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NC State Extension

Pumpkin Cultivar Evaluations

2018 North Carolina and Tennessee Pumpkin Cultigen Evaluation Study

Horticulture Series #225

booklet cover

Download a PDF copy here.

In 2017, North Carolina ranked 4th in pumpkin production in the US behind Illinois, Texas and California. This makes North Carolina the largest pumpkin producing state on the eastern seaboard. The economic value of the pumpkin crop in North Carolina was reported to be more than 15 million dollars in 2016. There was estimated to be 4,500 acres of pumpkins grown in NC, with 3,000 of these acres being located in the mountains of Western North Carolina in 2018 (Travis Birdsell, personal communication). The USDA – National Agricultural Statistics Service reported pumpkin acreage in Tennessee at 1,600 acres in 2017. The crop carries a significant value to producers in both states and it appears as though production of this commodity is increasing in North Carolina. In the western part of North Carolina and in pockets of Tennessee, pumpkin production is extensive due to the climate and soils of the region. Collaborative pumpkin cultigen evaluation studies have been conducted by North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee for over a decade. Growing conditions in the higher elevations of these states seems to translate in less disease pressure. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, consumer demand for specialty pumpkins has been increasing in recent years. The pumpkin cultigens included in this study were mainly evaluated for yield and size. However, each entry was also rated for shape, color, suturing, vine habit, handle characteristics, fruit size measurements and powdery mildew symptoms. The fruit obtained from each replicated entry are also identified in a photograph. Several other cultigens were also included in the study as observation plots (non-replicated) and most of these cultigens are identified in a photograph where available.

Principal Investigators

  • Annette L. Wxzelaki, UT Vegetable Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4561
  • Jonathan R. Schultheis, Professor and Vegetable Extension Specialist, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
  • Keith D. Starke, Research Associate, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
  • Jenny C. Moore, Research Specialist II, Department of Plant Science,  University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4561
  • Travis Birdsell County Extension Director & Extension Agent, Agriculture, Ashe County Center, Jefferson, NC 28640

General Cultural Practices

The pumpkin and gourd cultigen evaluation study was grown on black plastic mulch and fertigated through drip tape. Pesticides used on all plots were chemicals labeled for that crop, (North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual, 2018; North Carolina Vegetable Production Guide, 2018).

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Tracy Taylor (Superintendent), John Council, (Horticultural Crops Supervisor) and other supporting personnel at the NCDA&CS Upper Mountain Research Station, Laurel Springs, NC, for their help in establishing, maintaining, and harvesting the pumpkin cultigen evaluation study. Additionally, we would like to thank the University of Tennessee and North Carolina State University student workers and support staff for assisting with planting and harvesting of the study. We also want to acknowledge the following seed companies for their cooperation and support: DP Seed; Enza Zaden USA; HM Clause Seed Company; Hollar Seeds; Hybrid; Johnny’s Seeds; Rupp Seeds, Inc.; Sakata Seed Company; T&M Nursery and Seeds By Design. Finally, we also want to acknowledge Joy Smith for conducting the statistical analysis on the data collected in this study.

Disclaimer

This publication presents data from the cultigen evaluation study conducted during 2018. Information contained in this report is believed to be reliable but should not be relied upon as a sole source of information. Limited accompanying detail is included but excludes some pertinent information, which may aid interpretation.

