How Close Can I Plant Different Species Of Pumpkins? - Knowledgebase Question

Hartford, WI
Question by eclyse
January 22, 2001
I plan on planting several different types of pumpkins this year. Is there a specific distance I need to keep them to prevent cross-pollinating? I would like to harvest seeds from some of the better ones but it isn't absolutely necessary. The spot I am planning is going to be approximately 40 feet long and runs along a split-rail fence
so only a few feet wide. I bought a white variety, 2 carving varieties- one approx. 20 lbs., one approx. 10 lbs., and some gourds. Thank you for any suggestions you can send my way!! By the way, is it almost spring yet?! I have the worst case of garden fever!!


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Answer from NGA
January 22, 2001

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Since insects do the bulk of the pollinating, it's pretty difficult to control what flowers they might pop into and out of! If pollen from one variety or type of plant goes to a different variety or type of plant, it won't matter for this year's crop. As you know, if you try to save seed for planting next year, differences may show up in that generation. But you can also get some interesting "experiments."

I'm sorry I can't give you a definitive answer but I suggest you allow as much space as you have possible in your planting area between the different crops. (Only the same species of cucurbits can cross-pollinate each other. In other words, a cucumber can't cross-pollinate a pumpkin. But, squash and pumpkins in the same species can cross-pollinate each other. The species is the second word in a plant's botanical name.)

As to your garden fever, I believe the groundhog will show up shortly to let us know how long until planting can commence!

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