Row by Row Episode 9: Growing Pumpkins for an October Harvest

Growing Pumpkins for Fall Harvesting

On this week’s episode, Greg and Travis talk about growing pumpkins for a fall harvest. They discuss the differences between pie pumpkins (also known as winter squash), jack-o-lanterns and ornamental cucurbits like gourds. Pumpkins usually take about 90-100 days to mature. So if you wish to harvest pumpkins in early October before Halloween, July is the perfect time to plant. Growing pumpkins can be difficult in south Georgia because disease and insect pressure are typically highest during the months of July and August when pumpkins would be grown. As a result, Greg mentions that he likes to grow a couple of different varieties that are more suited to deal with that level of insect and disease pressure. The first variety is called Seminole Pumpkin, which was originally grown by the Seminole tribe in Florida. It has genetics that makes it more resistant to fungal diseases like powdery and downy mildew. Greg has also grown the Orange Bulldog variety in the past and it did really well. The Orange Bulldog is a variety that was obtained in South America by scientists at the University of Georgia and it also has the genetics to deal well with pressures of a high heat/humidity climate. It is more of an ornamental pumpkin instead of the classic jack-o’-lantern. Other varieties that they like include the Fairytale and Cinderella pumpkins. The fairytale pumpkins are great pie pumpkins that contain a lot of meat inside and more productive than the Cinderella pumpkins. The old French heirloom, Cinderella pumpkins are more of a flat growing pumpkin that does not offer a lot of production in the garden. A crossover between pumpkins and winter squash are Kabochas. Becoming a more popular crop, Kobachas have yellowish colored meat on the inside are also store very well after harvesting. A couple of years ago, Greg decided to try and grow giant pumpkins, so you can check that series out on our YouTube channel.

Show and Tell Segment

On the show and tell segment this week, Greg has half of a seedless Fascination watermelon variety that he is thinking about trying out in the garden next year. Travis talk about the spaghetti squash that was recently harvested from his vegetable garden. He grew a variety called “Angel Hair” that makes a smaller, more personal-sized fruit. This variety is very prolific and he harvested over 250 fruits from a single, 60′ row. Travis likes to cook them by cutting them in half and roasting them in the oven. Once they are done in the oven you can take a fork, remove the seeds and scrape out the squash meat which looks like spaghetti. To go along with harvesting winter squash the tool of the week is pruning shears.

Viewer Questions Segment

On the question and answer segment, the guys answer questions about burying drip tape and planting in elevated rows or beds. Contrary to popular belief, drip tape was designed to be buried and most drip tape can be buried up to 6″. As long as the seed has proper soil coverage, the location of the seed relative to the tape is insignificant. You could put the seed directly on top of the tape and the roots will grow around the tape as the plants grow. Greg mentions that planting on elevated beds is only really necessary if soil drainage is a problem. Otherwise, created elevated planting surfaces tends to be unnecessary, extra labor. In the garden, rows are the best method for planting because you will get better irrigation, production, and cultivation.

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