Naked-seeded pumpkin project

flowerbug

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@Zeedman i picked the first of the basketballs today. it was yellow, green and some of the yellow was turning to orange so i thought i would try one to see what it was like inside (i think it could have gone another few weeks, but the seeds were green and filled out enough that i didn't think i picked it too too early).

there was about a cup and a half of seeds once separated from the stringy fleshy inside part, the outer part was thick enough that i did cut a chunk of it and cook it to see if it was worth eating. if i was starving, yes, it is edible, like the blandest out of season acorn squash you could find or an older zucchini. otherwise, no, it's going to be worm food when i get it back outside to bury it.

i had to look up what to do with the seeds so they are soaking in some salt water until tomorrow morning then i'll put them out on a clean surface to dry.

i saw some mentioned that you could store the pumpkins until you were ready to eat the seeds which surprised me as i recall you mentioning that the seeds can sprout in the pumpkins. have you ever stored them or do you process them all when picked?

none of the pumpkins are small. they're all basketball sized or bigger. at least the full grown ones.
 

Zeedman

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The best thing to do with the seeds is to place them on a hard surface to dry (they will stick to porous surfaces). Other than just eating them, I use the dried seeds in any recipe calling for nuts. Our favorite bread is a bread machine banana bread, with pumpkin seeds & chopped dried mango. Pumpkin seeds are especially healthful for men, I often eat a small hand full with breakfast.

Mine are all beginning to turn color as well. The good news: in spite of all the SVB's that were hovering over the plants, they don't seem to be infected. The bad news: they are heavily infested with squash bug nymphs! Squash bugs are really bad this year, too much for my spot spraying efforts. It looks like it will be a race, to see if the pumpkins can ripen before the bugs kill the plants. I forgot to bring my spray bottle to the garden today, tomorrow I'll try to reduce the squash bug population to increase the pumpkins' survival chances. I have one pumpkin that is baseball sized, one just under basketball size, and the rest average around volleyball size.

The squash bugs have already killed my kabocha (second straight year of failure). My Tromboncino was recovering from the flooding, but the squash bugs are so bad there & the foliage so thick, I may be forced to mow & kill the patch before the bugs can reach adulthood. :( Never seen them this bad.
 

flowerbug

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The best thing to do with the seeds is to place them on a hard surface to dry (they will stick to porous surfaces). Other than just eating them, I use the dried seeds in any recipe calling for nuts. Our favorite bread is a bread machine banana bread, with pumpkin seeds & chopped dried mango. Pumpkin seeds are especially healthful for men, I often eat a small hand full with breakfast.

Mine are all beginning to turn color as well. The good news: in spite of all the SVB's that were hovering over the plants, they don't seem to be infected. The bad news: they are heavily infested with squash bug nymphs! Squash bugs are really bad this year, too much for my spot spraying efforts. It looks like it will be a race, to see if the pumpkins can ripen before the bugs kill the plants. I forgot to bring my spray bottle to the garden today, tomorrow I'll try to reduce the squash bug population to increase the pumpkins' survival chances. I have one pumpkin that is baseball sized, one just under basketball size, and the rest average around volleyball size.

The squash bugs have already killed my kabocha (second straight year of failure). My Tromboncino was recovering from the flooding, but the squash bugs are so bad there & the foliage so thick, I may be forced to mow & kill the patch before the bugs can reach adulthood. :( Never seen them this bad.

this is a squash bug year here too, but i am seeing plenty of squash on the plants so they've not done them all in. i have dumpling, baby blue hubbard, buttercup and various kabochas and cross-breeds. by far the most i'm seeing now are the green seeded type. i'm pretty sure you are not looking for seeds from the large basketball sized ones in your experiment (am i right with that?).

i'm going to let the remaining ones go a few weeks longer as i think the seeds could fill in a bit more from that.

the borers might take out the weaker smaller plants here or there but they don't usually entirely kill off a plant so i keep planting the survivors and let Momma Nature do the rest as she wishes.

i really don't want to skip a season in squash planting as we do enjoy the results so much. also it isn't easy to rotate plant them since they do sprawl so far at times. the smaller dumpling squash might work better for rotation planting. we'll see... some years we don't know exactly what we're planting until it gets closer to that time and so what we plant and where can be a bit flexible.
 

BeanWonderin

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I've been able to hand pollinate quite a few of the plants now and some of my pumpkins are looking close to full size. Here are some pictures of the pollination process.

Male flowers that were taped shut the previous evening:
EC8E0199-D362-4C53-9D38-575EB0B95AC2.jpeg


Female flower on the same plant that was taped shut the previous evening:
1268251F-9ACD-4A6F-AFAA-5A2B1BBE9B19.jpeg


Flower parts poised for action:
C69E70F4-79CC-4805-A813-D30D5826B878.jpeg


Pollinated female flower re-taped to keep the bees out. I also marked the vine with surveyor tape to keep track.
25D6E249-DA0C-4C01-BAB9-958049589945.jpeg


One of my larger pumpkins. This one is more oblong than others. It seems like the oblong fruits grow on spreading plants and the round fruits grow on compact plants.
3647F850-ABB1-4CA8-A5D0-2956D9AE9306.jpeg


Unfortunately, the deer have found my patch and seem to love the Little Greenseed! Maybe they will be drawn away by apples as they ripen.
ABB04FB1-A7A1-436F-BD31-15495E233792.jpeg


8F14A145-5211-4E15-954C-0D591C009C70.jpeg
 

Zeedman

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You did everything correctly; too bad the ravagers are destroying the fruits of your labors. Time will tell, but the oblong shape is most likely an off-type.

Mine appear promising, but are heavily infested with squash bugs... I'll leave them on the vines as long as I can before mowing the patch & turning it under. I've already harvested one, and it has the target traits of small size & solid orange when ripe. It feels very dense too, which is a good sign... I'll be opening it in a few days.
 

flowerbug

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You did everything correctly; too bad the ravagers are destroying the fruits of your labors. Time will tell, but the oblong shape is most likely an off-type.

Mine appear promising, but are heavily infested with squash bugs... I'll leave them on the vines as long as I can before mowing the patch & turning it under. I've already harvested one, and it has the target traits of small size & solid orange when ripe. It feels very dense too, which is a good sign... I'll be opening it in a few days.

i hope that works out @Zeedman because none of the plants here gave me small fruits.
:(
 

Zeedman

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20210825_183510.jpg

This is close to the original which inspired this project... and it is the only one like it in my grow out. Very heavy for its size - as was the original, which was packed with seed. I'm giving it about a week to cure before I cut it open. About that time, to judge by the size of the squash bug nymphs I saw yesterday, I'll be forced to harvest all the pumpkins. All of those nymphs need to be destroyed before they mature, or I can just forget about squash next year. :(

By the way, all the spots on that pumpkin are squash bug bites. Every pumpkin still growing has bugs clustered on it, feeding. As soon as it dries out enough for me to walk there (I would sink in now), I will attack all of the pumpkins & the surrounding area with soap spray.
 
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Zeedman

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So opened that pumpkin today, and it has all the traits I am seeking... a good quantity of hull-less seeds, and little waste. The vine died prematurely (the reason I picked it) so the seeds are not as fat as they could be; but good enough to grow.

20210901_200400.jpg 20210901_220303.jpg
 

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