Location..Location...Location Location is the key for realestate but for pumpkins it's Position, Position, Position. Yes location is important but position is key. By that we mean the position of your little pumpkin relative to the vine. Make sure you try and get the pumpkin at a 90 degree angle to the vine. You may want to swing the main vine away from the pumpkin to create more separation. Only move the pumpkin a small amount at a time and best done during the hottest part of the day. While we are talking separation don't forget the separation of the pumpkin from the soil. Place something under the pumpkin while it is small to create a soil to pumpkin separation (Ex. sand, weed block, landscape fabric)
Vine positioning:...It seems many growers are breaking vines, so keep in mind to still carefully guide and train your vines. Like moving the pumpkin, the vines are best moved during the hottest part of the day when they are the least brittle. Keep those secondary's at 90 degree angles to the main vine and prune off all tertiary growth. Terminate all the secondary vines when they reach around 12 feet.
Continue pest managment ...It's important to continue the pest management you began in June. Watch for our 3 main pest, cucumber beatles, squash vine bores and squash bugs, also known as stink bugs.
Watering and misting ....With the ever hotter and dryer days of summer, you should continue the watering and misting guidlines from June.
Spraying for disease and fungicides.....This is the month disease will often begin to show, with the weather we are having disease pressure may be higher then normal this year. Recently, many other crops are beginning to show evidence of disease. While a different species, but both Powder Mildew and Downy mildew have been found on grape vines. It is only a matter of time before pumpkins begin to show symptoms. You should start your milk sprays now before disease begins. Milk is most effective if you spray before you see symptoms. Keep in mind that if you can see disease symptoms there are probably millions of inoculum present. In short, be proactive.
As an alternative to milk, Daconil or Ortho Garden Disease controll is one of the fungicides that can be effective.
Words of encouragement:
There is a lot of work and time that go into growing a pumpkin, but do not give-up now. The work does not go away, but soon you will hopefully get to watch your pumpkin begin to grow. Use this as encouragement to keep weeding, vine burring, watering, and spraying. Just look up at the count down on the top of this page, the weigh-off is closer then it seems.
-Even if you do not get a pumpkin this year plan to come to the Durham Fair to be able to talk to a Team-Pumpkin member and also see the exhibits and shows. Durham has posted the concert guest for this year and it is a star filled line-up. Three concerts for only $15 if you bring a pumpkin (or $25 if you do not).