Cherokee Tan Pumpkin is an heirloom, open-pollinated, pie pumpkin variety that was originally grown by the Cherokee Native Americans in the Appalachian mountains. This is the most disease-resistant pumpkin we’ve ever grown or seen. Unlike most pumpkin varieties that start to die in summer when extreme heat arrives, Cherokee Tan Pumpkins just keep producing. The vines are extremely vigorous and should be given plenty of room to grow.
Cherokee Tan Pumpkin is a pie pumpkin variety that is great to eat and stores extremely well. In some instances, these pumpkins have been noted to store a year in ideal conditions. Fruits average 3-4 lbs and have a small seed cavity with large amounts of delicious pumpkin meat. Plants will produce at least 10-15 pumpkins per plant, but even greater production is not unusual. This is a great variety for southern climates where growing pumpkins can be difficult to disease and insect pressure.
Pumpkins may be direct seeded or transplanted, although we highly recommend direct seeding. To ensure a good stand, we recommend planting seeds every 12″ along the intended row. Once plants emerge, thin plants to one every 2 feet. Pumpkins can be susceptible to plant diseases like downy mildew and powdery mildew if leaves receive excess moisture. As a result, we recommend using drip irrigation on winter squash to reduce plant moisture and feed plants more effectively. During periods of heavy rainfall, using a fungicide like Liquid Copper can help to alleviate disease pressure as well.
Pumpkins are a crop that will produce a one-time harvest at the end of the growing season. They should be harvested when plants die back and the fruits obtain their full color. Stem hardness is also an indication of fruit maturity. Once stems harden, fruits are ready for harvest using a set of pruning shears. Pumpkins can be stored in a cool, dry place for several months, depending on variety and sugar content. Once fruits are harvested, remove the plants from the garden to prevent any fungal spores from overwintering and becoming a problem in future years. Proper crop rotation is extremely important with all pumpkin varieties to reduce disease and pest pressure.
Cherokee Tan Pumpkin Planting Information
Planting Method: direct seed
When to Plant: after last frost
Planting Depth: 1/2″
Seed Spacing: 18-24″
Row Spacing: 5-6′
Days to Maturity: 110
Disease Resistance: Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew, among others