Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

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hischeese.jpg
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Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

4.00

(c. moschata) – Saved from near extinction by Ken Ettlinger, a long-time local seed saver and breeder here on Long Island. Ken started saving these from local farmers and re-introduced it commercially many years ago through LI seed. Tan colored and ribbed winter pumpkin with vining habit, good keeping qualities.  Makes the best pumpkin pie!

Grown at Invincible Summer Farms, Southold, NY

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Pumpkin

Packet sows 5 hills (20 seeds)

Plant pumpkins in mid to lat May when the soil is warm.  Pumpkins like nutrient rich soil and irrigation during drought.  Your pumpkins will mature in September or October.

A hill is simply a cluster of seeds planted together.  You can dig a hole with a shovel and prepare the ground by adding compost and an organic non burning fertilizer to the mix and refill he hole and then poke 3-4 seeds each an inch or so apart into the soft soil so they are covered by an inch of soil.  Sometime soil is actually mounded a few inches higher than the ground an it is actually a hill.  This is done in areas where soil stays wet or it doesn’t drain well.  This is not a common condition with our sandy soils.  The hills should be 3-4 feet apart.  Pumpkins will generally sprawl over the ground, often much more than 4 feet, so plant accordingly.

Pumpkins are Winter Squash and some have good storage potential when protected from hard freezing just like winter squash.  They are often decorative and in the past were food for animals but some pumpkins are fine roasted for their flesh or used for pie.  Most Halloween type pumpkins are C. pepo and will cross with others of the same species.  They will have angular stems.  The larger pumpkins are often C. maxima.  They have cylindric corky stems.  C. moschata are usually tan colored and have a stem that flares out toward the fruit.

Open a ripe pumpkin and scoop out the seed.  In water you can separate the orange strings from the seed.  Rinse the seed and dry on newspaper or screen until the seed breaks when bent.  C. pepo pumpkins will cross with other Halloween Pumpkins as well as summer squash (zucchini) and acorn squash.  They are insect pollinated so unless you can isolate the pollinating flowers they will cross.  Research techniques of hand crossing the flowers if interested.