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Performance of Pumpkin Cultivars, Middle Tennessee Experiment Station, 2001

Charles A. Mullins, Dennis Onks, Roy Thompson, and A. Brent Smith

 

Interpretative Summary

All pumpkin cultivars were highly productive, and fruit size was average for most of the cultivars. ‘Pik a Pie’ and ‘Magic Lantern’ were among cultivars that had a larger average weight. ‘Howdy Doody’ produced a high tonnage of pumpkins that weighed less than 10 lb. None of the cultivars tested produced fruit that weighed more than 20 lbs.

Introduction

Pumpkins for Halloween usage are grown throughout Tennessee. The primary acreage of pumpkins is on the Cumberland Plateau, but pumpkins are grown throughout the state. Cultivars have been found to perform differently at different location. 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. Week 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 fairy high degree of management for successful results. An experiment was conducted at the Middle Tennessee Experiment Station at Spring Hill, TN in 2001 to evaluate performance of 10 pumpkin cultivars.

Materials and Methods

The site was prepared for planting by conventional tillage methods. Fertilizer was broadcast at a750 lb/A of 15-15-15 and incorporated with a disk on May 16. Plots were direct seeded with the selected cultivars on June 5. 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 June 12.

Insect control was by esfenvalerate (Asana) at 0.05 lb ai/A o n a 7 to 14 day frequency. Fungicides were azoxystrobin (Quadris) at 0.25 lb ai/A or chlorothalonil (Bravo) at 2.0 lb ai/A applied with each insecticide treatment. Pumpkins were harvested on Sept 17. 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). ‘Howdy Doody’ had a higher total tonnage than all cultivars except ‘Aspen’ and ‘Magic Lantern’. ‘Howdy Doody’ produced a higher tonnage of pumpkins that weighed less than 10 lb per pumpkin than all other cultivars. ‘Aspen’, ‘Howdy Doody’, ‘Magic Lantern’, ‘Phantom’, and ‘Sorcerer’ were among cultivars that produced the highest tonnage of pumpkins that weighed 10 to 15 lb per pumpkin. ‘Aspen’ was the most productive cultivar for tonnage of pumpkins that weighed 15 to 20 lb per pumpkin. No pumpkins more than 20 lbs were produced by any cultivar. Yield in number per acre was very similar to yield in tons/acre for the 10 cultivars.

‘Aspen’, ‘Howdy Doody’ and ‘Phantom’ were among cultivars rated as having the best color (Table 3). No significant differences were found in fruit appearance and stem quality due to cultivar. ‘Mother Lode’ was the cultivar with the longest fruit, while ‘Howdy Doody’ had the largest fruit diameter.

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, 2001

 

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

Aspen

22.0 abz

3.3 b

10.5 a

8.2 a

0 a

11.5 ab

Autumn King

11.3 b

3.8 b

3.6 cd

4.0 bcd

0 a

11.3 ab

Howdy Doody

37.5 a

24.4 a

8.4 a

4.7 bc

0 a

11.3 ab

Hybrid Pam

13.6 b

9.8 b

1.8 d

2.1 cd

0 a

10.1 c

Magic Lantern

17.7 ab

5.4 b

7.8 ab

5.4 b

0 a

11.6 ab

Mother Lode

14.0 b

4.5 b

5.2 bc

4.3 bc

0 a

10.8 bc

Phantom

12.1 b

2.7 b

8.3 a

1.1 d

0 a

11.1 ab

Pik A Pie

15.4 b

9.6 b

3.9 cd

1.9 cd

0 a

11.7 a

Sorcerer

14.9 b

3.3 b

8.9 a

2.7 bcd

0 a

11.3 ab

Trojan

10.2 b

3.1 b

5.3 bc

1.8 cd

0 a

10.3 d

zMeans 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, 2001.

 

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

Seed Source

Aspen

3812 abz

908 a

1906 a

998 a

0 a

Seedway

Autumn King

2723 b

1679 a

590 de

454 bcde

0 a

Rupp

Howdy Doody

7396 a

5218 a

1588 ab

590 bc

0 a

Rupp

Hybrid Pam

5127 ab

4538 a

318 c

272 cde

0 a

Rupp

Magic Lantern

3403 ab

1361 a

1407 b

635 b

0 a

Harris Moran

Mother Lode

3539 ab

2133 a

862 d

545 bcd

0 a

Rupp

Phantom

2405 b

953 a

1316 bc

136 e

0 a

Geminis

Pik A Pie

5627 ab

4855 a

545 de

227 de

0 a

Rupp

Sorcerer

3131 ab

1225 a

1588 ab

318 bcde

0 a

Harris Moran

Trojan

2632 b

1452 a

953 cd

227 de

0 a

Seedway

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 Te University of Tennessee Middle Tennessee Experiment Station at Spring Hill, 2001.

 

Cultivar

 

Fruit color

Fruit app.

Stem quality

Fruit uniformity

Fruit length

Fruit diameter

Aspen

8.5 az

7.0 a

7.0 a

6.0 b

9.0 b

9.0 b

Autumn King

8.0 ab

7.0 a

7.0 a

6.0 b

9.0 b

8.8 b

Howdy Doody

8.5 a

7.0 a

7.0 a

6.0 b

7.0 c

10.5 a

Hybrid Pam

7.3 c

7.0 a

7.0 a

7.5 a

7.0 c

7.0 d

Magic Lantern

8.0 ab

7.0 a

7.0 a

6.0 b

8.0 d

8.0 c

Mother Lode

7.3 c

7.0 a

7.0 a

6.0 b

10.0 a

7.3 d

Phantom

8.5 a

7.0 a

7.0 a

7.3 a

8.0 d

8.0 c

Pik A Pie

8.0 ab

7.0 a

7.0 a

7.5 a

8.0 d

8.0 c

Sorcerer

7.8 bc

7.0 a

7.0 a

7.3 a

8.0 d

8.0 c

Trojan

8.0 ab

7.0 a

7.0 a

6.5 b

8.5 c

8.3 c

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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