Field Notes from Koch Agronomic Services

Avoid Fuzzy Pumpkins

Chuck Zimmerman

American Phytopathological SocietyOne way to bring attention to your organization is to apply what you do to what people are interested in. For example, the American Phytopathological Society has these tips for picking a healthy pumpkin and also provides some very technical information about what causes, um, unhealthiness.

Visually check for moldy areas or soft spots on the fruit (remember to check the bottom).
Check the stem; healthy stems are green in color. A good stem will support the weight of the fruit.
Most pumpkin varieties are a bright orange when mature. A yellow pumpkin may not be completely mature.
If possible, keep your pumpkin in a dry, shady place and try to prevent it from freezing. This should increase the ‘porch life’ of your pumpkin.
Once pumpkins are carved, the process of decay will become more rapid. To help insure that a Jack-o-Lantern lasts through Halloween, don’t carve it until a few days before the event.

Now for some of the technical stuff.

. . . Another disease that affects pumpkins is Phytophthora blight. This disease is usually found in regions that have experienced heavy rainfall. Pumpkins with Phytophthora blight will have areas of white mold that appears fuzzy. Another disease, bacterial fruit spot, will cause scabby lesions to appear on the fruit.

I for one wouldn’t want white fuzzy spots on my pumpkin if you know what I mean. That’s why we have organizations like this to protect us!!

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