Pumpkins in garden and buckets...

noodles123

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So, I have quite a few pumpkins going on in my yard at the moment--I felt bad for the seedlings I was going to have to thin, so I bought 2 18-gallon buckets this morning and now have a few more in those (2 each for the time being...but may have to thin further). <--$7 at Lowes Vs Amazon's crazy price FYI!!!! I did drill holes in the bottom...probably 50 at least, per bucket...my neighbors may have hated me at 7AM...eek...I attached a picture of the buckets below.

Here are the pumpkins I am growing
1. Dills Atlantic Giant
2. Big Max
3. jhardale (sp??)
4. Lumina
5. Cinderalla

and then I also have some gourds that have germinated but still need to be put into the ground..

Corsican (sp?) and birdhouse.


I know they take up A TON of space...

I know that I am late in the season....

I have holes/mounds that are about 30" in length and 14-15" (width) spaces between mounds at about 5.5' to 6' apart. I know this is not ideal, but limited sun made me do it this way. I know if I had a full mound, I would thin to 2 or 3 plants...but can I manage 2 in the rectangles (15" wide, 30" long)? They are roughly 2.5 to 3 feet deep with good soil that has been tilled and fortified. If I can do 2 plants per mound (at this size), which types?
***I have a feeling Dill's Atlantic and Big Max need to be 1-plant mounds...***


In terms of the buckets, this is what they look like (again 18 gallons each and I have 2):

313NvXKh%2BgL._AC_.jpg
<-- I want to know if of the varieties I mentioned, any could manage at 2 plants per-bucket and if so, which varieties could be housed in 2's? (among those listed above)

FINALLY-- what can I use to kill insects like vine borers and protecting plants WITHOUT killing bees and toads/frogs?
I wish I could use Seven but I never have and never will....I know it works, but it's no good for the environment..
I am unsure about Neem oil...I used it in the past but now I am worried it may harm the many toads in my yard.

FINALLY- in terms of control of mildew etc- I have read that some baking soda and water can work...Any thoughts??

I have never intentionally grown pumpkins...only ever accidentally in my compost pile!

I love them more than any other plant, but I just will be SO sad if all of this effort fails. I literally spent 6 hours digging and filling holes in my yard (because there are old brick sidewalks underneath it, but of course, only on the sunny side of the house...the other side is perfect and brick free, but sunless...BAH! Not to mention the cost of the filler soil/seeds/ fertilizer etc etc...Gardening is awesome, but I always forget how quickly it can add up.
 
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noodles123

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anyone?? I DK if I can bump my own thread lol
 

SailBoat

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I'm not aware of any restrictions in bumping your own Thread, seems like it is something that needs to happen from time to time these days.

Wow, a subject that I have very little knowledge regarding!

That said, I wouldn't get crazy about being late planting them as long as you have lots of Sunshine! The cold Spring has near all Spring planting late!

Have fun!!! :D

FYI: The liquid rubber (as seen on TV) can be used to fill in those holes if you choose to use to use those buckets to hold water.
 
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AmyMyBlueFront

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And a Normal Grey Cockatiel named BB who came home with me on 5/20/2016.
Sorry Noods I'm no gardener so I have nothing to offer...sorry. :eek:



Jim
 

mica21493

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I can't help you too much, pumpkins aren't something I grow but I LOVE gardening and just watched a gardening show on pumpkins! The smaller ones can be grown in containers. The containers should be on the ground so the vines can fall right onto the ground. Pumpkins are heavy feeders. They put a scoop of dried kelp and scoop of chicken waste pellets in the hole they planted them in. They need a lot of water. And when the fruit starts coming, carefully put bricks under them to keep them off the ground. That's all I remember from the show, hope it helps a little!
 