Materials and Methods

This study was conducted at the NCDA&CS Upper Mountain Research Station, Laurel Springs, NC, and was a collaboration between North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee. Seeds were planted on 12 June 2018. A total of 54 entries were evaluated, with 23 being un-replicated and for observational purposes only. The remaining 31 entries were evaluated in a randomized complete block (RCB) study with 4 replications. Each plot measured 18 feet long with 6 plants spaced 3 feet apart (in-row) and distance between-row spacing was 10 feet. The exceptions were the mini sized category where plants were spaced 1.5 feet apart and 12 plants were planted in each plot. Plant bed preparation included pre-plant fertilizer (290 lbs/acre of 18-46-0) broadcast applied and incorporated into the beds on 21 May before laying plastic mulch, providing 52 lbs N, 133 lbs P and 0 lbs K per acre. Fertigation with either 20-20-20 or 2-0-25 was applied through drip irrigation on 13, 20 and 27 July 2018; 6, 10, 24 and 31 August 2018. A total of 110 lbs/acre N, 183 lbs/acre P and 160 lbs/acre K was applied to the study site throughout the entire growing season. Insecticides were only applied when needed and were applied at labeled rates for pumpkin production in North Carolina. Admire Pro was applied through drip irrigation on 27 June 2018 and applied at the labeled rate that can be referenced in the North Carolina Agricultural Chemical Manual or the North Carolina Vegetable Production Guide, 2018. The fungicide program implemented included protectant products of Initiate (chlorothalonil) or Roper (mancozeb) and the following products which were alternated to reduce potential for development of disease resistance:  Previcur Flex, Aprovia Top, Ranman, Torino, Microthiol, Champion WP. These products are registered for use in this crop and were applied according to labeled rates that can be referenced in the North Carolina Agriculture Chemical Manual or the North Carolina Vegetable Production Guide, 2018. Fungicides were applied every 7 to 14 days throughout the growing season beginning 14 July 2018 and repeated on the following dates: 20, 27 July; 4, 12, 19, 25 August; and 7 September 2018. Herbicides, Command (1 pt/ac), Dual Magnum (1 pt/ac) and Sandea (0.75 oz/ac), were sprayed for weed control on 13 June 2018. Row middles were sprayed with Roundup Power Max (40 oz/ac) 29 June 2018. Pumpkins were harvested on 12 September (92 days after planting). Yield per acre was calculated by extrapolating total yield from the 180 ft2 area of each plot. Five representative fruit from each plot were measured to find the average length and width of each cultigen. Pumpkin color, shape, and suturing; and handle length, thickness and attachment were rated subjectively for each plot.

Results

Pumpkin entries are discussed by size class and are organized in tables in alphabetical order. Results mentioned in the paragraphs below only correspond to the replicated entries.

Pie Pumpkin

Four entries were evaluated in the ‘mini’ size class (≤ 5.0 lbs). This year there were no entries that ranged between 5.1 to 10 lbs, with the exception of cultigens Brisbee Gold and EX 5, which are considered large pie pumpkins. As large pie pumpkins, they were evaluated with the other smaller pie pumpkins. Average fruit size ranged from 2.5 lbs for Jack Sprat to 6.7 lbs for EX 5 (Table 1). The smallest fruit were produced by Jack Sprat, while the fruit size of Mini Warts were very similar. EX 5 produced the largest fruit in the pie pumpkin size category. Mini Warts produced the least total yield at 12.5 tons/acre and EX 5 was the highest yielding cultigen in the Pie Pumpkin category at 23.6 tons/acre. Jack Sprat produced the greatest fruit number per acre of all of the replicated entries, at 11,979 fruit per acre (Table 1). Fruit of these entries were all orange and fruit shapes were mostly round (Table 2).

Small

Five entries were evaluated in the ‘small’ size class (10.1 – 15.0 lbs). Fruit size averaged between 11.0 to 14.7 lbs with JPN 62009 being the smallest followed by Scream II (Table 1). These entries ranged between 3,691 (Snow White) and 6,111 (Scream II) fruit number per acre. Scream II had the greatest yield in the small size category (Table 1). The fruit of these entries were all orange with the exception of Snow White, which had white skin color. The fruit of Snow White was mostly flat while all of the other entries in this category were round (Table 2).

Medium

Ten entries were evaluated in the ‘medium’ size class (15.1 – 20.0 lbs). Average fruit size in this category ranged between 15.2 to 18.9 lbs per fruit (Table 1). Orange Sunrise produced the highest fruit yield and fruit number in this size category. Fruit yields ranged from 34.2 tons/acre (Eros) to 55.1 tons/acre (Orange Sunrise). Gladiator produced the least fruit number per acre (4,235) and Orange Sunrise produced the greatest number of fruit per acre at 5,808. All fruit in this size category are orange with the exception of Snow White and Specter, which were white and white-buff in color (Table 2, see photo, page 13-14). Fruit shapes were mostly round to tall.

Large

Five varieties were evaluated in the ‘large’ size class (20.1 – 25.0 lbs). Average fruit size in this category ranged from 21.7 to 23.8 lbs (Table 1). Kratos produced the highest fruit weight per acre (56.3 tons/acre) while PMK-17-50 had the lowest total fruit weight per acre (41.4 tons per acre) for this size category. Thor produced the greatest number of fruit per acre, whereas, Solid Gold produced the least amount of fruit per acre (Table 1). Fruit shapes were mostly round in this size class with the exception Ares that produced a taller pumpkin (Table 2).

