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Date:12/28/2014 7:50:48 AM
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Pumpkins
Hello my friend! I don't know as I could give you any better advice than you'd get from the Parish/County extension office but here goes: I am made to think that pumpkins a cool weather plants so down there you'd might wanna get some shade on them in the afternoon. Up here we start the seed indoors in early May and then put the peat planters in the garden around Memorial Day. This last summer, because it was so hot, I hosed down the leaves late in the morning so the evaporating water would cool the leaves. Otherwise they would curl up.
Pumpkins don't keep all that well so anything that's grown in the spring down there won't last till Halloween or Thanksgiving. My guess is that I would plant them in afternoon shade three months before first frost. Maybe that's the first of August for you, I guess. I would plant Jack-O-Lanterns. They make the best, all-around pumpkin. Atlantic Giants are fine for bulk, but they turn out pale and lopsided. If you want pumpkin pies, then Pie Pumpkins could be planted in March and harvested in late June and again in the fall. As for soil, pumpkins will do well in poor soil. I once put some pumpkins against our sandhill and used them for siting in my deer rifle. The next year, I had a nice few pumpkins grow up in that sandy spot, without any fertilizer. I guess that means that I wouldn't fertilize in your good soil down there.

So there you are, I don't know anything about growin' crops in the South, I admit; but I think your Ag agent might have some ideas for you. Let me know how it turns out next year. -- Gary
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