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Wow, I'm behind! I need to go back and do some serious reading, but not tonight. (So busy!) I did read the last couple pages and have just a small amount to add about squash bugs and whether a year without growing cucurbits would help reduce their numbers.
It might help reduce their numbers a little, but I wouldn't hold out too much hope if there are any other pumpkins/squash/cucumbers/gourds/melons growing anywhere nearby...neighbors' gardens or whatever. Squash bugs can fly, so if they're anywhere nearby, they're likely to find their way to your pumpkin vines in spring. They might even have found shelter at your place the previous fall.
They're sort of clumsy fliers, but the wind might help them along sometimes, too. They find their way to some fairly remote gardens.
I don't think there's a worry about extended diapause (yet) since they winter over as adults. That's one good thing!
 

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I just moved from Arizona (Phoenix suburb) where I was fighting extreme heat (with minimal success) to Southern Minnesota. I have almost an acre of land here so I just ordered a bunch of seeds from Burpee.com of varieties that I always wanted to try to grow.
Does anyone in the upper midwest have tips for growing things in a place that actually has weather?
If you're still checking back here, I'm in MN, too, and have been gardening since I was a little kid, which is, errmmm.. several years. I'd say get the Jarrahdale's and Musquee de Provence in early. I found the latter frustrating, as they spend most of the summer throwing long rampant vines. They finally started setting loads of fruit just before it froze. I got some nice green pumpkins, but only a couple of them finally turned russet after picking. They're so pretty that it's a temptation to try again, but they're actually better suited to more southerly climates. JBL and Rouge Vif have done very well here.
WitchyKitty gets tough winters, too. If you have specific questions, I'm sure there are some of us who will have faced similar issues and we'll do what we can to help.
 

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If you're still checking back here, I'm in MN, too, and have been gardening since I was a little kid, which is, errmmm.. several years. I'd say get the Jarrahdale's and Musquee de Provence in early. I found the latter frustrating, as they spend most of the summer throwing long rampant vines. They finally started setting loads of fruit just before it froze. I got some nice green pumpkins, but only a couple of them finally turned russet after picking. They're so pretty that it's a temptation to try again, but they're actually better suited to more southerly climates. JBL and Rouge Vif have done very well here.
WitchyKitty gets tough winters, too. If you have specific questions, I'm sure there are some of us who will have faced similar issues and we'll do what we can to help.
Yay Midwesterners! What do you recommend for normal pumpkins? And where to get them from/brand?
 

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Yay Midwesterners! What do you recommend for normal pumpkins? And where to get them from/brand?
I normally just stick with Burpee and have a lot of success with them. Last year, I tried Botanical Interests (online) and their seeds did very well, too.

I tend to grow more small and mini types (Jack Be Little, Little October, Triple Treat, Wee Be Little, and and Daisy Gourds). I always have great luck with JBLs. Triple Treats do well and are a nice size between small and medium pumpkin good for all three things: carving, baking and seeds, hence the name. Last year was my first year doing Daisy Gourds and Little Octobers...they both did amazing and I had a million of them, lol. I gave up on the Wee Be Littles, as I couldn't find them by Burpee and the brand I was getting gave me poor results year after year. It's a shame, because they are adorable mini round pumpkins. I find the Little Octobers are a good replacement, though.

The year before, last I did an experiment and grew some seeds I harvested out of a Jarrahdale and out of a medium white pumpkin (You never know what you will get planting seeds from a pumpkin if it had been cross pollinated!)...the Jarrahdale seeds actually gave me true Jarrahdales, while the white pumpkin seeds...well...were definitely from a cross pollinated white pumpkin, as I got some odd looking white giant long neck gourd type things, hahaha. I'm sure some of you remember. I painted them to look like ghosts....then, since they were still around during the holidays, gave them a caroling book and they were suddenly "carolers" LOL! Whatever the white things were, I got a lot of them. I only got three Jarrahdales, but maybe I'd have gotten more had I started them a little earlier. Again, like Ooojen said, long, tough, cold winters can make it harder to get larger pumpkins/longer growing season pumpkins. I do start mine indoors, but if I ever tried them, again, I would start them indoors even earlier than that year to give them more time to bear fruit. This is why I mostly grow minis and smalls.

Illinois is the #1 Pumpkin growing state, though, so it's definitely possible to get good sized pumpkins...and lots of them...in our climate!! Granted, MN has a slightly longer winter than we do, as you are a state above us.

I haven't decided what I want to grow, this year...but I need to decide, soon, as it's almost time to start indoors!
 

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Yay Midwesterners! What do you recommend for normal pumpkins? And where to get them from/brand?
Normal pumpkins, eh? Hmm... I don't grow many of those! I grow odd ones, lumpy, blue, flat...
WitchyKitty mentioned some good small ones!
In the next size up, Sugar Pie pumpkins do well here and make nice little Jack o'Lanterns.
I've had good luck with Early Giant, which isn't giant giant, but it's nice and big for a short-season pumpkin.
Burpee seeds are good, and mentioned. I also buy from Jungs, and from Baker Creek.

I'm going to try to hold back a little on my pumpking-growing this year. I wound up with a decent crop last year, but the frustration level and the amount of work were huge. I still intend to put in several varieties, but I want to keep it fun.
 