Extra Large

Seven entries were evaluated in the ‘large’ size class (≥ 25.1 lbs). Average fruit size in this category ranged from 37.1 to 52.1 lbs (Table 1). Zombie produced the highest fruit weight per acre (52.1 tons/acre) while Tallon had the lowest total fruit weight per acre (38.3 tons per acre). Zombie also produced the greatest number of fruit per acre, whereas, SPU 13118 produced the least amount of fruit per acre. Fruit shapes were mostly round in this size class with the exception of Hulk, Tallon and HMX 53L6790 that produced taller pumpkins and Ritz that produced a flatter pumpkin (Table 2). Ritz was also more orange-red in color (Figure 2, page 12), while the rest of the entries in this category were orange to burnt orange (Table 2).

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research station staff in the field

2017 North Carolina and Tennessee Pumpkin Cultivar Evaluations

Horticulture Series # 219

pumpkin booklet cover

Download a PDF version here.

In 2017, North Carolina ranked 4th in pumpkin production in the US behind Illinois, Texas and California. This makes North Carolina the largest pumpkin producing state on the eastern seaboard. The economic value of the pumpkin crop in North Carolina was reported to be more than 15 million dollars in 2016. The USDA- National Agricultural Statistics Service reported pumpkin acreage in North Carolina and Tennessee at 3,800 and 1,900 acres, respectively. The crop carries a significant value to producers in both states and it appears as though production of this commodity is increasing in North Carolina. In the western part of North Carolina and in pockets of Tennessee, pumpkin production is extensive due to the climate and soils of the region. Collaborative pumpkin cultivar evaluation trials have been conducted by North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee for over a decade. Growing conditions in the higher elevations of these states seems to translate in less disease pressure. According to the USDA Economic research service, consumer demand for specialty varieties has been increasing in recent years. The pumpkin cultivars included in this trial were mainly evaluated for yield. However, each cultivar was also rated for shape, color, suturing, vine habit, handle characteristics, fruit size measurements and powdery mildew symptoms. The fruit obtained from each replicated cultivar are also identified in a photograph. Several other cultivars were also included in the trial as observation plots (non-replicated) and most of these cultivars are identified in a photograph where available.

Principle Investigators:

  • Annette L. Wxzelaki, UT Vegetable Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996-4561
  • Jonathan R. Schultheis, Professor and Vegetable Extension Specialist, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609
  • Keith D. Starke, Research Associate, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7609

General Cultural Practices

The pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial was grown on black plastic mulch and were fertigated with drip irrigation. Pesticides used on all plots were chemicals labeled for that crop, (North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual, 2017).

Acknowledgments

We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Kaleb Rathbone (Superintendent), John Eric Freeman (Horticultural Crops Supervisor) and other supporting personnel at the Mountain Research Station, Waynesville, NC, for their help in establishing, maintaining, and harvesting the pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial. Additionally, we would like to thank the University of Tennessee and North Carolina State University student workers and support staff for assisting with planting and harvesting of the trial. We also want to acknowledge the following seed companies for their cooperation and support: Abbott & Cobb, Inc.; Clifton Seed; DP Seed; Enza Zaden USA; HM Clause Seed Company; Johnny’s Seeds; Rupp Seeds, Inc.; and Sakata Seed Company. Finally, we also want to acknowledge Joy Smith for conducting the statistical analysis on the data collected in this trial.

Disclaimer

This publication presents data from the cultivar evaluation trial conducted during 2017. Information contained in this report is believed to be reliable but should not be relied upon as a sole source of information. Limited accompanying detail is included but excludes some pertinent information, which may aid interpretation.

Materials and Methods

This trial was conducted at the NCSU Mountain Research Station, Waynesville, NC, and was a  collaboration between North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee. Seeds were planted on 21 June 2017. A total of 72 cultivars were evaluated, with 41 cultivars being un-replicated and for observational purposes only. The remaining 31 cultivars were evaluated in a randomized complete block (RCB) trial with 4 replications. Each plot measured 20 feet long with 6 plants spaced 3 feet apart (in-row) and distance between-row spacing was 10 feet. The exceptions were the mini sized category where plants were spaced 1.5 feet apart and 12 plants were planted in each plot.

Plant bed preparation included pre-plant fertilizer (260 lbs/acre of 34-0-0 and 65 lbs/acre of (18-46-0) broadcast applied and incorporated into the beds on 14 June before laying plastic mulch, providing 100 lbs N, 30 lbs P and 0 lbs K per acre. Fertigation with either KNO3 (13-0-44) or CaNO3 (15.5-0-0) was applied through drip irrigation on 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 August 2017; 6 and 15 September 2017. A total of 150 lbs/acre N, 30 lbs/acre P and 66 lbs/acre K was applied to the trial site throughout the entire growing season.

