Skip to Main Content

The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture
vegetable production

Frequently Used Tools:




 

Performance of Pumpkin Cultivars, Plateau Experiment Station, 2000

Charles A. Mullins

Interpretative Summary

The pumpkin cultivars were highly productive, and fruit size was very large for most of the large fruited cultivars. ‘Autumn King’, ‘Gold Rush’, ‘Mother Lode’, ‘Magic Lantern’, ‘Gold Fever’, ‘HMX 6689', and ‘HMX 9698' produced a high tonnage of large fruit. The small fruited cultivars performed well, although size and appearance varied with cultivar.

Introduction

Pumpkins are grown in large commercial acreage for the Halloween market in Tennessee. An estimated 3500 acres of pumpkins are produced in Tennessee, with over half on the Cumberland Plateau. Pumpkins have been a profitable crop 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 addressed for successful production of pumpkins. 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 Plateau Experiment Station at Crossville, TN in 2000 to evaluate performance of 21 pumpkin cultivars.

Materials and Methods

The site was prepared for planting by conventional tillage methods. Fertilizer was broadcast at 400 lb/A of 15-15-15 and incorporated with a disk on May 22. Bensulide (Prefar) was applied at 6.0 lb ai/A on May 31 and soil incorprated with the final disking. Plots were direct seeded with the selected cultivars on June 1. Plot size was one row, with a spacing of 12 by 20 ft. Each row contained 5 hills with 3 seeds/hill. After germination, hills were 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 June 3.
 Insect control was by esfenvalerate (Asana) at 0.05 lb ai/A alternated with carbaryl (Sevin) at 1.0 lb ai/A on a 7 to 10 day frequency. Fungicides were azoxystrobin (Quadris) at 0.25 lb ai/A alternated with a combination of chlorothalonil (Bravo) at 2.0 lb ai/A and myclobutanil (Nova) at 0.125 lb ai/A applied with each insecticide treatment. Pumpkins were harvested on Sept 27 and 28. 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.

Results and Discussion

‘HMX 6689' produced more total tons of pumpkins than all cultivars except ‘Autumn King’, ‘Magic Lantern’ and ‘Mother Lode’ (Table 1). ‘Baby Pam’ and ‘Wee-B-Little’ produced less tonnage than all cultivars except ‘Peek-A-Boo’ and ‘RWS 6260'. The six small fruited cultivars did not produce any pumpkins that weighed over 10 lb. ‘Hybrid Pam’ produced a higher tonnage in the less than 10 lb class than any other cultivar. ‘Gold Rush’ produced a larger tonnage that weighed over 20 lb per pumpkin than all cultivars except ‘Gold Strike’, ‘Howden’, ‘HMX 6689', ‘HMX 9698' and ‘Mother Lode'. ‘Appalachian’ produced a higher tonnage that weighed between 15 and 20 lb per pumpkin than all cultivars except ‘Gold Fever’ and ‘HMX 6689'. Fruit of ‘HMX 9698', ‘HMX 6689', ‘Autumn King’ and ‘Gold Strike’ averaged over 20 lb per pumpkin. ‘Gold Rush’, ‘Howden’, and ‘Mother Lode’ fruit averaged almost 20 lb per pumpkin.
‘Touch of Autumn’ and ‘Wee-B-Little’ produced more pumpkins per acre and more pumpkins that weighed less than 10 lb per pumpkin than any other cultivar (Table 2). Yields in number of fruit per acre generally were very high and ‘Howden’, the check cultivar, produced 2450 pumpkins per acre. This is a high yield since the row spacing was 12 ft in order to help separate the cultivars at harvest. ‘Autumn King’ produced more fruit that weighed over 20 lb per pumpkin than all cultivars except ‘Appalachian’, Gold Rush’, and ‘Mother Lode’. ‘Magic Lantern’ and ‘HMX 6689' produced more pumpkins per acre in the 15 to 20 lb class than all cultivars except ‘Appalachian’ and ‘Gold Fever’.
Most cultivars were rated high for quality characteristics (Table 3). ‘HMX 4694', ‘HMX 9698', ‘Magic Lantern’ and ‘Merlin’ were among cultivars rated high for fruit color. Ratings for appearance were not significantly different due to cultivar. Fruit of ‘Gold Rush’ and ‘Howdy Doody’ had very large and nice stems. Cultivars varied in uniformity, as size and shape of pumpkins was not uniform within a cultivar. ‘Wee-B-Little’ was rated as one of the most uniform cultivars in fruit type. Fruit of ‘Autumn King’ was among the largest in diameter and fruit of ‘Wee-B-Little’ was among the lowest in diameter. ‘Gold Rush’ was among cultivars with the most length while ‘Wee-B-Little’ was among cultivars with the least fruit length.

