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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Irish Gardeners Forum Home -> Vegetable growing, fruit and allotments in Ireland

Any tips to prevent pumpkins splitting


 
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POPPY
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:42 pm    Post subject: Any tips to prevent pumpkins splitting Reply with quote

Hi,

I'm growing a Cinderalla Pumpkin which can reach a size of 5kg. I've never tried this before. I had one set fruit two weeks ago and it's getting pretty big already. But it's started to split, is there anything I can do to prevent this happening to other fruits been set at the moment?


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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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Location: West of Ireland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some varieties of pumpkin are more prone to splitting than others, as I have seen more splitting in those touted as "enormous ", "HUGE" etc.

However you can help prevent splitting as follows....

(1) Avoid giving the pumpkin large doses of fertiliser or water in the hope of swelling it. Fast swelling can lead to cracking.

(2) Do not let the soil around the pumpkin dry out only to have water arrive weeks later. So during a prolonged spell without rain (week or more) you should water gently but deeply once a week. As a rough rule of thumb apply approx 10 litres per metre squared of soil area.

A high level of organic matter dug into the soil before you begin pumpkin growing can help the two points mentioned above. Organic matter in the soil will provide steady feeding and also buffer against stop-start watering.

Allowing your pumpkin plant to produce multiple fruits at once will also act as a buffer against splitting.
Of course the overall size of the individual fruits will suffer with this method.

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michael brenock
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree largely with james kilkelly, too much nitrogen feed with low potasium will cause splitting as will too much water (rain). Allow a few more pumpkins to develop rather than a single one and this spreads the expansion better, is probably more weather related than management.
michael brenock horticultural advisor (retired)
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