Insecticides were only applied when needed and were applied at labeled rates for pumpkin production in North Carolina. Coragen was applied through drip irrigation on 5 July 2017 and applied at the labeled rate that can be referenced in the North Carolina Agricultural Chemical Manual or the North Carolina Vegetable Production Guide. The fungicide program implemented included the following products which were alternated to reduce potential for development ofdisease resistance: Fontelis, Previcur Flex, Presidio, Pristine, Procure, Rally, Ranman, Quadris, Quintec and Zampro. These products are registered for use in this crop and were applied according to labeled rates that can be referenced in the North Carolina Agriculture Chemical Manual or the North Carolina Vegetable Production Guide, 2017. Fungicides were applied every 7 to 14 days throughout the growing season beginning 12 July 2017 and repeated on the following dates: 24 July; 1, 14, 21 and 31 August; 7, 14 and 22 September 2017. Herbicides, Command (1pt/ac) and Dual Magnum (1pt/ac), were sprayed for weed control on 22 June 2017. Pumpkins were harvested on 5 October (106 days after planting). Yield per acre was calculated by extrapolating total yield from the 200 ft2 area of each plot. Five representative fruit from each plot were measured to find the average length and width of each cultivar. Pumpkin color, shape, and suturing; and handle length, thickness and attachment were rated subjectively for each plot.

Results

Experimental pumpkins are discussed by size class and are organized in tables in alphabetical order. Results mentioned in the paragraphs below only correspond to the replicated cultivars.

Mini

Six cultivars were evaluated in the mini size class (≤5.0 lbs). Crunchkin, Jack Sprat, Munchkin, Orangita and Prankster were all orange pumpkins, while Casperita was white. Average fruit size ranged from 0.5 lbs for Munchkin to 3.6 lbs for Prankster (Table 1). The smallest fruit were produced by Munchkin and Crunkin while the largest fruit in the mini category were produced by Prankster. Munchkin produced the most number of total fruit while Prankster produced the least number of total fruit per acre (Table 1). Jack Sprat produced the highest yield (15.0 tons/acre) while Crunchkin had the lowest yield (3.7 tons/acre) in the mini size category (Table 1).

Small

Four cultivars were evaluated in the small size class (5.1 – 10.0 lbs). Darling, Enza EX#16, Field Trip were all orange pumpkins while Tandy produced a buff colored pumpkin. Average fruit size was 5.9 lbs with Enza EX#16 and Tandy producing the smallest fruit (5.4 lbs) while Darling produced the largest fruit (6.8 lbs). Tandy produced the highest fruit per acre while Enza EX#16 produced the least fruit per acre (Table 1). Darling produced the highest yield (tons/per acre) and Enza #16 had the lowest yields in the small size category.

Medium

Fifteen cultivars were evaluated in the medium size class (10.1 – 20.0 lbs). ACX 7606, Cracker  Jack, Enza EX#3, Enza EX#5, Eagle City Gold, Gladiator, Magic Lantern, Orange Sunrise, Renegade,  SPU 6016, Skidoo Gold and Solid Gold were all orange pumpkins, while Blue Doll was blue/green,  Blush was pink/buff and Porcelain Doll was pink (Table 2). ACX 7606 had the smallest average fruit  size (10.1 lbs) while Magic Lantern had the largest average fruit size (19.9 lbs). ACX 7606 produced the greatest number of fruit per acre while SPU 6016 produced the least total number of fruit per acre.

Large

Six cultivars were evaluated in the large size class (≥20.1 lbs). Bayhorse Gold, Bellatrix, Early King, Hulk, Kratos and Rhea were all orange pumpkins. Bayhorse Gold produced the smallest average fruit (20.6 lbs) while Hulk produced the largest average fruit (25.6 lbs). Kratos had the highest total yield (tons/acre) and Hulk produced the lowest total yield in the large size class (Table 1.) Bayhorse Gold produced the highest total number of fruit per acre and Hulk produced the lowest number of fruit per acre.


Table 1. Pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial. Cumulative yield (tons) / acre, fruit number per acre and average fruit weight, Waynesville, NC, 2017.