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

 

Cultivar

Total
yield -
tons/A

Pumpkins< 10 lb
tons/A

Pumpkins10-15 lb
tons/A

Pumpkins
15-20 lb
tons/A

Pumpkins
>20 lb
tons/A

Pumpkin
average
wt - lb

Appalachian

25.1 bcdz

1.5 gh

3.8 cde

7.8 ab

17.2 bc

14.8 ef

Autumn King

28.8 ab

0.4 h

2.0 ef

2.0 def

23.6 a

23.6 a

Gold Fever

22.9 b-e

6.0 de

8.2 b

7.7 ab

1.0 h

11.0 g

Gold Rush

22.3 b-e

0.2 h

0.9 ef

2.4 ef

18.8 abc

23.2 a

Gold Standard

23.5 b-e

4.9 def

11.8 a

5.9 a-e

0.9 h

11.9 fg

Gold Strike

21.8 b-e

0.4 h

3.0 def

4.6 b-e

13.8 cde

20.7 abc

Howden (Ck)

23.0 b-e

1.0 gh

3.1 def

4.8 bcde

14.0 cde

18.8 abc

Howdy Doody

17.7 c-f

3.0 fg

8.0 b

7.2 abc

4.1 hg

11.9 fg

HMX 4694

23.9 b-e

1.7 gh

5.7 bcd

9.5 a

6.0 fgh

15.1 ef

HMX 6689

23.6 a

0 h

1.7 ef

6.3 a-d

22.9 ab

23.6 a

HMX 9698

20.9 c-f

1.1 gh

2.1 ef

3.5 c-f

10.9 bef

20.5 abc

Magic Lantern

26.2 abc

1.7 gh

6.2 bc

9.2 a

9.0 efg

16.3 de

Merlin

15.8 efgh

4.1 ef

6.2 bc

3.3 def

2.1 h

11.1 g

Mother Lode

25.6 a-d

0.8 h

2.7 def

5.3 b-e

17.7 bcd

19.9 a-d

Old Zebs

20.0 c-f

1.0 gh

3.2 def

5.2 b-e

10.2 ef

17.5 cde

Small fruited

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Pam

6.5 j

6.5 d

0 f

0 f

0 h

2.5 hi

Hybrid Pam

14.1 f-h

14.1 a

0 f

0 f

0 h

5.6 h

Peek-A-Boo

9.8 hj

9.8 c

0 f

0 f

0 h

3.8 hi

RWS 6260

9.9 hj

9.9 c

0 f

0 f

0 h

2.3 hi

Touch of Autumn

11.9 ghi

11.9 b

0 f

0 f

0 h

2.2 hi

Wee-B-Little

3.7 j

3.7 f

0 f

0 f

0 h

0.7 i

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 Plateau Experiment Station at Crossville, 2000.

 

Cultivar

total
yield -
no.

Pumpkins< 10 lb
no./A

Pumpkins10-15 lb
no./A

Pumpkins15-20 lb
no./A

Pumpkins>20 lb
no./A

Seed source

Appalachian

3766 c-fz

454 de

590 cdef

908 ab

1407 abc

Peto

Autumn King

2450 dg

91 e

318 fg

318 cde

1724 a

Rupp

Gold Fever

4125 cd

1770 d

1361 b

908 ab

91 gh

Rupp

Gold Rush

1906 g

45 e

1360 fg

272 de

1452 ab

Rupp

Gold Standard

3948 c-e

1270 de

1906 a

726 abc

91 gh

Rupp

Gold Strike

2178 fg

91 e

2454 efg

544 bcd

1089 bcd

Rupp

Howden (Ck)

