Monday, June 8, 2009

Insects and Giant Pumpkins

Last year I didn't use any insecticides on my pumpkin plant because I didn't have any issues. This week I found a bunch of eggs on the underside of some of the leaves on the 1566 plant. It appears that they are aphid eggs but I can't be 100% sure. To make sure I don't run into any problems I hit the plant with a broad spectrum insecticide. I'll continue to watch the plants to make sure nothing appears and I'll probably use some soap in a week just to be sure.

Joe Scherber pointed something out to me that I was aware of but didn't fully put together. He suggested that my plant may be stressed and that was the reasons the aphids were appering on the plant. He suggested too little light, cold temperatures or water issues may be the source of the stress. He didn't know it but for the first two items my plant has been ideally taken care of. For the last item however there is an issue. A low spot in the soil near the planting spot has been collecting water during our frequent and heavy rains lately. The soil in that spot hasn't been drying out and this is not good for the roots. Constantly wet soil can cause air to be forced out of the root zone and diseases can then start forming. I haven't given the plant any water for over a week and a half but the spot is still wet. Over the next few days I'm working to dry out the spot (although its tough when the forecast is for 70 degrees and possible rain) and then I will level out the soil to hopefully fix the problem.

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