Mini Size Class (≤ 5.0 lb)

 Cultivar
 Seed Company
Cumulative Yield (tons) / Acre
Cumulative Number of Fruit / Acre
Average Fruit Weight (lbs)
Average
LSD (0.05)
7.6
1.9
11,757
6,565
1.7
0.2
Casparita DP Seeds 5.8 11,979 1.0
Crunchkin HM Clause 3.7 12,887 0.6
Jack Sprat Sakata 15.0 9,922 3.0
Munchkin HM Clause 4.1 18,392 0.5
Orangita DP Seeds 6.9 11,737 1.2
Prankster Rupp Seeds Inc. 10.2 5,627 3.6

Small Size Class (5.1-10.0 lb)

Average
LSD (0.05)
16.6
11.6
5,475
3,858
5.9
2.5
 Cultivar
 Seed Company
Cumulative Yield (tons) / Acre
Cumulative Number of Fruit / Acre
Average Fruit Weight (lbs)
Darling Abbott & Cobb 19.9 5,869 6.8
ENZA EX#16 Enza Zaden 9.6 2,662 5.4
Field Trip Harris Moran 19.2 6,534 5.9
Tandy DP Seeds 17.7 6,837 5.4

Medium Size Class(10.1- 20.0 lb)

Average
LSD (0.05)
25.1
11.2
3,369
1,572
15.1
4.4
Cultivar
Seed Company
Yield (tons) / Acre
Number of Fruit / Acre
Average Fruit Weight (lbs)
ACX 7606 Abbot & Cobb 20.1 3,993 10.1
Blue Doll DP Seeds 24.2 3,388 13.8
Blush Clifton Seed 41.1 6,171 13.6
Cracker Jack Sakata 18.1 2,480 12.8
ENZA EX#3 Enza Zaden 19.9 2,844 14
ENZA EX#5 Enza Zaden 20.1 2,844 14.5
Eagle City Gold Rupp Seeds Inc. 35.8 3,751 19.3
Gladiator HM Clause 25.3 2,783 18.2
Magic Lantern HM Clause 29.4 3,085 19.9
Orange Sunrise HM Clause 32.6 3,812 17.2
Porcelain Doll HM Clause 19.1 2,985 12.4
Renagade Johnny’s Seed 25.8 3,086 17
SPU 6016 Sakata 15.9 2,723 11.8
Skidoo Gold Rupp Seeds Inc. 24.8 3,812 13.2
Solid Gold Rupp Seeds Inc. 24.2 2,783 18.2

Large (≥ 20.1 lb)

Average 36.3 3,146 22.9
LSD (0.05) 10.6 1,122 3.9
 Cultivar
 Seed Company
Cumulative Yield (tons) / Acre
Cumulative Number of Fruit / Acre
Average Fruit Weight (lbs)
Bayhorse Gold Rupp Seeds Inc. 38.4 3,751 20.6
Bellatrix Enza Zaden 38.4 3,146 21.1
Early King Abbott & Cobb 32.4 2,904 22.7
Hulk Sakata 32.7 2,601 25.6
Kratos HM Clause 41.2 3,509 23.6
Rhea HM Clause 34.6 2,965 23.7

Table 2.1. Pumpkin, Gourd/Winter Squash cultivar evaluation trial. Fruit and quality measurements for replicated cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2017.

Average
LSD (0.05)8
6.2
0.7
5.1
0.6
6.1
1.2
5.0
1.6
6.8
1.9
Cultivar
Fruit color¹
Fruit shape²
Fruit Suturing³
Fruit Texture⁴
*PM Rating⁵
ACX 7606 6.2 5.3 5.5 5.2 7.0
Bayhorse Gold 6.8 6.0 6.8 4.8 5.3
Bellatrix 6.6 5.0 6.1 3.8 3.8
Blue Doll Blue/green 3.8 8.5 6.2 2.7
Blush Pink/buff 3.6 4.6 4.9 32.0
Casparita 1.0 2.5 7.4 5.3 7.8
Cracker Jack 7.5 4.8 7.0 4.4 4.5
Crunchkin 4.5 2.8 5.5 8.0 8.8
Darling 5.9 8.8 2.7 1.3 7.8
Eagle City Gold 6.3 5.4 4.8 4.0 4.8
Early King 5.8 6.3 4.3 5.5 3.3
ENZA EX#3 6.8 5.4 9.0 8.6 3.5
ENZA EX#5 6.8 5.3 6.5 3.8 6.5
ENZA EX#16 8.0 4.8 5.4 3.9 5.0
Field Trip 7.0 4.1 6.0 4.6 4.0
Gladiator 6.8 5.0 6.3 6.0 3.5
Hulk 6.3 8.0 7.3 4.3 4.8

¹Color Scale: 1 = yellow, 5 = orange, 9 = burnt orange.
²Fruit Shape Rating: 1 = flat, 5 = round, 9 = tall.
³Fruit Suturing: 1 = none, 5 = medium, 9 = deep.
⁴Texture Rating: 1 = smooth, 5 = semi-rough, 9= rough.
⁵Powdery Mildew Rating: 1 = None, 9 = Severe

Table 2.2. Pumpkin, Gourd/Winter Squash cultivar evaluation trial. Handle Rating⁶ and Fruit measurements⁷ for replicated cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2017.

