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Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)

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Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)

Post by 12acrehome on Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:23 pm



The idea of homesteading seems to revolve around independence. Food, energy, education, and religious freedom or independence seem to be the top reasons. Energy and religion I can only say what works for me. Education is why you are here, to learn, share or teach. That leaves food independence. There are methods of growing various things that provide a better nutritional content, or better freshness or taste. If you are constantly relying on someone else for seed or seedlings, as in you annually buy all seeds and seedlings, then your food independence is just an illusion. To be independent with at least a portion of your food, you must save seed from each year to plant the next years crop with. To be successful at seed saving, you must use heirloom / open pollinated varieties (non-hybrids), and you must keep them from accidentally becoming hybridized.

Squash and pumpkins and gourds all belong to the same GENUS of plants, but there are six different species within this genus, and thousands of varieties. Pumpkin is a name we have used to describe a squash that is large and orange (usually), but in fact a pumpkin is not even a sub-species, it is a squash. (This taken from the book "Seed to Seed" by Suzanne Ashworth) So that means that varieties of squash within the same species can easily cross pollinate and produce hybridized seed. These seed can then be planted and something grown from them, but if seeds are saved from these hybrids they will most likely produce a sickly plant that resembles one of the parent plants that created the hybrid, but may be sterile in that it will not fruit.

In another post, Sonshine mentioned growing "Sugar Pumpkins" these belong to the Cucurbita pepo genus and species. They will readily cross with the small decorative gourds, most summer squash (like my favorite crooked neck yellow squash) and several hundred other squashes, but not with Rohns chosen squash. The Austrailian Butter pumpkin belongs to the Cucurbita Maxima genus and species. These are noted for their long vines and huge hairy leaves. These are large sprawling plants that need room to grow, but are prized for table use. Rohns pumpkin has several hundred it will cross pollinate with as well, but they are all different from the ones Sonshine needs to watch for.

So to save seed for future use you must exclude all pollen from everything but the exact squash you wish to grow. Bagging and hand pollinating are the only options since these cross pollinate so easily with so many other varieties.

If this was informative, and a desirable addition I will try to expand this to include requested items, and perhaps specific how to's with pollen control and exclusion.

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Proverbs 28:19 He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29 Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)
by Harvey_Birdman Yesterday at 5:05 am

That is good info. I had never thought about the fact I buy my seed/plants each year. I will have to start looking into saving seed.

Could you write something about keeping tomatos from crossing? I would be interested in that, as maters are my favorite garden food.

God bless,
Chad

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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)
by 12acrehome Yesterday at 11:38 am

I'm looking at mater purity techniques, I will try...

_________________
Proverbs 28:19 He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29 Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)
by Sonshine Yesterday at 3:19 pm

Can this be moved to the gardening section? I think it would be easier for people to find. Also, I have a question. How far would you have to plant plants from the same species to prevent cross polination?

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
Proverbs 28:19[b]

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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)
by Harvey_Birdman Yesterday at 3:42 pm

Sonshine wrote:
I have a question. How far would you have to plant plants from the same species to prevent cross polination?


I was wondering the same thing.

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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)
by 12acrehome Today at 2:21 am

Planting distance depends on how the flower is pollinated, and how heavy the pollen is. If the plant is pollinated by bees, one mile is the rule of thumb. If wind pollinated (like corn) and the pollen is light (again like corn) then two miles is needed. If the plant is typically self pollinated, then 500 yards is the rule of thumb.

_________________
Proverbs 28:19 He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29 Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."





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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)

Post by 12acrehome on Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:27 pm

This is an entire thread copied from general homesteading area, and pasted here for ease of finding it. A new area titled seed saving 101 has also been started, and contains a copy of the original post.

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)

Post by Sonshine on Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:46 pm

Thanks Keith. General Chat seems like our busiest forum and I didn't want people to miss these threads. Smile

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He who cultivates his land will have plenty of food,
but from idle pursuits a man has his fill of poverty
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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)

Post by 12acrehome on Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:02 pm

the forum is getting pretty big isn't it

you're welcome

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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12acrehome
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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)

Post by Harvey_Birdman on Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:03 pm

Thanks for keeping things orginized!
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Re: Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)

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