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Old February 4, 2008   #1
shelleybean
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Default Seminole Pumpkin

I think I'm going to grow these little winter squash/pumpkins on a trellis this year. Has anyone else here grown them? It sounds like the shell is pretty darn hard. I'm imagining opening them like a coconut. I read somewhere I may need to use and an ax!! I'd appreciate hearing from anyone who has grown them or cooked with them. Thanks!
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Old February 4, 2008   #2
johno
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I have grown them, and will be again this year.

The vines are HUGE, and the fruits take a long time to ripen. Start them as early as is feasible (should be no problem getting good ones in Virginia,) and make sure they'll have some room.

You don't really need an axe, although that would certainly make things faster...

Good things come in small packages. The flavor is rich; they're the best squash I've ever eaten, and I really like squash...

I kept one back to see how long they last, and it made it almost two years (I forget the exact month count now.)

Great squash - well worth growing!

The Seminole Indians never heard of heirloom varieties back in the day, so it wasn't unheard of for them to throw some new genes in the mix on occasion. Seminole pumpkin has somewhat varying form, so don't be surprised if they don't come out exactly as described. Mine did before, but I've read that they might be a little larger than expected, or sometimes have green stripes, or even have a slightly different shape. This is normal for Seminole pumpkin.
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Old February 4, 2008   #3
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Thanks, johno! Now I'm really excited about these. How far apart should they be spaced if grown on a trellis, do you think? Thanks for your help.
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Old February 4, 2008   #4
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What are the dimensions of the trellis?
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Old February 4, 2008   #5
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About 6 x 6 feet. I could go wider if need be.
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Old February 4, 2008   #6
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Hmm... They tend to have a single strong runner that goes maybe 20'. I guess one every 6' would work okay if you train the runners in a switchback pattern up each trellis. you'll have to stay on top of it - lol. Especially after it rains.

Are they going to be in a row, or in individual separate beds? If your trellises are lined up in a row, you could plant them maybe as close as 4' on center and let them share space. You'll then have a solid wall of Seminole!
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Old February 4, 2008   #7
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They're going to be in a row. Hmm, about seven feet up off the ground, my neighbor has a little tree hanging over my yard. I wonder if he'd be upset if I had little pumpkins climbing on his tree. I think I'm going to have to persuade the vines to grow where I want them to grow and that will take some attention. What kind of quantities do you get from one plant? Thanks, johno. You are helping a lot.
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Old February 4, 2008   #8
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How about this idea? I grow one vine on each side of a tall arbor and train then across the top and let them run back down the other side. Would I still be able to walk through the darn thing? I hear these leaves are gigantic.
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Old February 5, 2008   #9
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I like the 'up one side and down the other idea - I think that would suit their habit. But it's funny you mention growing them in a tree...

The Seminole Indians grew these squash in trees that they had girdled - killed. The tree made a great trellis, and the little pumpkins hung from the branches.

Quantities... Well, as always that depends on growing conditions.
(1) I grew only one Seminole plant last year. I knew it was a tough plant, so I put it to the test and basically planted it in the lawn, near the garden, in unimproved clay soil. It got a little more water than the rest of the lawn (I don't waste water on the lawn.) And under these harsh conditions I got only one fruit. I might have got more if I hadn't accidentally cut it down...
(2) Two years before that, I grew (I think?) three of them in soil that had been recently moved to build a pond, so the soil was loose - that makes a big difference; you could double-dig the beds to get the same results. I mixed in a couple of shovelsful of rabbit manure where I would plant them, and another couple around the 'hills.' The vines were well over 30' long (I let them run along the ground,) and I got about half a wheelbarrowful. So probably about four per vine?
(3) I believe it was that same year that I grew a couple in average garden soil using a cattle panel trellis, and got three per vine, if memory serves me. Those vines were in the 20' range, growing back and forth on the trellis. They also got rabbit manure, but no double-digging.

It is also noteworthy that the bugs don't seem to phase them most of the time.
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Old February 5, 2008   #10
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Thank you so much, johno! Okay, I'll use the arch to support them, kind of like people grow gourds overhead. I'll try two vines, one on each side and see what I get.
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Old May 31, 2015   #11
JoParrott
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Default my Seminole Squash

My plants are looking yellow and strange. I know some squash have unusual coloring, but could it be a problem? This is my 1st attempt at this squash. Thanks- Jo
The nice green plant is a Butterbush.
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Old May 31, 2015   #12
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I grow them every year and I promise they are not as hard to open as a butternut squash. You just need a nice sharp knife and a little muscle.

You can grow them on a trellis because they are not all that heavy. I have a little 3 ft. high wire fence around my garden and I trained the vine to on it and had pumpkisn dangling on the fence.

Jon, that yellow on the leaf does not look normal but it does not look like a disease. Are they getting enough water. It almost looks like they have gotten too much sun. Once they are really established they can handle just about anything. I do mulch mine.
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Old May 31, 2015   #13
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If you can let them run on the ground you will get lots more fruit because they will take root everywhere they touch and keep going. Also these are delcious cook like you would a summer squash if you pick them when they are about the size of a baseball. Picking them often like that will increase production.
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