Average
LSD (0.05)8
6.9
0.7
5.7
0.9
4.7
1.2
23.1
3.1
25.1
3.4
0.9
0.1
Cultivar
Handle Thickness
Handle Length
Handle Attachment
Fruit Length
Fruit width
Fruit L/W
ACX 7606 5.1 5.7 4.3 22.3 23.8 0.9
Bayhorse Gold 7.0 6.0 4.6 29.9 29.7 1.0
Bellatrix 7.1 6.2 4.3 28.0 31.7 0.9
Blue Doll 6.3 1.7 2.7 18.9 26.5 0.7
Blush 6.4 1.2 1.5 22.1 30.8 0.7
Casparita 6.3 6.0 8.8 7.2 11.3 0.6
Cracker Jack 5.5 7.1 4.0 23.1 26.4 0.9
Crunchkin 6.5 7.0 6.8 6.1 10.1 0.6
Darling 7.1 5.2 2.0 21.6 16.7 1.3
Eagle City Gold 7.4 7.4 4.0 28.2 30.7 0.9
Early King 8.3 5.5 3.0 33.7 33.2 1.0
ENZA EX#3 9.0 4.5 6.0 23.5 25.7 0.9
ENZA EX#5 6.0 6.7 6.6 25.8 26.5 1.0
ENZA EX#16 7.0 6.0 4.0 17.9 20.4 0.9
Field Trip 7.0 6.2 8.8 16.1 20.5 0.8
Gladiator 7.4 7.2 4.3 28.7 31.1 0.9
Hulk 8.3 8.0 3.6 39.5 32.2 1.2

⁶Handle Rating:
Thickness: 1 = thin, 5 = medium, 9 = thick. Length: 1 = short, 5 = medium, 9 = long. Attachment: 1 = poor, 5 = average, 9 = excellent.
⁷Fruit Measurements = Individual length and width values (inches) were taken from 5 fruit per replication, (20 total), The LD ratio was determined by dividing fruit length by fruit width.


Table 3. Pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial. Selected observations (non-replicated cultivars). Cumulative yield (tons) per acre, number fruit per acre and average fruit weight, Waynesville, NC, 2017.

Mini Size Class ( ≤ 5.0 lb)
Average 1.6
 Cultivar
 Seed Company
Average Fruit Weight (lbs)
Autumn Crown Siegers 2.0
Galaxy of Stars Rupp Seeds, Inc. 0.3
Goblin Hollar 1.6
HMX 53W2737 HM Clause 3.3
HMX53W2795 HM Clause 2.3
Hooligan Siegers 1.3
Pear Bi-Color Hollar 0.1
Spoon Platoon Hollar 0.3
Toad Sakata 1.9
Waldo* (JWS 61726) Johnny’s Select Seed 1.2
Small Size Class (5.1 – 10.0 lb)
Average 7.0
 Cultivar
 Seed Company
Average Fruit Weight (lbs)
Flatso DP Seeds 5.4
Goosebumps Siegers 6.3
Kakai Johnny’s Select Seed 7.5
Lunch Lady Seedway 6.8
Marrina Di Chioggia Johnny’s Select Seed 9.2
New England Cheddar Rupp Seeds Inc. 7.7
Turks Turban Johnny’s Select Seed 5.4
Medium Size Class (10.1 – 20.0 lb)
Average 13.1
 Cultivar
 Seed Company
Average Fruit Weight (lbs)
Blue Doll DP Seeds 15.6
Crystal Star Rupp Seeds Inc. 12.0
Flat White Boer Sakata 10.4
HMX 53M6724 HM Clause 14.1
HMX 53W2738 HM Clause 14.4
Jewel Box Seedway 15.3
Knuckle Head Johnny’s Select Seed 12.0
Red Eye Rupp Seeds Inc. 13.4
Red Warty Thing Rupp Seeds Inc. 12.3
Speckled Swan Johnny’s Select Seed 11.2
Large Size Class (≥ 20.1 lb)
Average 31.3
 Cultivar
 Seed Company
Average Fruit Weight (lbs)
Big Moose DP Seeds 48.7
Jason Siegers 27.0
Monster Smash Rupp Seeds Inc. 25.4
Musque De Provence Johnny’s Select Seed 21.2
New Moon Hollar 34.3

Table 4.1. Pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial. Fruit and quality measurements for selected observation (non-replicated) cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2017.

