Growing Pumpkins/Winter Squash as a Survival Crop: Ideas for Large Scale Growing

  • Growing Pumpkins/Winter Squash as a Survival Crop: Ideas for Large Scale Growing

    Posted by Susquehanna-Homestead on October 15, 2022 at 11:56 am

    This year I grew pumpkins using the melon pit method, mowing the grass around the vines as they grew, and got decent results for the amount of time I spent. However, I would like to grow up to an acre of pumpkins (without mowing between the plants)to feed my family, chickens, and maybe to sell (only if I have excess). The amount of land I would plant depends on the amount of time I would spend weeding it. I have a disk harrow for my tractor to prepare the ground, but the one part I am not sure of is weeding. My options are: using my Duc plow (small, hand-pulled plow) between the rows OR the possibility of planting a cover crop shortly after the pumpkins to block out most weeds. I got this idea from Lazy Dog Farm on YouTube when they used iron clay peas for this purpose. Which do you think is the better idea to minimize cost and time spent weeding? My garden this year (not counting the pumpkin patch) was approx. 1/4 acre and I used my Duc plow to weed it all, taking up a few hours each week. All helpful ideas welcome to modify this plan/idea. Thank you very much for your input. Duc plow: Photo of this year’s harvest:

    TammyLou replied 5 months, 2 weeks ago 7 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • NC654

    October 15, 2022 at 1:33 pm

    I grew pumpkins this year but I do not think they are the right ones. For the most part, no matter what I did they were tasteless, then I found out I needed sugar pumpkins, is that correct?

  • FaintlyArtistic

    October 15, 2022 at 2:27 pm

    The variety that they use to can pumpkin is actually Dickinson squash. You can buy the seeds from Mary’s Heirloom Seeds, others sell it as well.

  • Stoutlander

    October 18, 2022 at 6:33 pm

    I spread a bunch of wood chips around the pumpkin mounds to minimize weeds. I had a couple of loads dumped by a company that has a contract with a nearby city to keep the power lines clear. Some towns and cities allow for folks to get wood chips for free. Some arborists will dump for free, others will charge a little to cover their gas and time to get to your house.

  • OKSteader

    October 20, 2022 at 12:15 pm

    The wood chips is a great idea. I am toying with the idea of planting a large patch of pumpkins so will follow for ideas.

  • TammyLou

    June 14, 2023 at 12:46 am

    I just harvested these from a volunteer plant here in NE Florida! The seeds started from pie pumpkin scraps composted after Thanksgiving and took off a few months ago. I hand- pollinated and was rewarded. I’ll be canning them up this week. I also enjoyed fried squash blossoms for awhile -yum!

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