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cucurbit pumpkin pie decorative mildew yield culinary 'cultivar trial' squash


Fourteen pie and decorative pumpkin cultivars were evaluated in a replicated trial to determine their performance under Central Kentucky growing conditions. Plants were grown using standard commercial growing practices, using raised beds with trickle tube irrigation and fertigation, and covered with black plastic film. Fungicides and insecticides were applied following University of Kentucky Extension guidelines. Yields per-acre, fruit dimensions, weights and sugar contents were measured. Cultivars were also evaluated for visual attributes, such as size- and color uniformity and stem attractivness. Bisbee Gold’, ‘Baby Wrinkles’, ‘Darling’, ‘Fall Splendor Plus’, ‘Jack Sprat’, ‘Little Giant’ and ‘Cinnamon Girl’ were the best overall performers based on yield-related parameters and visual attributes. Powdery- and Downy mildew severity ratings were also determined. Severity ratings for both diseases were similar for most cultivars. ‘Lumina’, ‘Baby Pam’ and ‘Jack Sprat’ had some of the lowest Powdery- plus Downy mildew severity ratings. A culinary evaluation of roasted pumpkin slices was also conducted. ‘Speckled Hound’, ‘Lumina’, ‘Cinnamon Girl’, ‘Little Giant’ and ‘Jack Sprat’ rated highly overall for taste, flesh smoothness, flesh firmness, aroma, and color after roasting. Considering yield, fruit attractiveness a nd roasted pumpkin evaluations, ‘Bisbee Gold’, ‘Baby Wrinkles’, ‘Fall Splendor Plus’ and ‘Jack Sprat’ were the best pumpkins in this trial. ‘Speckled Hound’, one of two squash in the trial, also performed well.