I was outside yesterday and my daughter and I were admiring the
pumpkin plants. They seemed to have put on about 12-16 inches of
growth in the last couple days! Nice little flower buds on them too...
I went out today and every leaf was wilted and drooping! Emergency
water patrol....a couple hours later and everyone is back in shape.
Just one hot day, doggone it. They're a lot more sensitive than the
other stuff I have growing atm, which seemed to handle the last 24
hours just fine.
When I grew pumpkins I used gallon milk jugs to keep them watered. Washed
out the milk jug, punched a few holes on the bottom edge and buried in pairs
about 12" apart with just the neck above ground. I planted each pumpkin
between two jugs. Once the pumpkins where established I just used the hose
to fill the jugs. It puts a lot of water, as you found out they are thirsty
plants during peak growth, right to the roots. It also encourages the roots
to grow deeper and stay down where the water is but keeps the ground dry
around the pumpkin...no rot. It also makes it easy to heavily feed the
My butternut squashes, which are very closely related to pumpkins, will wilt
on every hot sunny day absolutely no matter how much water they have. I can
have flooded them the night before and also give them an inch of water four
times during the day and it will not matter -- if it is hot and sunny, the
leaves will go limp during the hottest part of the day, then will firm up
immediately again as soon as the sun starts to get low.
I've sort of concluded that winter squash just doesn't like hot sun, and
this is its way of reducing the amount of leaf area that is being irradiated
on a hot day. The stems always stay firm, it is just the leaves that go
limp, kind of like a half-closed picnic umbrella.
Utopia in Decay
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