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Performance of Pumpkins Cultivars, Middle Tennessee Experiment Station, 2000

Charles A. Mullins, Dennis Onks, and Roy Thompson

 

Interpretative Summary

 All pumpkin cultivars were highly productive, and fruit size was average for most of the cultivars. ‘Gold Strike’ and ‘Mother Lode’ produced the highest tonnage of pumpkins that weighed over 20 lbs per pumpkin. ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Old Zebs' had a larger average weight than all cultivars except ‘Mother Lode’. ‘Gold Fever’, ‘Gold Standard’, and ‘Howdy Doody’ produced a high tonnage of pumpkins that weighed less than 10 lb.

Introduction

Pumpkins for Halloween usage are grown throughout Tennessee. The primary acreage of pumpkins is on the Cumberland Plateau. Cultivars have been found to perform differently at different locations. Rainfall and temperature differences affect fruit set and development and disease problems. Pumpkins have been a profitable crop for producers in recent years, and acreage production seems to increase each year. Several tobacco and row crop producers have considered or actually produced pumpkins as an alternative crop. Pumpkin production has many problems that need to be considered by growers. Weed control can be a problem in pumpkins as labeled herbicides fail to control all species of weeds adequately. Insecticides and fungicides need to be applied on a 7 to 10 day frequency. Bees are needed for pollination. Pumpkins require a fairly high degree of management for successful results. An experiment was conducted at the Middle Tennessee Experiment Station at Spring Hill, TN in 2000 to evaluate performance of 10 pumpkin cultivars.

Materials and Methods

The site was prepared for planting by conventional tillage methods. Fertilizer was broadcast at 750 lb/A of 15-15-15 and incorporated with a disk on May 18. Plots were direct seeded with the selected cultivars on May 19. Plot size was one row, 12 by 20 ft. Each row contained 5 hills with 3 seeds/hill. Plants were later thinned to 2 plants/hill. Experimental plot design was a randomized complete block with four replications. A preemergence application of clomazone (Command) at 0.375 lb ai/A was made on May 19.
 Insect control was by esfenvalerate (Asana) at 0.05 lb ai/A on a 7 to 14 day frequency. Fungicides were azoxystrobin (Quadris) at 0.25 lb ai/A or (Bravo) at 2.0 lb ai/A applied with each insecticide treatment. Pumpkins were harvested on Sept 7. Harvested pumpkins were sorted according to sizes of over 20 lb, 15 to 20 lb, 10 to 15 lb, and less than 10 lb. Number and weight of pumpkins in each weight range were recorded. Quality ratings were made at harvest. All ratings were on a 1 to 10 scale with 10 the most desirable. All data were analyzed by analysis of variance methods, and means were separated by Duncan’s multiple range tests at the 0.05 level of probability.

Results and Discussion

Pumpkin yields in tons and number per acre were relatively high (Tables 1 and 2). ‘Mother Lode’ had a higher total tonnage than all cultivars except ‘Gold Fever’, ‘Gold Standard’ , ‘Howdy Doody’, and ‘Magic Lantern’. ‘Gold Fever’, ‘Gold Standard’, and ‘Howdy Doody’ produced a higher tonnage of pumpkins that weighed less than 10 lb per pumpkin than all other cultivars. ‘Gold Standard’ was among cultivars that produced the highest tonnage of pumpkins that weighed 10 to 15 lb per pumpkin. ‘Gold Fever’, ‘Howdy Doody’, ‘Magic Lantern’, and ‘Mother Lode’ were among cultivars that produced the highest tonnage of pumpkins that weighed 15 to 20 lb per pumpkin. ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Mother Lode’ produced more tonnage of pumpkins that weighed over 20 lb per pumpkin than any other cultivar. Yield in number per acre was very similar to yield in tons/acre for the 10 cultivars.
‘Howdy Doody’ and ‘Mother Lode’ were among cultivars rated as having the best color (Table 3). ‘Howdy Doody’ was among cultivars rated as having the best appearance. ‘Mother Lode’ was among cultivars with the longest fruit. Average fruit diameter did not vary due to cultivar.

Table 1. Yield in tons per acre of different size classes of pumpkin cultivars at The University of Tennessee Middle Tennessee Experiment Station at Spring Hill, 2000.

