Pumpkin, Cushaw Green Striped (Cucurbita pepo) - 25 Seeds
•American grown seeds
•USDA Zones 3-12
Known as Sweet Potato Pumpkin as well as sweet potato squash, this mildly sweet, meaty squash is sometimes added to puddings, pies and cushaw butter. Striped, crook-necked, 10-20 pound fruits grow on heat-tolerant and borer-resistant vines. Several southwestern Indigenous nations, Louisiana, most of the southeast, and southern Appalachia have long cherished this variety, which was domesticated thousands of years ago in tropical Central America.
Gardeners with short growing seasons may want to start the Small Sugar pumpkin seeds a month before the last expected frost. Since pumpkins do not take well to transplanting, peat pots are the best option. Plant two seeds per pot later clipping off the weaker seedling. Harden the seedlings off before transplanting about a week after the last frost or when soil temps reach at least 60°. Plant the seedlings in very rich soil, 8-10' apart in rows 10-12' apart. To direct sow, plant the seeds a week after the frost .5" deep, 3-4' apart and thin to 8-10' apart. Since pumpkin seedlings do not tolerate frost, provide protection if cold weather threatens. Keep the soil moist at all times, but avoid getting the leaves wet. When the vines develop, a layer of mulch can help conserve water and reduce weeks which compete for resources. By midsummer, pinch off all the blooms to focus the plant's energy into the developing pumpkins.
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