2450 dg

272 de

499 def

544 bcd

1134 bcd

Harris

Howdy Doody

2813 dg

862 de

1316 b

862 ab

499 efg

Rupp

HMX 4694

2995 dg

454 de

862 cde

1134 a

544 ef

Harris

HMX 6689

2768 dg

0 e

272 fg

726 abc

1679 a

Harris

HMX 9698

2133 fg

309 de

318 fg

408 cde

998 cd

Harris

Magic Lantern

3222 dg

454 de

953 bcd

1044 a

771 de

Harris

Merlin

2904 dg

1406 de

998 bc

363 cde

182 fgh

Harris

Mother Lode

2586 dg

227 e

408 efg

590 bcd

1407 abc

Rupp

Old Zebs

2269 eg

318 de

499 def

590 bcd

817 de

Rupp

Small type

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Pam

5354 c

5354 c

0 g

0 e

0 h

Seedway

Hybrid Pam

5037 c

5037 c

0 g

0 e

0 h

Seedway

Peek-A-Boo

5173 c

5173 c

0 g

0 e

0 h

Novartis

RWS 6260

8621 b

8621 b

0 g

0 e

0 h

Novartis

Touch of Autumn

10890 a

10890 a

0 g

0 e

0 h

Novartis

Wee-B-Little

10209 a

10209 a

0 g

0 e

0 h

Novartis

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 Plateau Experiment Station at Crossville, 2000.

 

Cultivar

Fruit color

Fruit app.

Stem quality

Fruit uniformity

Fruit length

Fruit diameter

Appalachian

9.00 abcdz

9.25 a

8.75 abc

8.00 bcd

11.30 b-f

10.22 b-e

Autumn King

9.25 abcd

8.75 a

8.50 bc

8.25 bcd

13.50 a

10.95 a-d

Gold Fever

9.00 abcd

8.75 a

9.00 abc

7.25 de

8.25 i

8.05 fg

Gold Rush

8.75 bcd

7.75 a

10.00 a

7.50 cde

10.60 d-g

12.35 a

Gold Standard

8.75 bcd

8.50 a

9.00 abc

8.50 abcd

9.17 fgh

9.45 def

Gold Strike

8.50 cd

8.25 a

9.25 ab

8.00 bcd

12.12 a-d

9.82 b-e

Howden (Ck)

9.75 ab

8.25 a

8.75 abc

8.50 abcd

11.50 a-f

10.90 a-d

Howdy Doody

8.25 b

8.25 a

10.00 a

7.50 cde

8.72 hi

9.55 c-f

HMX 4694

10.00 a

10.00 a

9.00 abc

8.50 abcd

11.25 c-f

10.42 bcd

HMX 6689

10.00 a

9.00 a

8.25 bc

6.25 e

12.32 a-c

11.40 abc

HMX 9698

9.25 abcd

8.75 a

9.00 abc

8.00 bcd

11.97 a-e

9.87 b-e

Magic Lantern

10.00 a

9.75 a

8.50 bc

8.50 abcd

10.42 efg

10.32 bcd

Merlin

10.00 a

8.50 a

9.25 ab

6.25 e

9.12 ghi

8.47 efg

Mother Lode

8.25 d

7.75 a

7.25 c

7.25 de

12.25 ab

10.12 b-e

Old Zebs

9.25 ab

9.00 a

8.75 abc

7.50 cde

10.17 fgh

11.67 ab

Small type

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Pam

9.25 abcd

7.75 a

9.00 abc

9.00 ab

5.22 j

5.12 ij

Hybrid Pam

10.0 a

9.75 a

9.50 ab

8.75 abc

5.90 j

6.95 gh

Peek-A-Boo

8.75 bcd

8.25 a

8.25 bc

8.25 bcd

5.60 j

6.05 hi

RWS 6260

8.25 d

8.00 a

8.25 bc

9.00 ab

4.50 j

4.55 ij

Touch of Autumn

8.50 cd

8.00 a

8.25 bc

8.50 abcd

5.00 j

4.57 ij

Wee-B-Little

9.75 ab

7.75 a

8.50 bc

9.75 a

2.57 k

3.42 j

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.

 

 

 

To download a pdf, click here.