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pumpkin problems

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by sibyl on October 03, 2006 11:11 AM
ive been tring to grow pumpkins for the past 3 years,and its the same every year, the start out so nice, flower, then die [Eek!] i water in early morning, and weed. any idea why they keep dieing off? im gonna keep trying, cause one day i will have my charlie brown pumpkin patch [grin]

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by johnCT on October 03, 2006 07:43 PM
What keeps dying off? The flowers or the entire vine? Or is it an issue of the female flowers getting pollinated?

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John - Zone 6
by sibyl on October 03, 2006 07:53 PM
jonn
the entire vine. i have bees galore so the flower should be betting pollinated,

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by dano1252 on October 06, 2006 08:26 AM
I've never had a lot of success with pumpkin. It was either too much water causing stem rot or the grubs would get into the stem. I'm now done with year 1 and will complete year 2 of the milky spore treatment, next year. That should take care of the grubs for at least 15 years.With any luck we will have pumpkins next year (and squash etc.)!

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Theres never enough time to do it right but always enough time to do it over.
by Deborah L. on October 06, 2006 10:09 AM
Why do commercial growers have such crops? Poisons? And huge amounts, no doubt. Ugh.
I know this sounds like a super dumb question, but I do wonder why we home gardeners have so many problems.

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by LandOfOz on October 06, 2006 10:20 AM
Does the vine suddenly wilt and then die? If so it may be due to a bug called a squash vine borer. It bores into the stem of the plant and eats it. It killed off all of my zucchini, squash, and pumpkins this year.

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by sibyl on October 08, 2006 01:25 PM
i never thought of a bug! thought it was me, i do get lots of grubs, i dont know what a squash vine borer is, but they do just sudenly die off, right after blooming, i have the battle of the bugs war with my flowers all the time but, no bugs ever killed em off like my pumpkins, dose this squash vine border bug only go after veggies?

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by LandOfOz on October 09, 2006 10:56 PM
SBV's really like cucurbits, but not watermelons. The key indicator is if the vines suddenly wilt then begin to die. Blooming shouldn't have anything to do with the SVB, it'll kill your plant whenever it's larvae begin to devour the insides of your stems.

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by garden gourmet on October 10, 2006 08:35 AM
There are two primary pests which have driven me nuts with respect to the cucurbita family. The Squash Vine Borer, as LandOfOz has pointed out, bores into the vine and sucks the juice. The vine will die from where the borer gets in and will continue to die from that pount to the tip of the plant. The best approach to dealing with the vine borer, aside from spraying pesticides, is to look for discolored spots in the vine closer to the orignal stem from the first leaf that dies. The borer will likely still be there. Slit the vine and remove the borer. Cover the vine with dirt to encourage rooting.

The other pest is the squash bug. The patters vary, but mine seem to have yellow stripes. I have not found a good way to deal with these. They don't eat the leaf, they leave a bacteria behind which causes wilting. The best I have done with these is to pick cultivars which seem to have some resistance. Butternut Squash may be a good substitute for your pumpkin if you want the taste and don't care about the Charlie Brown thing. :-)

If anyone has a good solution other than spraying for the squash bugs, I'm all ears.

Andy
by LandOfOz on October 10, 2006 11:08 PM
The squash beetle is also referred to as the cucumber beetle. These little harrassments are normally yellow with black stripes or spots. There is also a squash bug (looks like an aphid) out there which proved to be a pesky little twerp in my garden this year. The squash bug will eat your cucurbits and multiply like mad!

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by sibyl on October 18, 2006 11:34 AM
i heard chewing tabaco is very toxic to bugs, do you think if i sprayed it on my pumpkins, it would harm the pumpkin itself?

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by LandOfOz on October 19, 2006 12:00 AM
On that I have absolutely no idea. There are some organic ways to get rid of bugs though I can't think of a single one right now. [Big Grin] Go figure. Someone will probably be around to give you some good suggestions before too long.

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Sarah - Zone 5b/6
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by Deborah L. on October 19, 2006 12:39 AM
All I know about spraying with tobacco is that tomatoes and peppers get something called tobacco mosaic virus, so I'd wait 'til the experts add their posts.

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