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noodles123

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I too have been watching shows about them (obsessively lol).
They are like Noodles' siblings at this point (haha-jk--but I REALLY do want them to survive).
I am not wanting to use anything on them that kills bees or toads/frogs etc, so I am super nervous about insect issues!!!
I will let you know how it goes ;)

I just was out covering all of mine in case of storms tonight..will be a much bigger challenge when they grow to their full size....EEK!
I don't have chickens, so I am banking on the composted fertilizer I started with + some possible spray on stuff later in the game.
If they die...I AM GOING TO BE SO DISAPPOINTED! I am so invested at this point lol! HOURS of digging for the ones in the ground...so much work (had to remove 3 layers of old brick sidewalks under one mound lol!)
 
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Jen5200

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I plant pumpkins and other squash every year and my biggest nemesis has been slugs when the plants are small. I’ve never had any issues with bugs on them and I don’t really use bug treatments in my yard since I want the bees to be okay. I tend to use 2L soda bottles (cut off top and bottom to make a plastic sleeve/wall) to keep the slugs off the plants until the plants are big enough to hold their own. I’ve never bothered with feeding them much - just compost, but they do like to be watered regularly. I tend to slack off on watering too as the summer progresses. Mine always grow fine and produce more pumpkins and squash than I can use or give away (my chickens love squash so nothing goes to waste).
 
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noodles123

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I plant pumpkins and other squash every year and my biggest nemesis has been slugs when the plants are small. I’ve never had any issues with bugs on them and I don’t really use bug treatments in my yard since I want the bees to be okay. I tend to use 2L soda bottles (cut off top and bottom to make a plastic sleeve/wall) to keep the slugs off the plants until the plants are big enough to hold their own. I’ve never bothered with feeding them much - just compost, but they do like to be watered regularly. I tend to slack off on watering too as the summer progresses. Mine always grow fine and produce more pumpkins and squash than I can use or give away (my chickens love squash so nothing goes to waste).

what kinds do you grow?
 

Jen5200

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The past few years -pie pumpkins, big pumpkins, giant pumpkins (no idea the specific varieties). Zucchini, butternut, spaghetti, delicata squash. Only growing a couple of zucchini plants and some kind of pumpkin this year. They’re a bit slow starting this year as we’ve had more rain and less sun than usual - but I’m pretty sure that they’ll catch up when we get a sunny stretch. Upside - haven’t had to water them :). I usually have 4-5 plants which seem to take over the garden so I cut back to 3 and planted some other veggies that I don’t usually bother with. I love gardening, but am having trouble keeping up this year. Pandemic has had me working more than full time so it’s been a bit tough to stay on top of the garden and flower beds :)
 
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noodles123

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Do you think I could grow a large pumpkin in an 18 gallon bucket? Any chance 2 medium-sized varieties could work in 1 18 gallon bucket?

Here's my other thing--- my mounds are smaller than they should be because I didn't have enough sun to space them out as much as I would have liked AND because I misunderstood when I first dug my holes..
I am doing kind of a hybrid of mound and rows lol....so many confusing terms in the world of pumpkins (mound, rows, hills..ugh).

So, from what I understand, a typical mound should be a circle at least 24-36 inches in diameter ....

For the majority of mine, I dug rectangles that were 24" long and about 19-20"" wide and 2-3 feet deep, and filled them with a mix of garden soil and compost. Then I did a roughly 6" mound on top of that. I spaced these around 5 feet apart and planted the pumpkins in the mounds after they developed their first "true" leaf (so the 2 support leaves and that one that is the "true leaf")...

ANYWAY- do you think I could get away with 2 plants in each hole (see dimensions above)--with holes 5' apart and 2 plants in each at around 15" apart or do I need to go down to 1 per hole? None of mine are miniature varieties.
I just am worried that if I put all of my "eggs in one basket" and thin down to 1 per hole, that if that single plant dies or gets an insect problem, I will have no fall-back.

PPS: I think birds are eating the leaves on my Cinderella pumpkins!!! but on those...it's clearly not an insect and I have seen Grackles in my fences messing around with something...
Plus, SOMEBODY dug out an entire plant and tossed it to the side LOL (pretty sure that one was a squirrel )..
 
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Jen5200

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Personally I think you could grow a pumpkin in an 18 gal bucket, as long as you have room for it to sprawl out all over. I also think that 2 smaller varieties could go in a bucket together. I find that things in “pots” tend to need more watering and feeding, so I would go into it prepared to keep a closer eye on those in buckets.

