Duck's New Ragtag garden, Version 2020

ducks4you

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On Tuesday I attented another U of I Extension Office Webinar: Growing Squash and Pumpkins. Very informative, not as well attended as the last.
Ha, Ha, for the Webinar in September, I foolishly showered and dressed (shirt-wise) very smart, then realized that I would not ever be on camera. THIS time I was in my outside messy clothes, but I did write out my questions on notepad so that I could post them timely.
I learned that even if you rotate crops, squash bugs and vine borers can travel from your neighbors even one mile away.
I learned that it is prudent to prune leaves and to also put out yellow bowls with soapy water. They are attracted to yellow~
Party City sells these, 99 cents/each, 24 ounces volume
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ducks4you

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I also asked how to save seeds. I will be saving seeds from 2 orange pumpkins, 1 white pumpkin and now, 2 pink porcelein pumpkins for next year. She went through the steps and added that the dried seeds should be refridgerated to keep them from sprouting, something I hadn't thought about. I know that pumpkins are N and S American native and need a cold treatment. The ornamental goards come from central america.
She didn't recommend trap cropping, but I hope to put pumpkins EVERYWHERE next year, especially on fence lines, letting the horses num on them along fencelines. We are, after all, in IL a pumpkin growing capital. I think a trap crop in back of the house in my new bed and along the street fenceline would help, but we shall see.
She also said that plants infected with any spores should NOT be burned bc it will release spores into the air.
Very Intersting.
As soon as the U of I releases the you tube videos, I will post them. ;)
 

GottaGo

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On Tuesday I attented another U of I Extension Office Webinar: Growing Squash and Pumpkins. Very informative, not as well attended as the last.
Ha, Ha, for the Webinar in September, I foolishly showered and dressed (shirt-wise) very smart, then realized that I would not ever be on camera. THIS time I was in my outside messy clothes, but I did write out my questions on notepad so that I could post them timely.
I learned that even if you rotate crops, squash bugs and vine borers can travel from your neighbors even one mile away.
I learned that it is prudent to prune leaves and to also put out yellow bowls with soapy water. They are attracted to yellow~
Party City sells these, 99 cents/each, 24 ounces volume
View attachment 37288
Thank you for that tid bit!! How far away from the plants should you put the bowls?
 

Zeedman

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She went through the steps and added that the dried seeds should be refridgerated to keep them from sprouting, something I hadn't thought about. I know that pumpkins are N and S American native and need a cold treatment. The ornamental goards come from central america.
Squash seeds (pumpkins are just a subset of squashes) shouldn't sprout when dry, or require refrigeration. They may sprout inside the pumpkin, prior to it being opened... I've noticed that naked-seeded pumpkins in particular seem prone to this problem. Squash seeds do not require cold treatment to germinate. Properly dried seeds, stored in a sealed container at room temperature, should have a long storage life. The Tromboncino I grew this year was from 2009 seed, stored in zippered freezer bags.

Frankly, I'm surprised to hear that some of the info mentioned was presented by an Extension service... I'd really like to view that presentation in its entirety. I hope the webinar covered hand pollination of squash (and pumpkins) for seed saving. I'd be really curious to see their recommendations on seed processing & cleaning too.
 

ducks4you

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Squash seeds (pumpkins are just a subset of squashes) shouldn't sprout when dry, or require refrigeration. They may sprout inside the pumpkin, prior to it being opened... I've noticed that naked-seeded pumpkins in particular seem prone to this problem. Squash seeds do not require cold treatment to germinate. Properly dried seeds, stored in a sealed container at room temperature, should have a long storage life. The Tromboncino I grew this year was from 2009 seed, stored in zippered freezer bags.

Frankly, I'm surprised to hear that some of the info mentioned was presented by an Extension service... I'd really like to view that presentation in its entirety. I hope the webinar covered hand pollination of squash (and pumpkins) for seed saving. I'd be really curious to see their recommendations on seed processing & cleaning too.
She only covered seed harvesting/treatment bc I asked the question. I, too, wondered, since I grew Blue Doll pumpkins a few years ago and I have a pickle jar full of the seeds. I never gave them a cold treatment, just kept them dry and out of sunlight, and none have sprouted.
 

Zeedman

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She only covered seed harvesting/treatment bc I asked the question. I, too, wondered, since I grew Blue Doll pumpkins a few years ago and I have a pickle jar full of the seeds. I never gave them a cold treatment, just kept them dry and out of sunlight, and none have sprouted.
This sounds less like a webinar, and more like a Q & A with someone whose expertise in the topic is questionable. I would expect better from something sponsored by the Extension service, who I have always found to be very helpful in my past dealings with them.
 

Ridgerunner

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I've also had a lot of success with the extension service, I'm asking many questions of mine after my move down here. But they are human, some are better than others. Some are experts in their field. On other topics the good ones find experts, hopefully. But I've also had a time or two where I'm sure they did a google search and came up with a site I'd already seen. Seen and rejected. I'm not an expert but I do know a few things.

Needing to refrigerate or freeze dried squash (or pumpkin) seeds to keep them from sprouting is ridiculous. They are not going to sprout without moisture. If you have enough moisture in that jar for them to sprout they are not anywhere close to dried. If they have some moisture they will mold unless frozen or refrigerated, not sprout. If they are dry and sealed in a jar they should be fine as long as they are not subjected to extreme heat. Seeds tend to not sprout after they are cooked.

If they are refrigerated or frozen they will last more years than if they are stored at room temperature but those should last several years at room temperature. One reason to freeze them might be to kill bugs that are in the jar, if bugs are in the jar. Weevils can be a problem with some seeds.

One specific example. In Arkansas I asked a question on breaking dormancy on seed potatoes. The agent hooked my up with a master gardener. She did not have a clue about breaking dormancy on seed potatoes.
 

ducks4you

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I respectifuly disagree @Zeedman ! Mid American Gardener has a panel of local experts, and mostly the experts are professors, professor emeretis's, and extension officers who were Trained by the College of Aces, and then, some Master gardeners, including one who has grown hundreds of different hosta, and identified a toxic weed that I, fortunately do NOT have growing in my pastures.
I suspect that this extension officer doesn't save pumpkin seeds, and was applying general knowledge. One of their regular panelist recently discussed failure of her crop bc of, I believe, mosaic virus, and she traced it to the seed source, which contained the virus!
I know that, about 40-50 years ago, the attempt to modernize Ag brought a lot of really stupid ideas with it. Where I used to keep my horses, the owner of the property used many of those and he didn't do well. Now, I hear their advice balanced between specific and targeted use of pesticides to no till to organic gardening. She did say that organic gardening is a LOT of work.
I learned from Julie Goodnight AND from my DH that mowing down the weeds in your pasture, which always grow taller than the grass, will eventually eliminate them and give the pasture grass an opportunity to compete.
Our crops are Not helpless, but, maybe we settle for less than the best, the convenience of buying from a box store rather than toughing it out starting from seed, and buying GOOD seed to start with.
Something else--I heard a question on MAG regarding gardening with coffee grounds. I think that the questioner was REALLY wanting to dump their regular coffee grounds into their garden area INSTEAD of throwing them in the trash/landfill, and hope that the grounds had some plant nutritional value. As I understand it, coffee grounds haven't great nutritional value and, like ashes, will, at some point break down into soil, but it takes them a lot longer, like years, instead of animal manure, which breaks down for use in a matter of months. The panelist Did suggest composting them, which is what I am doing, since I make a whole pot of coffee/daily.
 
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