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The great pumpkin patch 2021


TractormanMike.mb
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Last year I tried my luck at raising pumpkins, it went so well that this year I doubled down and expanded the patch over all the property I own. This years crop is phenomenal to say the least. I'm starting to move some with my outlet and I'm picking some of the nicer ones and storing them in the barn so the deer can't get at them. So far they have been leaving them alone but I figure once the field corn gets chopped off they will hit it hard. The pumpkins really ripened early this year, a lot sooner than I would have liked.

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I’ve thought about pumpkins here at my place so the kids would have something to learn about “farm to market” concepts. I’m completely ignorant about pumpkins though. Any absolute things to stay away from? Any advice  would be greatly appreciated. 

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3 hours ago, TractormanMike.mb said:

Last year I tried my luck at raising pumpkins, it went so well that this year I doubled down and expanded the patch over all the property I own. This years crop is phenomenal to say the least. I'm starting to move some with my outlet and I'm picking some of the nicer ones and storing them in the barn so the deer can't get at them. So far they have been leaving them alone but I figure once the field corn gets chopped off they will hit it hard. The pumpkins really ripened early this year, a lot sooner than I would have liked.

20210829_144522.jpg

20210829_144538.jpg

20210829_150023.jpg

  How do you deal with weeds?

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25 minutes ago, Cool1566 said:

I’ve thought about pumpkins here at my place so the kids would have something to learn about “farm to market” concepts. I’m completely ignorant about pumpkins though. Any absolute things to stay away from? Any advice  would be greatly appreciated. 

This is only my second year so I'm not an expert by any means. I think hobbyfarm raises some pumpkins also so maybe he will chime in.

For the most part, pumpkins are relatively easy to raise. I space my rows ten feet apart so I can run up and down with a spring tooth a couple times to cultivate before the pumpkins vine out. Cucumber beatles were an issue last year, I had to dust or spray three times. This year I bought a pull behind sprayer for the task as well as spraying my sweet corn and i didnt have a single bug in the pumpkins. If time allows I will plant a cover crop of rye with a brascia of some sort. It was recommended not to repeat pumpkins on pumpkins year after year and I'm hoping the cover crop will cheat that and maybe build my soil some.

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Just now, hobbyfarm said:

Nice crop!  How did you plant them?

A guy I work with has a four row narrow John Deere 7000 planter with an extra box he modified to plant pumpkins. He's nice enough to let me use it.

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2 hours ago, 766 Man said:

  How do you deal with weeds?

I have a small springtooth drag, actually it's the only piece of IHC equipment that I own to date, that I use to run between the rows before the pumpkins vine out.

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7 hours ago, hardtail said:

How are you going to store them now they matured early?

I'm going through and taking the best ones based on shape and stem quality. I'm going to try to keep them in the lower part of my barn.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/30/2021 at 6:25 AM, vtfireman85 said:

Was the early ripening purely weather related or did they go in too early? 

I planted them over memorial day weekend, the same weekend as last year. We had a warmer than usual summer so I think that with the heat units and a little stress from a dry August caused them to rippen early. 

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Pumpkins are bringing good money at all the produce auctions here.  I'm 2 years without growing them.  I should get back in it but there is only so much time and I'm about out of it on a daily/weekly basis.

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I sell the nicer ones to a produce stand. I could get more for them if I sold them myself but then somebody has to be here and I'll have people all over and I just don't want to deal with that right now. I sell the deer pumpkins by the pick up load and am nearly sold out of those. I'm happy if the patch covers expenses and gives me a little extra which it's more than done this year. Kind of like having a hobby that pays for itself.

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Just a little update for all that are interested. Saturday September 18 we picked the last of the pumpkins. I estimate we had somewhere around 2000 pumpkins give or take. They just seemed more durable than last year for whatever reason. The stems are a lot stronger and the pumpkin itself is a lot stronger. Last year if one fell off the trailer or it was handled roughly it would split, This year they just bounce.

Sunday September 19 I disked of the the plots and broadcasted a mix of rye and a diacon radish for a cover crop. In the third plot I had broadcasted some clover seed back in July when I cultivated for the last time. It's there but not very good, we were too dry in August. I didn't till that plot but just spread straight rye seed over it. We got a good rain a couple days ago so I'm hoping that will set it up. 

Other than that, I have a few more pumpkins to sell and then my farming for the year is done.

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Nice crop.  Thank you for sharing  the photos and the updates.

What variety are you growing?

We have thirty New England pie pumpins from two 4x8 raised beds with A-frame trellis from concrete reinforcing mesh.  Like you report, our 2021 yield far surpassed that of last year.

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1 hour ago, bob_carr said:

 

What variety are you growing?

 

I think these are mostly Connecticut field pumpkins. I just buy my seed bulk from my local co-op. After talking to a few people it sounds like Howden might be a better variety, I might try some of those next year.

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8 hours ago, TractormanMike.mb said:

I think these are mostly Connecticut field pumpkins. I just buy my seed bulk from my local co-op. After talking to a few people it sounds like Howden might be a better variety, I might try some of those next year.

whoa 2K  thats a lot of jack-o-lanterns let alone pies - we had 20 or so to give to the family/gkids but thats it. have fun with those I hope you make some good $$ of them

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