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Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

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Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  gwennifer on 3/3/2012, 1:44 am

I've tried searching old threads and I've found a few people mention growing the mini pumpkins but I can't find any mention of their spacing requirements. Mel's book says vining squash can be planted 1 per 2 square feet. Do the mini pumpkins grow just as aggressive vines as the larger squash types? Just wondering if I can get away with 1 per square foot so long as I train it up a trellis, or if I'd be better off planting it outside my SFG bed.

Anyone with experience?

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  shannon1 on 3/3/2012, 3:20 am

I don't have any experience with mini pumpkins but I am growing winter squash for the first time this year. I made a 2x4 TT box just for them and as I hate, yes hate grass lawns I will let them spill out and cover the ground under and around the box. I put down weed mat and a border of paving stones to hold the weed mat in place.

I like your idea of growing the verticaly I would look at the think to spacing and plant them according to what Mel says in the book.

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  walshevak on 3/3/2012, 7:43 am

I have a mini pumpkin on my list of things to plant this year and I'm planning to treat it like winter squash, 1 per 2 squares grown up the trellis. If it seems like there is space at the base after they get going, I'll tuck something else in.



Kay

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  gwennifer on 3/3/2012, 11:49 am

I queried Territorial Seeds about one specific variety, Lil' Pump-ke-mon, and got an answer back this morning.
Lil' Pump-ke-mon has more of a bush habit than a vining one. After they form the bush shape, they often times will send out runners but I don't think it would be worth trellising. The least amount of space that I would give them is 3 feet.
I had read that the mini pumpkins grow as vines to 4ft, so I thought they'd be perfect for SFG. I also have Jack Be Little. Maybe those vine better?

Walshevek, tucking something else in if there's room makes sense. What variety are you trying? We'll have to compare notes. Smile

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  walshevak on 3/3/2012, 12:53 pm

The squash bed will be Jack be Little pumpkin, grey zucchini, straightneck early yellow and butternut. Planting all on outside squares so that I can try to trellis or at least let them trail down sides of tabletops.

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  quiltbea on 3/3/2012, 2:37 pm

Be sure to get a bush-type plant for any SFG. Even the little pumpkins have huge leaves. I lease a couple of rows in our local community garden as well as having my SFG at home. Last year I grew New England Pie Pumpkins. They are a small variety. The vines grew at least 12 ft long. I probably could have trimmed them half as long but mine were not trellised in the community garden where space wasn't a problem so I let them grow.


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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  gwennifer on 3/3/2012, 10:39 pm

Thanks quiltbea, but why be sure to get a bush type plant for any SFG? Not sure what you mean by that?

Oh, and Territorial wrote back that Jack Be Little is about a 5ft vine, whereas Lil' Pump-ke-mon is about a 4ft bush.

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  quiltbea on 3/3/2012, 10:53 pm

gwennifer......Bush types just take up less space and space is at a premium with SFGardens. In fact I got a Golden Midget watermelon packet (Comstock) with compact vines (70 days til harvest) and 1-4# fruits that turn brilliant golden yellow when ripe so you don't have to worry about thumping to find out if its ripe. The flesh is salmon. This should not take up too much space.

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  shannon1 on 3/4/2012, 2:55 am

@walshevak wrote:I have a mini pumpkin on my list of things to plant this year and I'm planning to treat it like winter squash, 1 per 2 squares grown up the trellis. If it seems like there is space at the base after they get going, I'll tuck something else in.



Kay
great idea, I love intercroping I'll do that in my pumpkin box as well.Very Happy

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/4/2012, 1:14 pm

@quiltbea wrote:gwennifer......Bush types just take up less space and space is at a premium with SFGardens. In fact I got a Golden Midget watermelon packet (Comstock) with compact vines (70 days til harvest) and 1-4# fruits that turn brilliant golden yellow when ripe so you don't have to worry about thumping to find out if its ripe. The flesh is salmon. This should not take up too much space.
QB, I am wondering if you are growing bush and vine types on the ground, instead of trying to grow vine types vertically and that is why you recommend bush types for taking less room.
I would expect a vine type, if grown vertically to take less square feet.