 

Cultivar

Total
yield -
tons/A

Pumpkins< 10 lb
tons/A

Pumpkins
10-15 lb
tons/A

Pumpkins
15-20 lb
tons/A

Pumpkins
>20 lb
tons/A

Pumpkin
average
wt - lb

Gold Fever

30.3 a-dz

9.0 a

8.5 abcd

12.8 a

0 b

10.5 d

Gold Rush

21.6 e

2.6 c

4.3 d

2.8 b

11.9 a

16.4 a

Gold Standard

31.2 abc

8.9 a

13.0 a

7.3 ab

2.0 b

10.7 d

Gold Strike

21.8 de

5.5 b

6.4 cd

6.6 ab

3.2 b

12.9 c

Howden (Check)

20.5 e

3.2 bc

7.6 cd

6.1 ab

3.5 b

13.2 bc

Howdy Doody

34.6 ab

8.6 a

12.6 ab

12.9 a

0.5 b

10.5 d

Magic Lantern

30.9 abc

5.5 b

9.8 abc

12.4 a

3.2 b

11.8 cd

Merlin

23.6 cde

5.4 bc

9.6 abcd

8.1 ab

0.6 b

10.2 d

Mother Lode

37.3 a

4.4 bc

8.9 abcd

15.1 a

9.0 a

15.1 ab

Old Zebs

24.6 b-e

5.9 b

7.5 bcd

10.7 ab

0.5 b

12.9 a

z Means within a column followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 0.05 level of probability, Duncan’s multiple range tests.

Table 2. Yield in number per acre of different size classes of pumpkin cultivars at The University of Tennessee Middle Tennessee Experiment Station at Spring Hill, 2000.

 

Cultivar

total
yield -
no./A

Pumpkins< 10 lb
no./A

Pumpkins
10-15 lb
no./A

Pumpkins
15-20 lb
no./A

Pumpkins
>20 lb
no./A

Seed source

Gold Fever

5808 abz

2768 a

1452 abc

1588 a

0 c

Rupp

Gold Rush

2541 e

817 e

636 c

318 b

772 a

Rupp

Gold Standard

5854 ab

2496 ab

2269 a

908 ab

182 c

Rupp

Gold Strike

3403 de

1407 cde

953 bc

771 ab

273 bc

Rupp

Howden (Ck)

3131 de

1044 de

953 bc

862 ab

273 bc

Harris

Howdy Doody

6716 a

2812 a

222 a

1634 a

45 c

Rupp

Magic Lantern

5400 bc

1634 cde

1679 ab

1815 a

273 bc

Harris

Merlin

4629 bc

2045 abc

1634 ab

908 ab

45 c

Harris

Mother Lode

4992 bc

1270 cde

1361 bc

1634 a

726 ab

Rupp

Old Zebs

4220 cd

1723 bcd

1180 bc

1270 ab

45 c

Rupp

z Means within a column followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 0.05 level of probability, Duncan’s multiple range tests.

Table 3. Quality ratings of pumpkin cultivars at The University of Tennessee Middle Tennessee Experiment Station at Spring Hill, 2000.

 

Cultivar

 

Fruit colory

Fruit appear.y

Stem qualityy

Fruit uniformityy

Fruit length inchesy

Fruit diameter
inchesy

Gold Fever

8.5 abz

6.0 ab

8.0 a

6.2 ab

9.5 c

9.25 a

Gold Rush

8.0 b

5.5 ab

8.0 a

5.0 b

13.2 ab

10.5 a

Gold Standard

8.8 ab

6.2 ab

8.0 a

6.2 ab

9.8 c

9.5 a

Gold Strike

8.2 ab

5.2 b

8.0 a

5.5 ab

10.8 bc

11.0 a

Howden (Ck)

8.2 ab

5.5 ab

8.0 a

6.0 ab

11.0 bc

10.2 a

Howdy Doody

9.2 a

7.2 a

8.0 a

6.5 a

9.5 c

10.2 a

Magic Lantern

8.0 b

6.2 ab

8.0 a

6.75 a

11.2 abc

9.8 a

Merlin

8.5 ab

5.2 b

8.0 a

6.5 a

11.0 bc

9.0 a

Mother Lode

9.2 a

7.0 ab

8.0 a

5.8 ab

14.0 a

9.8 a

Old Zebs

8.5 ab

6.0 ab

8.0 a

6.2 ab

11.5 abc

10.5 a

y Ratings on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 most desirable.
z Means within a column followed by the same letter are not significantly different at the 0.05 level of probability, Duncan’s multiple range tests.
 

Copyright © 1999 by The University of Tennessee. All rights reserved.

This research represents one season's data and does not constitute recommendations.  After sufficient data is collected over the appropriate number of seasons, final recommendations will be made through research and extension publications.

 

 

 

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