Pumpkins - Knowledgebase Question

GLEN COVE, NY
Question by marianaa
December 3, 1997
PUMPKINS---LAST YEAR MY PUMPKIN PLANTS GREW LARGE AND LONG FOLIAGE. I HAD PLENTY OF FLOWERS BUT NO PUMPKINS GREW AT ALL. I ALSO PLANTED FROM SEED "BURPEE WHITE"----AND NONE OF THEM SPOUTED.


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Answer from NGA
December 3, 1997

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You did not mention anything about wilt or chewed leaves, so I will assume the plant itself was healthy. Pumpkin is not particularly fussy about soil, but the pH should be somewhere between 6.0 to 7.0. You might want to have your local State Universitydo a soil test. Call them and request one, the directions will be included and are quite simple.

Back to your pumpkins and why they were not fruitful. It sounds like you were missing some pollinators (bees, wasps, butterflies, etc.) If you cover your crops to discourage pest insects, you must be sure to remove the cover as soon as the flowers appear. They must be pollinated in order to be fruitful.

You also must be careful when spraying an insecticide in the general area. That insecticide will kill pollinators as surely as it kills harmful insects. If the spray is applied on a windy day, it will blow all over everything, including your pumpkins and other vegetables.

As far as any pumpkins not sprouting, that could be poor or old seed...or soil that was too wet, causing the seed to rot.

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