2016 Pumpkin Harvest

The only problem I see is where that pumpkin was grown other different ones may of been grown near them being pollinated by bugs. So your pumpkin may not grow out true to its original pumpkin.

I’ll be 0% heartbroken if they don’t come true to seed. I haven’t gotten any pumpkins to get beyond the “tiny” stage. I did grow some adorable small decorative pumpkins and a few very small waltham butternut squashes, but they didn’t size up before the vines were trashed by bugs. Next year, I definitely want to try some of the beautiful varieties of butternut squash people above are growing!

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I compost over a hundred pumpkins during the season and usually what comes up are miniature pumpkins from the uncomposted leftover seed. They must go back to there original line of tiny squash before we fiddled around with them. This year in late summer I got a good one growing out of the back of my compost heap so I didn’t pull it and I got lucky!

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That’s an awesome selection of heirlooms you’ve got there! I’m definitely going to try Greek Sweet Red next time. In terms of taste and/or ease of growing, do you a have favorite from that bunch?

Congrats on what looks to be a true pumpkin. (pepo) I wish I could grow them here, but they’re way too fragile when it comes to pickle worm. They grow a lot of those big orange pepo’s way up on Mauna Kea for Halloween. I hope yours has a nice taste!

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My personal tastes typically run toward the sweeter, drier types (mostly maximas). I’ve grown Sweetmeats for years and really like the thick tasty flesh, productivity, storability and recommend it highly. Sunshine is a smaller red buttercup-type that is also tasty and productive. I haven’t yet tried Argentine, Flat White Boer or Lower Salmon River (they’re all supposed to be sweet, dry-fleshed, good-storing). I also recommend Candystick delicata (which we ate our last of a few days ago), sweet and richly flavored. As for the butternuts I have been growing an unnamed butternut but I don’t think its Waltham. Its fine but it hasn’t wowed me so I grew Burpee Butterbush and Greek Sweet Red this year. Greek Red is large (5-10+#), vigorous, moderately productive and seems disease/insect-resistant. It also has the most lovely pinkish-gray skin color. It has nice orange flesh but a large cavity and not a particularly meaty neck. Butterbush is small (1-5#), grows on a “dwarf” vine, is very productive per unit area and has really deep orange flesh (small cavity, very meaty neck), cooks up a bit more moist than GR. I’ve let them cross and hope to select my own variety that combines the best of the two. We’ll see how that project goes in a few years.

I’ll report back on the other maximas after we start eating them around Thanksgiving. I have high hopes.


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I’m really pleased with Lower Salmon River. It was pretty productive and has the dry, sweet flesh I enjoy (though its still sweetening up). It has a hard hubbard-like rind, unlike Sweetmeat which is more tough and leathery.

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The last time I grew pumpkin I set orange bowls of water around my plant and killed a couple of SVB and had none get my vine.


I did not grow any pumpkins or squash this year as I had so many Winter Luxury pie pumpkins left from last fall (all roasted, run thru food processor and froze). Plenty left for pie,pumkin bars ect for 2017.

I am glad I did not grow squash/pumpkins this year as in SE WI we had a very wet
fall. Everyone I talked to and every farm stand I went to had squash and pumpkins rotting. I bought 5 different squash at one place and two days later 3 were rotten!

The best find I had this year was from a friend who grew the sweet potato squash. It looked like a white acorn squash but the flavor far surpasses any acorn squash I ever ate. I heard he got the seed from seed saver’s exchange.
Athough for next year, all who partook of his generous sharing saved their own seeds from the squashes he handed out. Two thumbs up for that variety!

I tried growing Sweet Meat a few years ago and enjoyed the size and flavor. Trouble was the vines are terribly long so they sure need a lot of space. I believe they are the sweetest squash variety I have ever grown.

I am partial to Moorgold but the rind is so hard I need a hatchet to cut them.
And whatever happed to good old buttercup? Just about disappeared around here the last few years. Everyone seems to be growing some kabocha hybrid instead.

I miss the days when I traveled North Dakota in the fall. Everywhere I went I saw wagons piled high with buttercup for sale. Nary a butternut to be seen out there.

My younger daughter planted Connecticut Field Pumpkin from Baker Creek last season (a maxima). It was doing great, then got utterly trashed by squash vine borer, along with some patty pans, Oregon Homestead Sweet Meat, and Marina di Chiogga I had planted. The others all basically died quickly or slowly, but the pumpkin mounted a surprise recovery and grew 4 pretty nice pumpkins before getting killed by powdery mildew. The kids made their jack-o-lanterns from those pumpkins for halloween. Some pics attached.

