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Performance of Pumpkin Cultivars, Plateau Experiment Station, 2002

A. Brent Smith and Charles A. Mullins

 

Interpretative Summary

The pumpkin cultivars were highly productive, but fruit size was less than anticipated for most of the large fruited cultivars. ‘Pik-a-Pie’ produced the highest tonnage of pumpkins for the small fruited varieties. The remaining 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 being produced 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 2002 to evaluate performance of 23 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. Plots were direct seeded with the selected cultivars on June 4. Plot size was one row, with a spacing of 12 by 20 ft. Each row contained 5 hills with 3 seeds/hill. A pre-emergence application of clomazone (Command) at 0.375 lb ai/A and ethalfluralin (Curbit) at 1.5 ld ai/A was made on June 5. After germination, hills were thinned to 2 plants/hill. Experimental plot design was a randomized complete block with four replications.

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 23 and 24. 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

Most of the large and medium sized varieties tested produced similar total tonnage of pumpkins, with the exceptions being ‘Howden" and "Merlin" (Table 1). The six small fruited cultivars did not produce any pumpkins that weighed over 10 lb. ‘Lil. Ironsides’ and ‘Pik-a-Pie’ produced a higher tonnage in the less than 10 lb class than any other cultivar except ‘Mystic Plus’, ‘Touch of Autumn’, and ‘Trickster’. ‘Hybrid 500' produced a larger tonnage that weighed over 20 lb per pumpkin than all cultivars except ‘Appalachian’, ‘Hybrid 510’, and ‘Gold Strike’. ‘Appalachian’ produced a higher tonnage that weighed between 15 and 20 lb per pumpkin than all cultivars except ‘Gold Gem’ and ‘Hybrid 500', ‘Mother Lode’ and ‘Magic Lantern’. Fruit of most of the cultivars weighed less than expected. This was probably due to the extremely dry conditions that occurred.

‘Little October’ 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 quite high and ‘Howden’, the check cultivar, produced 1814 pumpkins per acre. This is a high yield since the row spacing was 12 ft in order to help separate the cultivars at harvest. ‘Hybrid 510’ produced more fruit that weighed over 20 lb per pumpkin than all cultivars except ‘Appalachian’, Gold Gem’, and ‘Hybrid 500’. ‘Appalachian’ and ‘Magic Lantern’ produced more pumpkins per acre in the 15 to 20 lb class than all cultivars except ‘Gold Gem’, ‘Howden’, ‘Hybrid 510', ‘Sorcerer’ and ‘Trojan’.

Most cultivars were rated high for quality characteristics (Table 3). ‘Aspen', ‘Gold Bullion', ‘Gold Gem’ and ‘Merlin’ were among cultivars rated high for fruit color. ‘Appalachian’, ‘Aspen’ and ‘Mother Lode’ were among cultivars rated high for appearance. Fruit of ‘Gold Bullion’ and ‘Gold Standard’ were among several varieties that had very large and nice stems. Fruit of ‘Gold Gem’ and ‘Ol’ Zebs’ were the largest in diameter, and fruit of ‘Little October’ had the smallest diameter. ‘Gold Strike’ was the cultivars with the most length, while ‘Little October’ were the 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, 2002.


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

Pumpkins
average
wt - lb

Appalachian

17.99 abz

1.06 i

3.91 de

9.04 a

3.97 abc

13.60 a

Aspen

15.44 abc

2.06 ghi

6.37 abcde

4.13 bcde

2.88 bcd

12.29 bcd

Gold Bullion

14.99 abc

3.70 efghi

6.28 abcde

3.67 bcde

1.34 bcd

12.29 bcd

Gold Gem

14.5 abcd

1.79 hi

3.73 ef

5.64 abcd

3.37 bcd

12.34 bcd

Gold Fever

17.1 abc

6.19 bcde

7.74 abcd

2.52 cde

0.64 cd

11.73 cde

Gold Strike

16.2 abc

3.67 efghi

4.94 bcde

3.58 bcde

4.03 abc

11.79 bcde

Gold Standard

16.9 abc

5.28 cdef

10.10 a

1.49 de

0.00 d

11.88 bcde

Howden

12.6 bcde

0.73 i

5.22 bcde

4.64 bcd

2.03 bcd

12.02 bcd

Hybrid 500

19.4 a

2.55 fghi

6.61 abcde

6.10 abc

4.19 ab

12.41 bcd

Hybrid 510

16.7 abc

2.37 fghi

4.98 bcde

2.52 cde

6.83 a

11.90 bcde

Mother Lode

16.4 abc

3.28 efghi

6.58 abcde

5.22 abcd

1.37 bcd

12.57 bc

Merlin

11.2 cde

1.97 hi

6.64 abcde

1.91 cde

0.64 cd

12.03 bcd

Magic Lantern

18.5 ab

3.22 efghi

6.10 bcde

1.89 ab

1.34 bcd

12.49 bc

Ol’ Zebs

14.5 abcd

4.22 defgh

4.03 cde

4.25 bce

2.00 bcd

12.61 bc

Phantom

15.8 abc

4.55 defgh

8.07 ab

3.22 cde

0.00 d

12.65 b

Sorcerer

15.3 abc

5.07 defg

5.76 bcde

4.46 bcde

0.00 d

11.03 e

Trojan

17.6 ab

5.25 cdef

8.01 ab

4.34 bcde

0.00 d

11.50 de

Small fruited

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lil. Ironsides

8.3 ef

8.34 ab

0.00 f

0.00 e

0.00 d

1.77 g

Little October

4.8 f

4.76 defgh

0.00 f

0.00 e

0.00 d

0.68 g

Mystic Plus

7.0 ef

7.01 abcd

0.00 f

0.00 e

0.00 d

4.15 f

Pik-a-Pie

9.2 def

9.19 a

0.00 f

0.00 e

0.00 d

4.44 f

Touch of Autumn

7.1 ef

7.10 abcd

0.00 f

0.00 e

0.00 d

2.12 fg

Trickster

8.0 ef

8.04 abc

0.00 f

0.00 e

0.00 d

2.29 fg

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, 2002.


