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Old March 18, 2018   #1
linzelu100
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Default First pumpkin patch, advice?

I have a 5 acre lot at my new house. This lot has an electric fence and previously had horses during the summer. My husband says we can till up part of it and make a pumpkin patch for this year. How well will it do if I don't ammend it the first year? We are putting a lot of money into raised beds in a different garden so I can't spare a lot of cash. Will it do ok? Any advice for first patch?

We are a south facing hill top. Haven't investigated the soil yet over there, but most of this town in Virginia is clay. 😬

I'm just looking for pumpkins for my daughter for Halloween. I already have plenty of seed.
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Old March 18, 2018   #2
Locomatto
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If the lot had horses on it previously, I don't think you'll have a problem with fertilizer, but you may have to watch out for compacted soil. Be sure to till the soil extra deep and you should be fine.

Good luck!
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Old March 18, 2018   #3
rhines81
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Honestly, pumpkins will not do well at all in clay.
Go ahead and till a few small areas and build some 2x2 foot 6" high raised beds out of pressure treated, will cost about $7 for each bed. Space each of these beds 2-3 foot apart and fill each with 2 bags of "Miracle-Gro 1.5-cu ft Raised Bed Soil" for $9 each.
If you don't want to spend a lot, then only build 1 or 2 beds for now and add. Also consider growing them in 15 gallon grow bags which will require a little less soil (1-1/2 bags instead of 2 bags per container).
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Old March 18, 2018   #4
linzelu100
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We have grown some pumpkins in clay before and it did ok. 1 pumpkin per vine, which was ok for us. Better than nothing.
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Old March 18, 2018   #5
rhines81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linzelu100 View Post
We have grown some pumpkins in clay before and it did ok. 1 pumpkin per vine, which was ok for us. Better than nothing.
Ok, so what was the point of your 1st post ??
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Old March 18, 2018   #6
Black Krim
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The fellow next to me at the community garden only grows pumpkins. Sandy crappy soil. Makes a few hills and keeps them watered. There is a pile of fresh manure from a local horse barn, but not sure how much he uses.

He uses hills. No raised beds as the lot gets tilled each spring.

Good luck!!
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Old March 18, 2018   #7
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What have you got to lose? That ground has been fallow, and fallow soil produces well, in my experience, even if clay isn't the pumpkin's favorite.

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Old March 19, 2018   #8
tarpalsfan
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Water. That sounds like a 'duh' answer. But pumpkins need LOTS of water. That horse manure will be great for the pumpkins.
.
Good bugs! I bet that your daughter would like a few good insect attracting flowers. Zinnias are easy.
.
Watch out for the critters who want destroy you plants. Bugs and animals, ...
.
Don't spray in the morning...
.
Despite all that stuff, you will have lots of fun growing pumpkins with your daughter!

Last edited by tarpalsfan; March 19, 2018 at 12:56 PM. Reason: mistake
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Old March 19, 2018   #9
linzelu100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarpalsfan View Post
Water. That sounds like a 'duh' answer. But pumpkins need LOTS of water. That horse manure will be great for the pumpkins.
.
Good bugs! I bet that your daughter would like a few good insect attracting flowers. Zinnias are easy.
.
Watch out for the critters who want destroy you plants. Bugs and animals, ...
.
Don't spray in the morning...
.
Despite all that stuff, you will have lots of fun growing pumpkins with your daughter!
Hmmm, I've dealt with squad bugs and svb, but never had animals eat a pumpkin plant before. Now I'm kinda nervous because lots of animals can get in there.
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Old March 20, 2018   #10
tarpalsfan
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Originally Posted by linzelu100 View Post
Hmmm, I've dealt with squad bugs and svb, but never had animals eat a pumpkin plant before. Now I'm kinda nervous because lots of animals can get in there.
Oh boy. Insect and animal pest are a real problem here. They love my squash. I have an 8'+ fence around my garden. It keeps the deer and dogs out. Small critters still invade. My little dog and moron cat help with the above.
.
My husband is a gardener at a local inn. Fences and cages are not pretty. So he has to use commercial animal repellent. EXPENSIVE!!! You can get the stuff from W.M. There are also lots of home made animal repellents. Everything from human hair to rotten eggs, even bars of soap. Most don't work.
.
There is still a pumpkin farm near a city, not so far from where I live. They are near the highway. They don't have anything but a regular barbwire fence-and acres of pumpkins-I don't know how they keep the animal visitors out of the pumpkins.
.
Surely someone here grows or once grew a bigger pumpkin patch then I have. I use a fence. I have too.
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Old March 20, 2018   #11
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I have a large pumpkin patch before. I grew those huge monstrosities grown to break records. Deer, groundhogs, mice and voles like to feed on pumpkins. I had mine fenced in and painted my fruit with "Wilt Proof" with Tabasco and cayenne pepper mixed in so that nobody would nibble too hard on them.

Your plants will produce much better if you would bury the stems at each leaf node. The plants will produce roots there to assist their growth. Burying the stems will also help you to battle the Squash Vine Borer.
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Old March 21, 2018   #12
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That is an interesting tip about burying the stem. I did not know that.

OP probably should till in some pelleted fertilizer, like 12-12-12. Stink bugs and powdery mildew are what affect my family's pumpkins the most. A preventative fungicide like Daconil helps a lot.
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Old March 21, 2018   #13
tarpalsfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misss View Post
i have a large pumpkin patch before. I grew those huge monstrosities grown to break records. Deer, groundhogs, mice and voles like to feed on pumpkins. I had mine fenced in and painted my fruit with "wilt proof" with tabasco and cayenne pepper mixed in so that nobody would nibble too hard on them.

Your plants will produce much better if you would bury the stems at each leaf node. The plants will produce roots there to assist their growth. Burying the stems will also help you to battle the squash vine borer.
i haven't heard of 'wilt proof' before. Something to look into
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