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 Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus) Empty Squash and Pumpkin (the Cucurbita genus)

Post by 12acrehome on Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:14 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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Post by Sonshine on Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:00 pm

I would like for you to expand on the information, especially the hand pollinating and pollen control. Thanks for starting this forum.

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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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Post by 12acrehome on Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:33 pm

Ok, give me a little time

_________________
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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Post by Harvey_Birdman on Mon May 13, 2013 5:42 am

Do you know of any website where we can look at what our chosen gourd will cross with?

Also are cucumber and/or melons a part of this family?

Like Sonshine I am growing sugar pumpkins.
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Post by 12acrehome on Mon May 13, 2013 11:47 pm

hmm,
good question

I'll see if I can find a good one

_________________
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/
12acrehome
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Post by 12acrehome on Tue May 14, 2013 1:19 am


_________________
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/
12acrehome
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Posts : 4596
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Location : Sebree, Ky (USA)

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