I find that things in the ground are much more forgiving about sharing space - the ground retains water better, and there’s more nutrients around them to share. One may thrive and one might not be as vigorous but hard to say.

I do find that plants tend not to care that much about all of the specific rules that we outline and say that they need - if I am prepared to provide some water, nutrients, sun requirements and space to grow.....they generally do their thing :). I do watch for signs that they are not getting enough of the basics and top those up as needed.

I’ve never had issues with birds on my pumpkins - but I do get them on berries. I keep some inexpensive bird netting in the barn and throw it over berry bushes/fruit when the birds get too interested - actually probably would work to keep squirrels out too. I reuse it year after year, just fold/roll it up and toss it back in my barn for next year. For plants on the ground, like my strawberries - I use short bamboo stakes to make like a tent with the netting and to stake the edges of the netting down (also reusable).
 
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noodles123

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Personally I think you could grow a pumpkin in an 18 gal bucket, as long as you have room for it to sprawl out all over. I also think that 2 smaller varieties could go in a bucket together. I find that things in “pots” tend to need more watering and feeding, so I would go into it prepared to keep a closer eye on those in buckets. I check them daily and water sometimes 2x daily, but I like the idea of buckets because it is SO much easier than having to dig up sidewalks from the 1890s!

I find that things in the ground are much more forgiving about sharing space - the ground retains water better, and there’s more nutrients around them to share. One may thrive and one might not be as vigorous but hard to say.

I do find that plants tend not to care that much about all of the specific rules that we outline and say that they need - if I am prepared to provide some water, nutrients, sun requirements and space to grow.....they generally do their thing :). I do watch for signs that they are not getting enough of the basics and top those up as needed.

I’ve never had issues with birds on my pumpkins - but I do get them on berries. I keep some inexpensive bird netting in the barn and throw it over berry bushes/fruit when the birds get too interested - actually probably would work to keep squirrels out too. I reuse it year after year, just fold/roll it up and toss it back in my barn for next year. For plants on the ground, like my strawberries - I use short bamboo stakes to make like a tent with the netting and to stake the edges of the netting down (also reusable).

I do have the room for them to sprawl - it's just not all great soil because this house is old and about 3-6" under, in many areas, you find layers of antique sidewalk--like they dumped top-soil on over the old charming bricks and grew some grass in the 60s or something...

My yard is a FREAKISH bird haven, even though there is no reason for it to be (as far as I can tell). I do sometimes bring Noodles out, but they are scared of her..

I looked down on my walk yesterday afternoon (from a small window inside), and (excluding trees and other areas) I could simultaneously see, 2 woodpeckers, 2 sparrows, 2 doves, 4 grackles and 4 robins (plus 2 squirrels and a rabbit)---that is all on the ground from a tiny window (others flew by and weren't counted) I HAVE NO IDEA why my lawn is so popular.

I agree that the ground is better in terms of roots etc when it comes to growing plants-- I just worry about disease (mildew/root rot) and bugs because I have such a LIVELY ecosystem here (clearly) haha!

My mom had some bird netting for her blackberries and she found a strangled sparrow in it and was heart-broken (she freed another when she saw the dead one and heard the sounds of a different bird in distress)...
She doesn't use it anymore because of that.

What size is your netting?
 
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Jen5200

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My garden has about 8-10” of okay soil, and then hard clay underneath - I’m always impressed that I can grow just about anything in there. A lively ecosystem is a good thing :). Most bugs don’t do damage, most birds don’t do damage - I tend to live and let live, as long as they leave me some of what I’ve grown :).

I have a LOT of birds here too, and I’ve never had one get stuck in the netting. I would be sooooo upset if one got stuck in it (and would probably toss it if that ever happened here too)! I just use the cheap plastic netting with pretty small weave - but I do stretch it over bamboo stakes to keep it off the plants and relatively taut. I don’t need it every year, as I’m fine with them eating some of my crop (I only use it in years where they aren’t leaving me anything).
 

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