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Performance of Pumpkin Cultivars, Ames Plantation, 2002

Charles A. Mullins, Marshall Smith, and A. Brent Smith

 

Interpretative Summary

The pumpkin cultivars were highly productive, and fruit size was very large for most of the large fruited cultivars. ‘Appalachian’ was among the top producers of large fruit. ‘Touch of Autumn’ produced more pumpkins per acre, and also produced more pumpkins that weighed less than 10 lb per pumpkin than any other 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 grown 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 Ames Plantation at Grand Junction, TN in 2002 to evaluate performance of 12 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 10. Bensulide (Prefar) was applied at 6.0 lb ai/A on June 11 and soil incorprated with the final disking. Plots were direct seeded with the selected cultivars on June 12. 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

‘Trickster’ had the smallest total tonnage of pumpkins produced. The remaining cultivars were not significantly different (Table 1). ‘Touch of Autumn’ and ‘Autumn Gold’ produced a higher tonnage in the less than 10 lb class than any other cultivar. ‘Mother Lode’ and ‘Trojan’ was among varieties that produced a larger tonnage that weighed over 20 lb per pumpkin.

‘Hybrid 510’ led several cultivars that produced a higher tonnage that weighed between 15 and 20 lb per pumpkin. Fruit of ‘Gold Standard’, ‘Touch of Autumn’, and ‘Trickster’ had the lowest average weight. The remaining varieties were not significantly different. The average weights of ‘Trickster’ and ‘Touch of Autumn’ are higher than expected. Several pumpkins of each variety were in the 10-15 pound range. Seed purity for these cultivars, or mis-handling of the seed is probably the reason.

‘Touch of Autumn’ produced more pumpkins per acre, and also produced 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. This is a high yield since the row spacing was 12 ft in order to help separate the cultivars at harvest. ‘Trojan’ produced more fruit that weighed over 20 lb per pumpkin than all cultivars except ‘Gold Gem’. ‘Gold Gem’ and ‘Hybrid 510' were among the leading varieties for pumpkins per acre in the 15 to 20 class.  No significant differences were found among the cultivars for fruit color (Table 3).

‘Gold Standard’ and ‘Touch of Autumn’ were among several cultivars with a high rating for appearance and stem quality. ‘Mother Lode’ and ‘Trojan’ had longer fruit, while ‘Trojan and ‘Howden’ were among several cultivars with larger diameter fruit.

Table 1. Yield in tons per acre of different size classes of pumpkin cultivars at The University of Tennessee Ames Plantation at Grand Junction, 2002.


Cultivar

total
yield -
tons/A

Pumpkins< 10 lb
tons/A

Pumpkins
10-15 lb
tons/A

Pumpkins5-20 lb
tons/A

Pumpkins>20 lb
tons/A

Pumpkin
average
wt - lb

Autumn Gold

25.85 az

16.93 ab

5.80 bcd

2.00 c

1.12 c

12.17 a

Big Autumn

32.89 a

10.99 c

14.42 a

5.98 bc

1.50 c

12.25 a

Gold Bullion

33.92 a

4.55 de

13.31 ab

13.08 ab

2.98 bc

12.06 a

Gold Gem

26.96 a

4.28 de

8.26 abcd

9.28 abc

5.14 abc

12.00 a

Howden

24.61 a

2.59 e

10.76 ab

6.60 bc

4.66 abc

12.22 a

Hybrid 510

31.96 a

5.30 de

5.48 bcd

17.40 a

3.78 bc

12.64 a

Gold Standard

31.69 a

14.22 bc

15.45 a

1.43 c

0.59 c

9.77 b

Gold Fever

25.94 a

9.49 cd

8.99 abc

6.98 bc

0.48 c

11.45 a

Mother Lode

27.71 a

4.55 de

8.67 abc

5.82 bc

8.67 ab

11.85 a

Trojan

31.27 a

2.37 e

5.44 bcd

12.56 ab

10.90 a

12.57 a

Small Fruited

 

 

 

 

 

 

Touch of Autumn

22.55 a

20.66 a

1.18 cd

0.00 d

0.00 c

7.65 b

Trickster

13.15 b

12.24 bc

0.55 d

0.00 d

0.00 c

7.28 b

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 Ames Plantation at Grand Junction, 2002.


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

Autumn Gold

6941 bcdz

5626 c

998 cdef

227 c

90 c

Rupp

Big Autumn

6260 cd

3085 de

2359 ab

680 bc

136 c

Seedway

Gold Bullion

5262 cd

1361 f

2087 abc

1542 ab

272 bc

Rupp

Gold Gem

4082 cd

1179 f

1361 abcde

1089 abc

453 abc

Rupp

Howden

3692 d

771 f

1724 abcd

771 abc

408 bc

Harris Moran

Hybrid 510

4581 cd

1542 ef

862 cdef

1860 a

317 bc

Rupp

Gold Standard

7032 bc

4265 cd

2541 a

181 c

45 c

Rupp

Gold Fever

5761 cd

3403 d

1497 abcd

816 abc

45 c

Rupp

Mother Lode

4400 cd

1724 ef

1270 bcdef

680 bc

726 ab

Rupp

Trojan

3946 cd

771 f

816 def

1406 ab

953 a

Seedway

Small Fruited

 

 

 

 

 

 

Touch of Autumn

18239 a

17968 a

181 ef

90 c

0 c

Rupp

Trickster

9482 b

9347 b

90 f

45 c

0 c

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 The University of Tennessee Ames Plantation at Grand Junction, 2002.


Cultivar

Fruit colorx

Fruit appearancex

Stem qualityx

Fruit length

Fruit diameter

Autumn Gold

7.75 az

8.00 ab

7.25 abc

8.25 c

8.75 c

Big Autumn

7.75 a

7.25 ab

6.75 abc

9.00 bc

9.50 abc

Gold Bullion

7.75 a

7.50 ab

7.50 ab

10.00 b

10.00 abc

Gold Gem

8.00 a

8.00 ab

7.50 ab

9.75 b

10.50 ab

Howden

8.00 a

6.00 c

6.75 abc

9.75 b

10.50 ab

Hybrid 510

7.00 a

6.75 bc

6.50 bc

10.25 b

9.50 abc

Gold Standard

7.75 a

8.50 a

7.75 ab

8.25 c

9.50 abc

Gold Fever

7.50 a

7.75 ab

6.75 abc

9.75 b

9.25 bc

Mother Lode

6.50 a

7.50 ab

6.00 c

12.00 a

9.75 abc

Trojan

7.25 a

7.50 ab

7.25 abc

11.75 a

10.75 a

Small Fruited

 

 

 

 

 

Touch of Autumn

7.75 a

8.25 a

8.00 a

5.00 d

5.25 d

Trickster

7.75 a

8.00 ab

6.75 abc

5.00 d

6.00 d

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.
x Graded on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being dark orange color, good appearance, and good stem. 

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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