I’m sick of trying to defeat SVB, so next year I’m going to try growing Zucchino Rampicante (a moschata) which is supposed to be very resistant to SVB and you can harvest for both summer and winter squash. I’ll still have to do something about PM though. I’d love to grow maximas, but for instance on my Sweet Meat last season I had SVB in about 12 places on one plant simultaneously; almost all the leaf nodes on the plant at the time.


I plan to grow pumpkins again this year after taking two years off. I think taking a break really helps with insect pressure and I don’t have any close neighbors growing squash. I put orange bowls of water out in the pumpkin patch and killed two SVB, those were the only ones i saw.

That’s an interesting comment. I had a pretty bad year with pumpkins with many (and for the first time) rotting in the field. I’m not sure if it was because of bugs or something else, but I had a lot of full, or nearly full size pumpkins and winter squash that got some sort of “wound” on one side and then got softer and softer and ended up with a big mushy hole on one side. The rest of the pumpkin was fine, but this one area (on many pumpkins) was rotting. I used as many as I could as decorative items for halloween/thanksgiving by turning the rotting part away from the front of the house, but obviously they weren’t suitable for long term storage. I lost most of my Musquee de Provence this way, when the year before I had a bumper crop.

Could bug pressure be responsible for this? I was assuming that bugs would attack the fruits and leaves when the plants and fruit were young and small. My problem seemed to occur on full size plants.

I seem to get more bugs the older the plant gets.

Yes, we grew 60 acres of squash in the 80’s and 90’s and corn rootworm beetle was the main culprit for us. These are the green, black striped or dotted bugs the size of ladybugs, in fact they look like a green ladybug. They vector bacterial wilt and feed on vine crops after corn silk dries up. They will eat small holes in fruit that then rots at each bite. On bad years, they completely overwhelm a squash crop in 3-5 days. We used to plant squash with a path every 120’ so we could drive the sprayer through the field.[quote=“Bart, post:33, topic:7682”]
My problem seemed to occur on full size plants.

These things will even eat the mature fruit stems.

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I grow Tatume a winter Squash. You can harvest them baseball size for eating like a summer squash, very delicious. Or allow them to mature into small looking pumpkins. They are great for hollowing out and lining your walkway with lighted little pumpkins. It’s fun for kids cause they can do multiple pumpkins with less mess.

tatume squash are very bug resistant and my favorite tasting summer squash even though it’s a winter squash.

Thanks for this! Very interesting. I think this bug / wilt may have been the thing to do me in. I’ve seen it, or something very similar in my garden. I lost tons of pumpkins and also tons of melons (mostly eastern european varieties) and based on a discussion in here last year, I think it was was bacterial wilt that did in my melons and now I’m thinking it was responsible for my pumpkin troubles.

Is there a way to get rid of this beetle? I’m not opposed to using chemicals, but I (obviously) don’t want to hurt pollinators. Are there any ways to prevent it from eating? Neem oil or something!?!?!!

Depending on the amount of beetles, we would start to spray as the plants emerged. CRWB aka cucumber beetles, can take a crop when it emerges if the winter is mild as they overwinter in field trash.
Bacterial wilt BW shows up at first flower and the plant wilts and collapses in 2-3 days. The plants have to be removed to keep BW from being spread. CRWB prefer zucs and acorns but will attack any cucurbit. Preventing CRWB bites on fruits will keep the fruit from rotting in storage.
We sprayed every 5-7 days with sevin, thiram, and malithion. Wear a good spray suit if you use thiram.
If you are loosing a lot of melons/squash to a wilt check for Fusarium wilt. Its soil borne and you need to rotate to a different location. BW affects individual plants, fusarium affects large areas.

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I planted two plants of Winter Luxury Pie pumpkin in the spot where we’d had a small chicken coop over the winter. Oh my. The plants ended up covering about a 20 x10 ft area with some runners reaching beyond that. I sprayed them early on but left them to themselves in the late summer and they kept setting green pumpkins on the ends even when the majority of the vine had lost its leaves due to mildew and some squash bug activity. I think I got 27 ripe pumpkins. But the downside of this variety for me is that they didn’t store well at all. I lost a lot even in my cool basement. I think storage is more like a few weeks for these. But the taste was great! This pic was taken in early August. The plants grew even more!

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Squash is one of my favorite vegetables. A problem I have in my yard with growing pumpkins and squash is stem miners. I mean they kill every plant at about the time they just start putting on fruit. Are their any suggestions as to how to control them? God bless.