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Thread: sad pumpkins

  1. #1
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Default sad pumpkins

    Done a little research and thought I would post here for some Alaskan input.

    I started my pumpkins (sugar) inside in April and transplanted them a couple of weeks ago. They are about 10" high and wide with buds and vines starting to develop. They also have pale leaves, with some of the first leaves (real leaves) yellowing. I have watered them with compost tea and also mixed in some compost when they were transplanted.

    They were grown in peat pots (which I kept in plastic bags to soften them/keep them moist, so the plants wouldn't get root bound). When I transplanted the roots were coming through the peat pot walls pretty well. However I do wonder if some of the issue I am seeing is a result of being root bound?

    Also - possibly need some commercial type fertilizer?

    Last year I planted the pumpkins in a new bed that was a 50% compost/50% garden soil mix. They did awesome. So I am thinking perhaps the issue is that they need more nutrients where they are planted this year.

    Also considering putting a 'hot house' around them - perhaps the cool nights are not easy on them?
    thoughts?
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    Julie:

    I'm not an expert on squash, but I do generally find that cucurbits are heavy feeders. They don't specifically need chemical fertilizer, but if they do need soil rich in nutrients, especially nitrogen. If your soil isn't, you need to supplement. Also, they don't do well in acidic soil much below pH 6.2.

    I also generally find that all my leaves that are green when I transplant end up yellowing, for whatever reason, and the new growth is where I get strong, healthy green leaves.

    As an aside, and I doubt this is your issue, cucurbits love warm soil and warm air. I do everything I can to heat my soil up, and the warmer is always the better.

  3. #3
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    Pumpkin roots are incredibly sensitive they hate being transplanted and usually flop afterwords even if you minimally touch their roots. Then in about 48 hours they recover and adjust.

    If they were root bound it may take more time to adjust but eventually they should. They need plastic some kind of small row cover in my opinion to be worthwhile. You will yield 5x more at least.

    Also give them as much organic matter as possible leaves grass clippings manure whatever.

  4. #4
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Thank you both for the great insight. I agree with the notion that they were likely stressed from being transplanted as the new leaves are very nicely colored and there are multiple flower buds on each plant... I got some bloodmeal at the store for them and hopefully that will help with any nitrogen deficiency. Also some fertilizer high in phosphate (I think) as that is supposed to be helpful to the roots?

    Anyway - When I put them outside I had transplanted them into a 20" tall raised bed, knowing the soil in that bed is very warm throughout the summer with direct sunlight nearly all day. I made them a greenhouse this weekend out of pvc and plastic sheeting so they are happy campers...

    I look forward to a bumper crop of pumpkins that I have no idea what I will do with. hopefully they will ripen before Oct. LOL
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    Go easy on the blood meal a little bit goes a long ways I prefer fish bone meal as it has lots of P too. They need lots of calcium also to avoid blossom end rot I sprinkle powdered lime on the soil every week or so lightly once it gets hot out. Or prilled limestone.

  6. #6
    Member JuliW's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!

    I did not know about the blossom end rot and calcium. Might explain what was going on with some of the zuchs last year.

    I did not use much blood meal - less than what the package reccomended because I was paranoid. LOL. What are signs too much was used?
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    Your mount is more than a trophy, it's a memory. Relive The Memory!

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