Cultivar

total
yield -
no.

Pumpkins< 10 lb
no./A

Pumpkins
10-15 lb
no./A

Pumpkins
15-20 lb
no./A

Pumpkins>20 lb
no./A

Seed source

Appalachian

2237 efz

302 fg

544 de

1028 a

363 ab

Seminis

Aspen

2359 ef

605 fg

1028 bcd

484 bcde

242 bc

Seedway

Gold Bullion

2600 def

1028 fg

1028 bcd

423 bcde

121 bc

Rupp

Gold Gem

2117 ef

484 fg

605 cd

665 abcd

363 ab

Rupp

Gold Fever

3568 de

1996 ef

1210 abc

302 cde

60 c

Rupp

Gold Strike

2600 def

1028 fg

847 cd

423 bcde

302 bc

Rupp

Gold Standard

3387 def

1512 fg

1694 a

181 de

00 c

Rupp

Howden

1814 f

242 g

847 bcd

544 abcd

181 bc

Harris Moran

Hybrid 500

2782 def

665 fg

1028 bcd

726 abc

363 ab

Rupp

Hybrid 510

2419 ef

665 fg

847 bcd

302 cde

605 a

Rupp

Mother Lode

2601 def

847 fg

1028 bcd

605 abcd

121 bc

Rupp

Merlin

1935 ef

544 fg

1089 bcd

242 cde

60 c

Harris Moran

Magic Lantern

2843 def

847 fg

968 bcd

907 ab

121 bc

Harris Moran

Ol’ Zebs

2358 ef

1028 fg

665 bcd

484 bcde

181 bc

Rupp

Phantom

2964 def

1331 fg

1270 ab

363 cde

00 c

Seminis

Sorcerer

3448 def

1936 efg

968 bcd

544 abcd

00 c

Harris Moran

Trojan

3508 de

1694 fg

1270 ab

544 abcd

00 c

Seedway

Small fruited

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lil. Ironsides

9377 b

9377 b

00 e

00 e

00 c

Harris Moran

Little October

13854 a

13854 a

00 e

00 e

00 c

Seedway

Mystic Plus

3388 def

3388 de

00 e

00 e

00 c

Harris Moran

Pik-a-Pie

4114 d

4114 d

00 e

00 e

00 c

Rupp

Touch of Autumn

6655 c

6655 c

00 e

00 e

00 c

Rupp

Trickster

7018 c

7018 c

00 e

00 e

00 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 Plateau Experiment Station at Crossville, 2002.


Cultivar

Fruit colorx

Fruit appearancex

Stem qualityx

Fruit length

Fruit diameter

Appalachian

8.00 bz

9.00a

6.00 d

16.00 b

12.25 e

Aspen

9.00 a

9.25 a

9.25 a

12.25 e

14.16 c

Gold Bullion

9.00 a

9.00 a

9.00 a

14.00 c

11.00 f

Gold Gem

9.25 a

9.50 a

9.00 a

14.05 c

16.00 a

Gold Fever

9.00 a

9.00 a

7.00 c

12.25 e

12.00 e

Gold Strike

9.25 a

9.00 a

8.25 b

17.16 a

10.80 f

Gold Standard

8.00 b

8.00 b

9.25 a

9.00 g

14.00 c

Howden

9.00 a

9.25 a

6.00 d

14.00 c

12.00 e

Hybrid 500

8.00 b

7.00 c

3.00 e

10.00 f

12.16 e

Hybrid 510

9.25 a

9.00 a

9.00 a

14.25 c

11.00 f

Mother Lode

8.00 b

9.25 a

9.25 a

13.00 d

11.00 f

Merlin

9.25 a

9.25 a

9.00 a

12.16 e

13.00 d

Magic Lantern

9.00 a

9.00 a

8.25 b

14.00 c

15.00 b

Ol’ Zebs

9.50 a

9.25 a

7.00 c

12.00 e

16.25 a

Phantom

8.25 b

8.25 b

8.00 b

14.25 c

12.00 e

Sorcerer

9.00 a

8.00 b

8.00 b

14.00 c

12.16 e

Trojan

8.00 b

8.00 b

3.50 e

10.00 f

11.00 f

Small fruited

 

 

 

 

 

Lil. Ironsides

8.25 b

9.25 a

9.50 a

4.00 k

6.00 h

Little October

8.00 b

9.00 a

9.25 a

2.95 l

3.75 j

Mystic Plus

9.25 a

9.25 a

9.25 a

7.00 h

6.75 g

Pik-a-Pie

9.00 a

9.00 a

9.00 a

6.25 i

6.00 h

Touch of Autumn

9.00 a

9.00 a

9.50 a

5.00 j

5.00 i

Trickster

9.00 a

7.75 b

3.50 e

7.16 h

7.00 g

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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