for him is they require very little work....Tee Heee... just wait till they start climbing the mountain and he has to train them not to. It will be a 7 day a week job.

This is only his second time doing pumpkins. One year he did cucumbers and they grew in places we didn't want them to so anything that wasn't "IN" the garden became fair game for the lawn mower. Did you know that the lawn mower slices and dices Cukes in nice little ways. HA!

Miki
by Phil and Laura on May 23, 2004 04:43 PM
You are Welcome, I see you don't have the option to P.M. chosen, if you should chose to do so, I will give you my screen name at that site and you can check out my diary, I should add that there are Many young growers in the U.S.A and other countries there! He can get free seed just by asking, and a bubble pack sent to some of the worlds top growers. I have some choice genetics, even have seed from the giant they Exploded on the Letterman show(seeds removed Prior of course!)
by Mikizinaniisii on May 23, 2004 05:05 PM
i hope I enabled the right thing. This forum is different then the Parrot forums I belong to, not harder just different and it is taking me some time to figure things out.

Couple questions 1. Do you eat the pumpkins you grow? I have heard for sweeter pumpkins cut back on the watering, once they start to ripen? 2. My son and I picked pumpkins for a duel reason, fun for him, and the seeds can be dried and eaten by my parrots, as a cheap snack. How large will the seeds be inside when they are ripe and ready to seed? 3. I freeze pumpkin every year whether I buy them or we grow them ourselves, do you have any freezing tips? I usually cook and mash half of it and bag it and freeze it, and half cooked and chunked as the parrots eat Pumpkin as well as the seeds.

Also I wanted to add this for anyone reading this post. Parrot rescues welcome donations of garden fresh foods that are free of pesticides, if anyone here has a garden and doesn't use pesticides, and has extra fruits or veggies look to see if their is a parrot rescue near you. Small pig farms also welcome Pumpkins and other fruits and Veggies.

Miki
by Phil and Laura on May 23, 2004 05:20 PM
It was said a few years back that the Ag's and all giants were not tasty,WRONG! They Are delicious, I have a very Large upright freezer, that was full of pumpkin, Laura finally gave most of it , that we won't have time to eat, away! They All came back for More.I do it the same way to freeze. The water factor, combined with the Who Knows What used to grow was the resons for not eating, or not liking the taste of the giants.Watering should be cut back IF, they have been watered eccesively, a EVEN watering is the ticket, I grow organically and the result..tastier than the heirloom pumpkins,long pie, amish pie and Howden. Size Wise, the link above has a (allbeit poor) size comparison pic. Large pumpkins don't always = large seeds tho. What an admiral thing you are doing with the parrots! [thumb]
by 4Ruddy on May 24, 2004 02:01 AM
okay, I am sad now after reading all of these! I am a NEW and I mean "new" gardener...trying really hard to learn but sometimes plant and then read (not good!) I had some volunteer pumpkin seeds come up in my front yard from a pumkin that had burst last fall. So...trying to be a GOOD gardening person...I thought I was taking care of them...but I put mulch around them to keep the ground good & moist. I did the WRONG thing didn't I? Can I fix it now? [scaredy]

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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by Szykniej on May 24, 2004 04:54 AM
We have a lovebird I found wandering the neighborhood about five years ago. Her beak is much smaller than a parrot's, but I think I'll see if she might enjoy pumkpkin seeds too.

Vanessa, I doubt if you've done any real damage to your pumpkin plants. I've found volunteer pumpkin plants in the strangest places (I usually leave our Halloween pumpkins out for the wildlife and squirrels bury the seeds everywhere) and they grew pretty well under some poor conditions.

Tony

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Tony from Massachusetts
by Phil and Laura on May 24, 2004 05:11 PM
I've seen those love birds, they are kinda cute! Vanessa, You Have done nothing that would do anything but help the plants you found, Thats the beauty of gardening, You sometimes can do the best with things not intended, Good Luck and I believe you will succeed [thumb]
by 4Ruddy on May 24, 2004 10:44 PM
Thanks guys! I felt SO encouraged after reading your replies! I just want you to know that my pumpkin babies are standing UP and waving at you all today!!!! YEAH....I am going to have a MILLION pumkins! [flower]

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Happiness, like a dessert so sweet.
May life give you more than you can ever eat...
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