Naked-seeded pumpkin project

Zeedman

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I bought a packet of hull less pumpkin seeds from etsy, it's called kakai. Have you heard of that variety?
I'd be happy to try yours as well. I also grow other squash so they will cross pollinate. Let me know if I can help.
"Kakai" was one of the varieties in my mass trial. Chances are high that some of the genetics from "Kakai" crossed into my saved seed from "Little Greenseed", grown adjacent to it - which could make some of the crosses interesting. "Kakai" is one of the Styrian-type pumpkins, medium large (about 5-10#, if I recall), orange with green stripes, and thick but poor quality flesh. The seeds are large (larger than LG), but the large seed cavity was mostly empty space, and I found the seed quantity disappointing. The seed from "Kakai" was the highest quality of the varieties I trialed though; if it could be bred for bush habit or higher yield (another possible breeding project?) I would look on it more favorably. Who knows, maybe it has been improved since I grew it in 2012.:idunno

Oh, and one thing about naked-seeded pumpkins that showed up in my trial: some of the seeds may sprout while still inside. If saving seed from squash, I usually allow them to cure for a month or so before opening, during which the seeds continue to fatten up. That storage time may encourage sprouting for hull-less seeds, so it is something to watch for.

For me, the yin/yang about "Kakai" is the amount of wasted flesh. I don't have animals to feed all that waste to, and didn't want to throw it back in the garden where it would attract rodents. I ended up throwing the flesh back in my woods, where the deer probably ate it. The pumpkins are large enough to be carved for small jack-o-lanterns, although they may look a little odd due to their color.
 

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"Kakai" was one of the varieties in my mass trial. Chances are high that some of the genetics from "Kakai" crossed into my saved seed from "Little Greenseed", grown adjacent to it - which could make some of the crosses interesting. "Kakai" is one of the Styrian-type pumpkins, medium large (about 5-10#, if I recall), orange with green stripes, and thick but poor quality flesh. The seeds are large (larger than LG), but the large seed cavity was mostly empty space, and I found the seed quantity disappointing. The seed from "Kakai" was the highest quality of the varieties I trialed though; if it could be bred for bush habit or higher yield (another possible breeding project?) I would look on it more favorably. Who knows, maybe it has been improved since I grew it in 2012.:idunno

Oh, and one thing about naked-seeded pumpkins that showed up in my trial: some of the seeds may sprout while still inside. If saving seed from squash, I usually allow them to cure for a month or so before opening, during which the seeds continue to fatten up. That storage time may encourage sprouting for hull-less seeds, so it is something to watch for.

For me, the yin/yang about "Kakai" is the amount of wasted flesh. I don't have animals to feed all that waste to, and didn't want to throw it back in the garden where it would attract rodents. I ended up throwing the flesh back in my woods, where the deer probably ate it. The pumpkins are large enough to be carved for small jack-o-lanterns, although they may look a little odd due to their color.
How interesting! Thank you for that great reply! I did know that kakai flesh is not tasty and was going to toss that to our chickens. Thanks for letting me know about the seeds sprouting. I will harvest the seeds quickly.
 

BeanWonderin

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Hopefully, the desired traits can still be isolated... but it may require a large population to do so. To anyone who may want to take part in this project, I would be happy to provide seed & full details.

I'd be interested in helping out with this, @Zeedman. I haven't hand-pollinated squash before, but I've read about it and understand the process. How many plants do you think I would need to make it worthwhile?
 

Zeedman

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I'd be interested in helping out with this, @Zeedman. I haven't hand-pollinated squash before, but I've read about it and understand the process. How many plants do you think I would need to make it worthwhile?
Because this seed was open-pollinated, it's impossible to guess how many plants will be needed; but every plant improves the chances. My hope is that selfing (pollinating with a male flower from the same plant) will speed up the process, since that will immediately eliminate any plants with hulled seed. I would provide detailed instructions throughout the growing season.
 

BeanWonderin

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Because this seed was open-pollinated, it's impossible to guess how many plants will be needed; but every plant improves the chances. My hope is that selfing (pollinating with a male flower from the same plant) will speed up the process, since that will immediately eliminate any plants with hulled seed. I would provide detailed instructions throughout the growing season.
Thanks - understood. I sent you a message with my mailing address. Looking forward to this! I've saved standard squash and pumpkin seeds for roasting before, but never grew a squash for just seeds.
 

Zeedman

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To those who expressed an interest in these pumpkin seeds, they went out in the mail today. If anyone else is interested in this project, or would like to try growing these, shoot me a PM before June 1st. The seeds go back into the freezer after that date.
 

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To those who expressed an interest in these pumpkin seeds, they went out in the mail today. If anyone else is interested in this project, or would like to try growing these, shoot me a PM before June 1st. The seeds go back into the freezer after that date.

got the seeds today, thank you! we'll see how they do. :)
 

Zeedman

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Plant habit should be short vines, about 6-8' long, rooting at the nodes where they touch the ground. Ideally, the female flowers should be hand pollinated with male flowers of the same plant, because the desired naked-seeded trait will only become visible after harvest. When the pumpkins begin to form though, they should be nearly spherical... so if you see fruit that are elongated, pointed, or oddly shaped, those will be crosses.

I'm doubtful about the future of mine this year, rain prevented me from covering the young plants & SVB moths have been all over them. :( I've killed 5-6 of the moths with my spray bottle in the few times I've been out there lately. This might be the year I try injecting BT into the stems, to kill the larvae.
 
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BeanWonderin

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Plant habit should be short vines, about 6-8' long, rooting at the nodes where they touch the ground. Ideally, the female flowers should be hand pollinated with male flowers of the same plant, because the desired naked-seeded trait will only become visible after harvest. When the pumpkins begin to form though, they should be nearly spherical... so if you see fruit that are elongated, pointed, or oddly shaped, those will be crosses.

I'm doubtful about the future of mine this year, rain prevented me from covering the young plants & SVB moths have been all over them. :( I've killed 5-6 of the moths with my spray bottle in the few times I've been out there lately. This might be the year I try injecting BT into the stems, to kill the larvae.
Thank you. I have about 30 good looking plants. At this point the only real threat is weeds and giving them enough water. It has been dry lately so we are irrigating. I knocked back the weeds yesterday, so they should be set for a bit. Deer could become an issue since this part of the garden is not fenced. Hopefully the deer only like the off-types!

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