22 articles tagged "Pumpkins".

Solid green stems on fully mature pumpkins make a quality jack-o-lantern. (Photo by Liz Maynard)

​Pumpkin season is here. Keeping up with best management practices through harvest and storage will help the year wrap up on a good note. The steps below are a reminder of actions that can make a difference. Handle fruit as little as possible. Harvest fully orange and healthy pumpkins. Half-orange pumpkins may turn orange but quality and storage life will be reduced. Use a sharp knife or loppers to cut pumpkins from the vine. Leave stems long enough for an attractive product. Carry the pumpkin like a ball, not by the stem, or ‘handle.’ Brush off soil that sticks to the pumpkin. If pumpkins are washed, include a labeled sanitizer in the wash water and dry pumpkins before storage. Place pumpkins carefully in crates, bins, or trucks, so that the stem of one pumpkin doesn’t damage the rind of another. Watch for and avoid (or pad) sharp edges that could[Read More…]


Photo by Dan Egel

I have observed this disease in several pumpkin fields this year. It is not clear to me why this disease seems to be more widespread compared to recent seasons. However, it makes sense to review Plectosporium blight here. Plectosporium blight is usually not a serious disease. The occurrence of this disease is usually sporadic. However, when it occurs, it can cause yield loss if left uncontrolled. Older literature may list this disease as Microdochium blight. Plectosporium blight can be recognized from the light tan lesions on stems and leaf petioles. Lesions may also occur on the fruit, although these symptoms are less common. Yield loss is most often caused by lesions on the stem adjacent to the fruit—the pumpkin handle. Yellow squash and zucchini squash are also affected. Lesions are often individually spindle shaped. When these lesions occur in large numbers they can give a light gray or white appearance to[Read More…]


​When used as a verb, to rogue means to get rid of items that don’t conform to a certain standard. In plant pathology, the word rogue is used to describe a technique whereby diseased plants are removed or rogued to slow the spread of disease. I’d like to describe the practice as it might be used to manage Phytophthora blight of pumpkins. The practice works like this: Under conducive conditions, Phytophthora blight spreads quickly from leaf to leaf and from plant to plant. From a single diseased pumpkin plant, an entire field can become infected. But what if one could rogue the few symptomatic plants at an early stage in the disease epidemic? Would this slow the spread of Phytophthora blight? In theory, yes. If one were able to rogue all of the diseased plants in a field, the disease could be slowed. It would be similar to sending sick children home from a classroom; the disease should[Read More…]


​Downy mildew has been confirmed on jack-o-lantern pumpkins in Daviess and Jasper Counties and on acorn squash in LaPorte County. These are the first confirmed reports of this disease on Cucurbita pepo in Indiana in the 2015 season. There are unconfirmed (but reliable) reports of downy mildew on pumpkins in Parke,  Washington, and White Counties. This disease has also been observed on butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) in Knox and LaPorte Counties and on giant pumpkins (Curbita maxima) in LaPorte County. Read more about this disease at ag.purdue.edu/arp/swpap/VeggieDiseasesBlog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=48.


On July 22, I announced that downy mildew had been observed on watermelon in Knox County in southwestern Indiana. This article in the Vegetable Crop Hotline issue 603, https://ag.purdue.edu/hla/Extension/VegCropsHotline/Pages/Latest-Articles.aspx?article=118, describes the outbreak and management options. Downy mildew has now been reported on cucumber and cantaloupe in Knox and cucumber in La Porte County Indiana and pumpkin in Jasper County. Downy mildew has been observed on pumpkins in Mason County in central Illinois. In addition, several counties in Kentucky and Michigan have reported downy mildew, primarily on cucumbers. You may follow the development of downy mildew of cucurbits on this website http://cdm.ipmpipe.org/.


​​Code Red Webinar. Thursday, August 27, 2015. 12:00 P.M. – 1:00 P.M. EDT. The Code Red tool developed by the Purdue Women in Agriculture Team is a must have for every family, business, and farm operation. The tool includes important information such as passwords, bank account information, rental agreements, insurance papers, power of attorney documents, and much more, in one easy location. After completing the Code Red plan, it will become the “go to” tool if something happens to a key member of the management team. We hope this tool will help farm families turn a code red situation into a code green so the business can continue to operate on a daily basis. To participate, register at https://goo.gl/f3gLFM. You will then receive a confirmation email with the link to participate in the webinar August 27. You will also receive a reminder 24 hours before the webinar begins. Illinois Pumpkin Day.[Read More…]


Downy mildew causes bright chlorotic lesions on pumpkin leaves that are limited by veins. Lesions eventually become necrotic. (Photo by Dan Egel).

​On July 22, I announced that downy mildew had been observed on watermelon in Knox County in southwestern Indiana. This article https://ag.purdue.edu/arp/swpap/VeggieDiseasesBlog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=48 describes the outbreak and management options. Below, I will discuss the whereabouts of additional downy mildew outbreaks on cucurbits.  Downy mildew has now been reported on cucumber in Knox and La Porte County Indiana. Downy mildew has been observed on pumpkins in Mason County in central Illinois. In addition, several counties in Kentucky and Michigan have reported downy mildew, primarily on cucumbers. A photo of downy mildew on pumpkin is shown here for reference (Figure 1). You may follow the development of downy mildew of cucurbits on this website http://cdm.ipmpipe.org/.


​Pumpkins are off to good start and vines are starting to run, which means it is time to think about making a sidedress application of nitrogen. Typically, I recommend to split nitrogen applications half preplant and half sidedress. This is especially beneficial given all of our rain this season. If you relied on preplant N alone, with all of the rain, you may very well have lost almost all of your nitrogen with plants just now starting to set fruit. In my personal scenario, on light colored forest soils (common in So. IL and IN, 1.5-2.5 % organic matter) and given no-till with cereal grain residue I generally shoot for around 100-110 lbs. actual N per year (this would be decreased with more fertile, high organic matter soils) with about 50 lbs. of that at sidedress. In a tilled field, you could decrease this recommendation to around 80 lbs. actual N/A per year. This difference can[Read More…]


​Growers may be wondering whether to replant pumpkin fields where the stand is uneven due to excess moisture. Potential yield of the replants is one thing it would be good to know. We have data on yield of pumpkins direct-seeded or transplanted in mid-July in northern Indiana. The trials were no-till planted into a harvested wheat field. Pumpkins were harvested in mid to late October. Yield of direct-seeded pumpkins ranged from 0 to 0.6 tons per acre for 8 varieties in 2004, and from 2.6 to 6.4 tons per acre for 5 varieties in 2005. Yield of transplanted pumpkins ranged from 2 to 8 tons per acre for 8 varieties in 2004 and from 4.4 to 9 tons per acre for 5 varieties in 2005. For comparison, typical yields at this site for an early- to mid-June planting date with conventional tillage range from 10 to 25 tons per acre.[Read More…]


​For most insect pests, we have some viable options to manage them organically. For years we have been looking for an organic solution for striped cucumber beetle and bacterial wilt on melons and cucumbers. It appears that we now have a viable option. There is a relatively new product, Cidetrak D, manufactured by Trece, which is sold as a gustatory stimulant. The active ingredient is buffalo gourd root powder, which contains a high percentage of cucurbitacin, which causes cucumber beetle to compulsively feed once they have tasted it. Years ago, there was a product available called SLAM, which contained buffalo root gourd and carbaryl, which we tested extensively and found to be quite effective. There were difficulties in applications, so the product never really took off with growers. More recently, my colleague in Kentucky, Dr. Ric Bessin, has tested Cidetrak D in conjunction with Entrust, which contains the active ingredient[Read More…]


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