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  quiltbea on 3/4/2012, 2:11 pm

Furbal......I admit to growing mine on the ground but those leaves are huge and they spread over a dozen feet so I expect they will do the same on a trellis. The bush and compact ones are supposed to have limited vine growth.

Maybe someone else has raised bed experience on trellises and can elaborate for both of us.

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  Furbalsmom on 3/4/2012, 3:09 pm

Sound like they are wild beasties that take a lot of room.
Unfortunately, where I live is inhospitable for melons of any kind Mad too cool all summer.

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  Lemonie on 3/4/2012, 10:23 pm

I planted an Organic Small Sugar pumpkin and let it go wild over my arch between my 2x3 boxes. The root system itself seemed to stick to one square and allowed for green beans to the right an left and managed to keep some lettuce and spinach tucked under the shade of it's bottom leaves. It was quite a site, especially w/ the acorn squash growing over from the other side of the arch. It managed to get about 12ft long (15ft arch) before it lost it's battle to the squash bugs and vine borer. I still salvaged two delicious pumpkins in it's short season. I'm looking forward to growing them again this year....but I'll be prepared this time! Twisted Evil



My arch is just a cattle panel. So it's VERY sturdy and could easily handle something a little heavier. Since it goes over a walkway, I do have to stay pretty consistent with weaving any stray branches back up and through the top.

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  shannon1 on 3/5/2012, 1:32 am

Lemone what's your SVB defence plan? I have the squash bugs figured out but just did not plant anything SVB like because they were so bad last year. I went on daily seek and distroy missions searching for eggs but did not find then all. We hates 'em

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  mijejo on 3/5/2012, 4:47 am

I'd love to hear what defense strategy anyone has against the squash bugs and the SVB. Also, the cucumber beetles. Those gave me the most problems last year!

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  shannon1 on 3/5/2012, 6:09 am

@mijejo wrote:I'd love to hear what defense strategy anyone has against the squash bugs and the SVB. Also, the cucumber beetles. Those gave me the most problems last year!
I keep squash bugs off the fruits by useing old nylons or draw string bags I make from superlight insect barrier if hose is not large enough. You would think the nasty buggers would just poke thier little nosies through it but they don't. I also kill as many as I can find in the spring when they are nyphs and easier to catch.Twisted Evil The evil SVB's have me stumped however.I have heard of people useing tin foil but I am not even going to grow any vegies that can be harmed by them this year.

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  gwennifer on 3/5/2012, 12:34 pm

@shannon1 wrote:I like your idea of growing them vertically; I would look at the thin to spacing and plant them according to what Mel says in the book.
I guess I missed this part of your post the first time around. I did try to figure it out on my own but between the package directions and Mel's book I was still .

Well I wish I could be the guinea pig for this, but trellis space is at a real premium for me and I just don't know if I'll end up trying them in my SFG after all. I may stick them in the ground somewhere else though so I can see how they grow. *shrug* We'll see!

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Re: Are mini pumpkins suitable for SFG?

Post  Lemonie on 3/5/2012, 1:56 pm

@shannon1 wrote:
@mijejo wrote:I'd love to hear what defense strategy anyone has against the squash bugs and the SVB. Also, the cucumber beetles. Those gave me the most problems last year!
I keep squash bugs off the fruits by useing old nylons or draw string bags I make from superlight insect barrier if hose is not large enough. You would think the nasty buggers would just poke thier little nosies through it but they don't. I also kill as many as I can find in the spring when they are nyphs and easier to catch.Twisted Evil The evil SVB's have me stumped however.I have heard of people useing tin foil but I am not even going to grow any vegies that can be harmed by them this year.

I thought I was only one of a few in my subdivision last year that had a garden and didn't think the pests would be so outta control, so I did almost nothing at the beginning to ward off any critters and lost almost all of my squash family early on. This year, I'm starting w/ a nice layer of DE on the bottom and spraying often w/ neem oil. I have some Sevin on hand if I have to...but will try to stay as organic as possible. I've learned to spray everything later in the evening so it doesn't effect the bees pollinating in the morning. The pesky beetles came in swarms last season, so I'm expecting to have to get pretty drastic.

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