Average 3.9 4.6 4.6 4.6 4.6
Cultivar Fruit color¹ Fruit Shape² Fruit Suturing³ Fruit Texture⁴ *PM Rating⁵
Autumn Crown Buff 2.0 6.5 3.0 4.0
Autumn Wings* 5.0
Big Moose Orange-red striped 3.5 4.0 4.0 2.0
Blue Doll Blue/green 4.0 9.0 8.0 4.0
Cave Man’s Club* Green Gourd 1.0
Crystal Star 1.0 4.5 1.0 4.0 2.0
Daisy Gourd* 8.0
Flat White Boer 1.0 1.0 4.0 5.0 2.0
Flatso 5.5 3.5 7.0 5.0 2.0
Galaxy of Stars* 5.0
Goblin Eggs* 3.0
Goosebumps 5.0 5.5 1.0 1.0 8.0
Gremlins* 4.0
HMX 53M6724 7.0 5.0 6.5 4.5 3.0
HMX 53W2737 5 w/drk grn warts 9.0 1.0 1.0 7.0
HMX 53W2738 2.0 5.0 5.5 6.0 6.0
HMX 53W2795 5 w/drk grn warts 5.0 1.0 1.0 6.0
Hooligan 3.5, cream w/orange stripes 3.0 6.5 8.0 9.0
Jason 6.0 7.0 7.0 6.0 6.0
Jewel Box Buff 6.5 5.0 8.0 4.0

Table 4.1. (Cont’d.) Pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial. Fruit and quality measurements for selected observation (non-replicated) cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2017.

Average 6.7 4.3 3.7 4.6 4.3
Cultivar Fruit color¹ Fruit Shape² Fruit Suturing³ Fruit Texture⁴ *PM Rating⁵
JWS-14-4079* Acorn 7.0
Kakai Dk Grn w/orange 6.5 1.0 1.0 5.0
Knuckle Head 7.0 6.0 2.0 2.0 8.0
Lunch Lady* 7.0
Marina Di Chioggia Green/blue 2.0 9.0 9.0 2.0
Monster Smash Red/orange 5.0 1.0 5.0 2.0
Musque De Provence Drk Green 2.0 9.0 4.5 3.0
New England Cheddar Buff 3.0 5.0 2.0 2.0
New Moon White/grey w/stripes 4.5 2.0 3.0 3.0
Pear Bi-Color*
Red Eye Pink/red mottled 3.0 1.0 9.0 4.0
Red Warty Thing Yellow/orange 5.0 4.0 8.0 2.0
Rouge Vif D’Etampes*
Small Ornamental Gourd Mix* 6.0
Speckled Swan* Swan grd. 1.0
Spoon Platoon* 4.0
Thor 7.0 5.0 5.0 5.0 6.0
Toad 6.0 5.0 2.0 2.0 7.0
Turk’s Turban* 7.0
Waldo* Butternut squash 1.0

¹Color Scale: 1 = yellow, 5 = orange, 9 = burnt orange.
²Fruit Shape Rating: 1 = flat, 5 = round, 9 = tall.
³Fruit Suturing: 1 = none, 5 = medium, 9 = deep.
⁴Texture Rating: 1 = smooth, 5 = semi-rough, 9= rough.
⁵Powdery Mildew Rating: 1 = None, 9 = Severe
* Data not available.

Table 4.2. Pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial.Handle Rating⁶ and Fruit measurements⁷ for selected observation (non-replicated) cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2017.

Cultivar
Handle Thickness
Handle Length
Handle Attachment
Fruit Length
Fruit Width
Fruit L/W
Autumn Crown 6.0 7.0 2.0 8.0 14.4 0.6
Autumn Wings*
Big Moose 8.0 4.0 1.0
Blue Doll 6.5 2.0 2.0 17.9 27.4 0.7
Cave Man’s Club*
Crystal Star 5.0 1.0 1.0 22.7 28.1 0.8
Daisy Gourd*
Flat White Boer 5.0 1.0 2.0 12.5 30.8 0.4
Flatso 6.0 6.0 5.0 14.5 21.7 0.7
Galaxy of Stars*
Goblin Eggs*
Goosebumps 6.0 6.0 7.0 17.4 19.5 0.9
Gremlins*
HMX 53M6724 8.0 6.5 5.0 25.7 27.8 0.9
HMX 53W2737 7.0 7.0 6.0 17.4 13.4 1.3
HMX 53W2738 7.0 6.0 8.0 25.3 26.8 0.9
HMX 53W2795 7.0 5.0 6.0 12.7 14.2 0.9
Hooligan 7.0 7.0 8.0 6.4 10.9 0.6
Jason 7.0 7.0 6.0 38.7 35.6 1.1
Jewel Box 5.0 8.0 2.0 26.1 30.6 0.9
Average 6.5 5.3 4.4 18.9 23.2 0.8

