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can you prune a pumpkin plant?

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can you prune a pumpkin plant?

Post  duhh on 6/24/2011, 1:10 am

The reason I ask is, I have a monster pumpkin plant trying to take over the garden. It has a lot of damage from squash bugs. ( I have been hand picking every day for the last 4 days and happy to say I only found 4 tonight) Some of the plant looks crazy awful all yellow and wilty, but the rest looks great. Can I simply cut off the vines that don't look so great? I have already removed a lot of leaves because they had eggs on them.
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Re: can you prune a pumpkin plant?

Post  FarmerValerie on 6/24/2011, 10:01 am

I have cut back my spaghetti squash (also a winter squash) in the past with good results, in fact I need to do so again for the same reason as you are asking. I've never grown pumpkin, but have grown several winter squash in the past, so I'm thinking they are pretty much the same. I scrape as many eggs off of the leaves as possible and then smash them, trying to save healthy leaves if possible, those I cannot get to, I cut the infested part off and feed to the chickens, which is where the big bugs go, I just love seeing my chickens fight over and occasionally rip apart those bugs.
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Re: can you prune a pumpkin plant?

Post  quiltbea on 6/24/2011, 10:12 am

For pumpkins, you should cut off the tips of runner vines when a few fruits are producing. You want the energy to go to making the fruits, not making more vines.

Cut off any late-appearing flowers after you have some nice fruits (1-6) per vine to put energy into producing the current fruits faster.

Good luck and enjoy.
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Re: can you prune a pumpkin plant?

Post  duhh on 6/24/2011, 2:16 pm

Thanks for the replies! I'm going to prune it back a bit, besides it will be easier to find the squash bugs on a smaller plant. My nephew calls our squash bug hunting seek and destroy missions. Cracks me up, at least one of us is enjoying ourselves!
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Reply with quote Report post to moderator or admin Lock post for new reports Re: can you prune a pumpkin plant?

Post  HouseofWool on 6/24/2011, 11:19 pm

hmmm - I wonder if I can do the same with watermelon and cantaloupe? I know we will run out of room long before the plants reach full growth.

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Re: can you prune a pumpkin plant?

Post  FarmerValerie on 6/25/2011, 8:49 am

From what I have heard, you can do the same for melons. I had a spaghetti squash get "topped off", it was still on the ground and someone stepped on it, it's going strong.
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