watering pumpkins

flowerchild5(z8or)August 7, 2007

Hi, I was curious if i needed to water my pie,howden, and cinderella pumpkins as much as my atlantic giants and big max? i've been watering the giants and max twice a day about 2 gallons each time. the others just once a day 2 gallons. is that enough or too much? appreciate any feedback.



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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

Can't help you with your smaller ones but Atlantic Giants need 50-100 gallons per day over a dedicated patch area 500-1000 square feet... I'm only growing 1 plant in just a couple hundred sq ft and using about 75-80 gal/day...

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 12:53AM
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I would base watering need more on the vine size than pumpkin size although once the pumpkins set watch out for increased watering needs.

I have been told by 'patch' growers that they give their Atlantic Giants the same amount as Korney indicated, 50-100 gallons per day. However I can't say I view that as necessary.

I am growing Atlantic Giant in Gardener Supply Self Watering containers with a 4 gallon reservoir and fill it once per day. I started several AG and Big Max from seed and gave a lot to a friend growing in the ground. My vine is as large as his at around 25-30ft at this point and I have 3 pumpkins growing quickly.

Given comparable growth rates I do not understand why the in ground growers need to use so much more water.

In any event the leaves will droop before serious damage occurs if they need more water. They may also droop in mid day on really hot days with enough water, but they should perk up in the evening.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 1:04AM
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korney19(z6a Buffalo, NY)

In the ground, shallow feeder roots extend as far as the plant canopy, plus vine nodes root. Main vines approach 2" diameter (or more.) In a container, you will end up with a giant rootball & be rootbound/potbound, which will be your limiting factor. My limiting factor is space--I can use the best genetic seeds but can only reach 500 pounds with 200 square feet.

It's somewhat ironic me saying this since I grow 1 to 2 pound tomatoes in 4 gallon buckets!


    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 8:42AM
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silverwind(z5 IL)

As a very unscientific experiment this year (since, well, I had enough) I tried playing with the watering a bit.

I'm only growing Jack-be-Littles and a similar set that came as a orange/white mixed seed pack. They're all in the same soil, same portion of the beds. Partially trellising along the fence.

One end of the line got more water in small, frequent doses. The other got heavy soaks 1-2 times a week.

They all wilt and droop a bit in the afternoon heat, but there's been no leaf drop at all. I have fruit set on both ends of the line, but the end that got the soaks set more flowers, earlier, and is still growing like mad. That pumpkin is about three times the size of all others on the vines.

I'd say the total quantity of water given is approximately equal, and so far those that have gotten well-drowned on an infrequent basis are doing at least as well, if not better than all others.

*sigh* Maybe next year I'll parcel out corners and measure the water a little better, I'm very interested in seeing if this holds through another year, with different weather.

(All garden water gets hauled by hand - our hose doesn't quite reach the area, and I hate having to roll it up after. Easier to haul buckets. I dip and pour with gallon jugs, cleaned milk containers, so I have a good idea of how much they're going through. For seedlings and small plants I use a WS jug - so it's already cut for easier water dipping, and the drain holes punched in the bottom allow for a slow trickle to the babies. :) When soaking the seedlings, I'd set a similar jug with very VERY small drains and let it drip through the morning. )

YMMV, and maybe it's irrelevant, but the thought behind it was to get them well-rooted early. I'd hoped it would encourage deeper rooting and ease my watering through the season, especially as we're vacationing for a week and I have no automatic set-up. *shrug* It seems to be working, it's just that I haven't seen many others try something similar - just passed along stories of 'it works' or 'it doesn't'.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 10:04AM
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I used to hate having to unwind/wind the hose all the time too! I found a solution that may or may not work for you.

I bought hose spigots on a stake from the garden center. The back end has a female hose connector so the garden hose just attaches to it. I placed one where I wanted it and then ran a hose from the house spigot to the remote one and then dug a shallow trench to put the hose in so it's not visible or a tripping hazard.

On the house spigot I have a 4 way brass splitter with shutoff valves and I leave the water on 24x7. This way I have spigots out in the gardens. Mucho convenient.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 11:00AM
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holy cow!! i've been WAY off! i've been giving the Ag's 2 gallons in the morning then 2 at night! i am assuming they are AG's. i got them in the seed exchange and they said from 1000lb pumpkin. the max i bought. I've got 6 of the AG's and 2 max. then about 3-4 pie, 2-3 howdens, little jacks baby boos and lumina. So if i feed them about 15 minutes a day that equals about 70 gallons by my calculations on how much water i can put into a gallon in 60seconds. so should i do 6-7 minutes in the morn and then again at night or just once. i havent got any wilting as it hasnt been to hot here lately. we are having the coolest summer we've ever had that i'm aware of. do i watere the other pumpkins that much? i wouldnt think so. i will have to re-read the posts. thanks so much!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2007 at 9:44PM
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