Table 4.2. (Cont’d.) Pumpkin cultivar evaluation trial.Handle Rating⁶ and Fruit measurements⁷ for selected observation (non-replicated) cultivars. Waynesville, NC, 2017.

Average 6.1 4.7 2.6 22.2 25.3 0.9
Cultivar
Handle Thickness
Handle Length
Handle Attachment
Fruit Length
Fruit Width
Fruit L/W
JWS-14-4079*
Kakai 5.0 6.0 1.0 24.3 23.6 1.0
Knuckle Head 5.0 7.0 5.0 28.9 26.9 1.1
Lunch Lady* 27.4 19.9 1.5
Marina Di Chioggia 9.0 2.0 5.0 12.0 27.3 0.4
Monster Smash 8.0 2.0 1.0 27.4 28.8 1.1
Musque De Provence 5.0 8.0 4.0 18.0 29.6 0.6
New England Cheddar 5.0 6.0 2.0 15.3 23.7 0.6
New Moon 7.0 3.0 1.0 33.1 42.2 0.8
Pear Bi-Color*
Red Eye 6.5 1.0 2.0 19.1 29.8 0.6
Red Warty Thing 5.0 2.0 4.0 27.4 27.4 1.0
Rouge Vif D’Etampes*
Small Ornamental Gourd Mix*
Speckled Swan* 24.6 24.0 1.0
Spoon Platoon*
Thor 6.0 8.0 2.0 32.4 33.5 1.0
Toad 6.0 7.0 2.0 11.9 13.2 0.9
Turk’s Turban* 12.9 20.5 0.6
Waldo* 18.3 9.4 1.9

⁶Handle Rating:
Thickness: 1 = thin, 5 = medium, 9 = thick.
Length: 1 = short, 5 = medium, 9 = long.
Attachment: 1 = poor, 5 = average, 9 = excellent.
⁷Fruit Measurements = Individual length and width values (inches) were taken from 5 fruit per replication, (20 total), The LD ratio was determined by dividing fruit length by fruit width.
* Data not available.

View or print a PDF version of the 2017 North Carolina and Tennessee Pumpkin Cultivar Evaluations.

2016 North Carolina and Tennessee Pumpkin Cultivar Evaluations

Horticulture Series #216

Download the PDF here.

In 2016, the USDA- National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that planted acres of pumpkin for North Carolina and Tennessee was 3,800 and 1,900 acres, respectively. The economic value of the pumpkin crop in North Carolina was reported to be more than 15 million dollars in 2016. Although the crop carries a significant value to producers in both states the total planted acres is still modest when compared to other commodities grown within each state. In the western part of North Carolina and in pockets of Tennessee, pumpkin production is extensive
due to the favorable climate and soils of the region. Collaborative pumpkin cultivar evaluation trials have been conducted by North Carolina State University and the University of Tennessee for about a decade. The advantage of growing pumpkin in areas of higher elevation is the cooler growing conditions where growers seem to experience less disease pressure, a point that Travis Birdsell, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Agent, highlighted in a 2016 CALS article. According to the USDA Economic research service, consumer demand for specialty varieties has been increasing in recent years. The pumpkin cultivars included in this trial were mainly evaluated for yield. However, each cultivar was also rated for shape, color, suturing, vine habit, handle characteristics, and fruit size measurements. The fruit obtained from each replicated cultivar are also identified in a photograph. Several other cultivars were also included in the trial as observation plots (non-replicated) and most of these cultivars are identified in a photograph where available.

research group in the pumpkin field

The 2016 pumpkin variety trial was conducted at the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville, NC. Station Superintendent Kaleb Rathbone joined Extension agent Travis Birdsell and Extension specialists Jonathan Schultheis of NC State University and Annette Wszelaki of the University of Tennessee. Photo courtesy of NC State CALS Newswire. The 2016 Pumpkin Variety Trial Booklet will be published soon.

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