[Market-farming] No-till Dryland Pumpkins

robert schuler sunnfarm at bellatlantic.net
Sat May 21 12:16:31 EDT 2005

I planted 14 acres of no till pumpkins, seeded rye in fall mowed it down
cut slots and seeded pumpkins in June. I hoped to just mow the weeds
until vines covered ground. It did not work as well as I planned. Weeds
took over after pumpkin vines run. Weeds harbor aphids that spread virus
into pumpkins...
A successful no till method developed in NJ is to seed vetch in fall,
kill with paraquat in May and follow with roundup at pumpkin seeding.
Then apply a residual herbicide like Prefar or Strategy after seeding.
When vetch is allowed to grow as a living mulch without herbicides, the
vetch sucks the soil dry and pumpkin yields suffer.
If you want to try notill I would grow the bush type of short vined
pumpkins, they form a dense 8ft round circle that shades out weeds...
Sunny Meadow Farm
Bridgeton, NJ.

TxBeeFarmer wrote:

> I'm thinking of planting a few rows of pumpkins on a patch of land
> (sandy loam) that has never been tilled and has a lot of wild rye and
> other weeds.  If I run two or three foot sweeps where the rows will
> be, then chisel, then plant, will the pumpkins be aggressive enough to
> overcome the weeds that will surely come from seeds left behind?
> Guess I could chisel and run busters to turn everything under every
> time a new batch of weeds appears, but by the time all the weed seed
> are gone I'm afraid it'll be two late to plant this year.  What do you
> all think? Mark (West Texas Zone 7b)
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