We live in Alabama and have unsuccessfully tried to grow pumpkins for the last two years. The first year the vines got huge, almost took over the whole garden, then got covered with a gray film and died. Last year we isolated the pumpkins from the rest of the garden but in about two weeks they withered and died. The suspects: 1. Soil- they did not receive the garden fertilizer and we have high iron orange soil 2. Timing- planted too soon/late 3. Sun- bright sunlight 4. The gardener- I watered them with pool water. Could the chlorine have killed them? What are the ideal conditions for growing nice fat pumpkins in Alabama orange clay?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
There is a soil-borne virus, which only affects cucurbits, that could be responsible. Therefore, you may first want to consider solarizing the garden soil. This article should help you with that: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/projects/how-to-solarize-garden-beds-to-eliminate-garden-pests-in-the-soil.htm Another soil borne disease is bacterial wilt. Here is more info: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/squash/signs-and-treatments-of-squash-wilt.htm In addition to solarizing the soil, you may also want to amend it. This article will help with fixing clay soil: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/how-to-improve-clay-soil.htm I would also not water the plants with pool water. Although some chlorine will not adversely affect plants, too much can. As for growing conditions of pumpkins, this article should help: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/pumpkin/pumpkin-growing-tips-for-halloween-pumpkins.htm