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I keep saying I'm going to do less pumpkins/gourds in my little garden because they take it over like crazy and I don't have the energy with my health to keep up with them...yet, I still keep overflowing the garden each year. I kinda wanna try the Jarrahdales, again, as I love blue pumpkins so much. They have such long vines and so few pumpkins, though, for my small garden...I need to decide, quick!
 

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Merry May Day and a Blessed Beltane, everyone! 🌼🎃🧙‍♀️🌸🌷

Being May 1st, and warmer weather starting, I have begun pre-germinating my summer seeds (pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, sunflowers) in my usual "damp paper towel in baggie in a warm, dark spot" method.

For pumpkin seeds, I decided to see if I could get any Jarrahdales going...though we will see if I plant one or not, as, like I said, I don't have a lot of room. I basically started some because I haven't made up my mind yet, lol.

I have some more Little Octobers in there, too.

I haven't been able to find my Burpee JBL seeds for some reason, and shopping right now is difficult with the virus and all, so I can't run all over looking for them. It's too late to order some, so I found a mini mix in a brand I haven't tried before...it has Jack Be Littles, Baby Boos and those colorful striped mini pumpkins that I forgot the name of. Lol, I can only plant one or two plants of them, so who the heck knows which color I will actually end up with! I've always wanted to grow the white ones and striped ones, so if I get those and not JBLs, I'll be okay with that. I just hope I get good germination, being as they are a different brand.

Whatever germinates will get put in small pots in my greenhouse and planted in about mid-May, depending on the weather.
 

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I have to protect my "crop" against a raccoon, groundhog, squirrels, birds and a possible fox. I did find a wire cage type deal on Amazon made for protecting gardens/plants that I'm gonna try. Their smaller cage is 22x22x22. I know we are from all over and I'm in the smack dab middle of Iowa....has anyone planted pukkins for this season yet? I think I'm gonna be planting middle-end of this month May.
 

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I have to protect my "crop" against a raccoon, groundhog, squirrels, birds and a possible fox. I did find a wire cage type deal on Amazon made for protecting gardens/plants that I'm gonna try. Their smaller cage is 22x22x22. I know we are from all over and I'm in the smack dab middle of Iowa....has anyone planted pukkins for this season yet? I think I'm gonna be planting middle-end of this month May.
We are in central Illinois, so same climate as you, for the most part. Like I said, above, I just started mine indoors, yesterday, and I'll plant outside in mid May, unless the cooler weather that's supposed to be coming in sticks around longer, then I'll aim for mid to late May.
We have to protect our veggie/pumpkin gardens from our outdoor critters, too. I've had a fenced in garden at both my houses. This house needs a taller fence, though...we made it shorter than our one at the old house, and while it stops some animals, not all. We plan on making a new fence at some point in the future. Probably not this year, though.
 

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I just checked my germinating baggies and all but one of my pumpkin type seeds has germinated! (I am giving that last one more time, as it's only been two or three days. My Cucumber seeds have one just starting to germinate and my sunflowers and zucchini are being stubborn. Again, it's only been a couple days for the zucchini and three for the sunflowers, so I'll give them more time before attempting to start new seeds.

The germinated seeds are all now in pots and snug in my little greenhouse, downstairs. 🎃 They will have to stay down there for a bit, as these below average temp systems seem like they will be sticking around for awhile...Friday night and Saturday morning are supposed to be freezing with wind chills in the 20's...in mid May...sigh.

I see Iowa Guy has some seeds going...anyone else have any updates?
 

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I planted another small size seed. My theory plan is for half of my patch to not make it so I went overboard on planting....Now....IF they all surprise and thrive, I'm fixing to set a new record with pukkins. Last year I had 35 :)
 

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So far I've started: Jamboree, Peanut, Moranga, Magic Lantern (new to me), Wyatt's Wonder, Toad, Goosebumps, and Early Giant. I'll probably add a JBL, but that's it, because I'm trying to keep my pumpkins more contained this year. :rolleyes: I really like Rouge Vif, though...and One Too Many... We'll see...Oh, wait, Sugar Pie! Those did really well. I must have misplaced the seeds.

I have an advantage this year over the last two. There are soybeans east of my garden instead of corn. By late June corn is tall enough to block a fair amount of morning sunshine, but the beans shouldn't be a problem.
So far I only have one gourd planted, a decorative type, but I'm hoping to get some to dry. Their form is like a small pumpkin. Here are 2 pumpkins/gourds from last year that are dried and could be carved and painted. One's from the SuperFreaks line and the other is a volunteer JBL that must have had some gourd genes in it. I never had one dry before.

20200506_092739[1].jpg 20200506_093331[1].jpg
 

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Like an idiot.... I planted the mixed JBLs on the pumpkin arch & we just had a freeze warning posted for the next 3 days ☠☠☠
 

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Discussion Starter #100
One's from the SuperFreaks line and the other is a volunteer JBL that must have had some gourd genes in it. I never had one dry before.
I was surprised when I went out into the garden last spring to find one of the pumpkins I had left to rot had basically dried out like a gourd. It was all mottled with mildew and what not, but I absolutely loved it. I took it in, washed it down with a bleach solution to kill off the molds, and sprayed it with a clear coat. It will be a part of the witches shack this year if we put it up. But for now it's inside trying to stay safe with rather klutzy people bumping into it all the time.

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