2016 LSU AgCenter Pumpkin Variety Results

Kathryn Fontenot, Cater, Kylie, Burns, Dennis, Lee, Donna R., Crigler, Betsy

DSC_0130.jpg thumbnail

Authors: Kathryn Fontenot, Dennis Burns, Kylie Miller, Donna Lee, Betsy Crigler, Mary Sexton

Background: To increase farm revenue, fruit and vegetable producers throughout Louisiana are or are considering offering “events” located on their farm. A popular method for attracting the public to the farm is by growing corn mazes and pumpkin patches in the Halloween and Thanksgiving season. Corn is easily grown in Louisiana, but pumpkins are slightly more difficult. Leaving the majority of pumpkin patch producers growing vines and supplementing fruit yields with pumpkins purchased from out of state.

Objective: The objective of this study was to find a Jack-o-lantern type pumpkin variety that can withstand Louisiana’s environmental conditions and yield a reasonable number of pumpkins to justify production costs.

Production Practices:

  • Fourteen varieties of pumpkins were evaluated.
  • Rows were hipped into 76-inch beds.
  • 600lbs of 13-13-13 was banded into the field preplant. (The LSU AgCenter recommends banding 600-700lbs preplant if not side dressing.)
  • Pumpkins were sown into the field on July 13, 2016.
  • Three plots per variety were planted.
    • Plots were 30 foot long with hills spaced 4 feet apart. Each plot contained five hills.
  • A preemergent herbicide was applied on July 14th (Strategy (ai = ethalfluralin + clomazone) at a 6pt/ acre rate) to control annual grasses and pigweed.
    • (Do not soil incorporate this herbicide. Apply after seeding but before emergence. Do not apply over the top of transplants (use in row middles). Do not apply under plastic mulch. 45PHI.)
  • Pumpkins were cultivated once before vining.
  • A postemergent herbicide application for grass control was applied (Select 2EC (ai - clethodim) at 8oz / Acre rate).
    • Must be applied to actively growing grass. Use a crop oil (1qt/ acre). 14 d PHI. Max 2 pt/ acre/ season.
  • A sidedress application was applied prior to running stage with Peters 20-20-20 at a rate of 2 Tablespoons/ Gallon of water. Each hill received a cup of fertilizer solution.
  • Fungicide and insecticide applications were applied every 7 - 10 days starting in mid-September. Main insect pests included cucumber beetles and worms. Bifenthrin and Belt were used to control insect pests (rates vary by which trade name you choose).
    • Quadris (ai = azoxystrobin) at a 11 – 16oz/acre rate
    • Zing! (ai = zoxamide & chlorothalonil) at a 30 fl oz/acre rate
    • Gavel (ai = mancozeb and zoxamide) at a 1.5-2lbs / acre rate
    • Quadris (ai = azoxystrobin) 11-16 oz/ acre rate
  • Irrigation was not used as there was no available water source.
Seed SourceVariety and Disease Package InformationAdvertised Average Weight (LBS)
Johnny's SeedsRival PMR15-20
Johnny's SeedsCargo PMR20-25
Johnny's SeedsSunlight PMR4-6
Johnny's SeedsCharisma PMR14-18
Twilley SeedsCamaro PMR20-23
Twilley SeedsCaptain Jack (tolerant PM)30
Twilley SeedsCharmed16-20
Twilley SeedsCorvette PMR11-14
Twilley SeedsCougar PMR10-12
Twilley SeedsDarling6-8
Twilley SeedsEarly Abundance4-6
Twilley SeedsEarly Giant25-30
Twilley SeedsHijinks7-9
Twilley SeedsMustang PM tolerant 22

PMR = Powdery mildew resistant


Data Collection from the 2016 LSU AgCenter Pumpkin Trial.

VarietyTotal Yield (Number of Pumpkin)Total Yield (lbs/ acre)Average Fruit Weight (lbs)Average Fruit Length (inch)Average Fruit Width (inch- bottom of fruit)Fruit ShapeStem Length (inch)Stem Diameter (inch)Stem Color Rind ColorSuture
Early Abundance3,96416,2524.15.13.2R2.
Early Giant73814,17019.210.65.1R3.
Captain Jack921,46315.911.03.5T4.

Data collected was from 3 harvests between the dates of September30, 2016 to October 27, 2016. Data collection was cut off at Halloween to represent potential yields when prices remain high. Total Yield per acre assumes no skip rows were used.

Fruit Shape T= tall; R = round

Stem Color 1 = no green (brown); 2 = yellow green; 3 = medium green; 4 = dark green

Rind Color 1= yellow (Ginger peachy); 2 = light (Egyptian Sun); 3 = bright (Desert Orange), 4 = dark (Fiery Orange)

Glidden Paint Colors.

Suture Rating 0 = no suture; 1 = minimal suture; 2 = light suture; 3 = moderate suture; 4 = heavy suture


  • Based on this trial we recommend
    • ‘Sunlight’ was the top yielding variety in terms of total number of pumpkins harvested per acre. It is a small round white to yellow pumpkin. Projected yield is 6361 pumpkins per acre with an average fruit weight of 3.1lbs.
    • ‘Early Abundance’ was the second top yielding pumpkin in terms of total number of pumpkins produced per acre. It is a small pumpkin that is bright orange. Projected yield is 3964 pumpkins per acre with an average fruit weight of 4.1lbs. ‘Early Abundance’ was harvested closer to Halloween than the other top yielding varieties.
    • ‘Darling’ was the third top yielding pumpkin in terms of total number of pumpkins produced per acre. It is a small and tall shaped dark orange pumpkin. Projected yield is 3780 pumpkins per acre with an average fruit weight of 4.7lbs.
    • ‘Charisma’ was the fourth top yielding pumpkin in terms of total number of pumpkins produced per acre. It is a medium sized round shaped bright orange pumpkin. Projected yield is 3688pumpkins per acre with an average fruit size of 9.2lbs.
  • Irrigation is necessary. We had to replant the study because of lack of moisture for germination and no rain in October lead to an early demise in vine growth. Moreover, we were hoping to fertilize an additional time in late September but did not have correct moisture.
  • Plant no later than July 4th to get earlier yields. Pumpkins must be harvested before Halloween for better prices.
  • Smaller sized pumpkins tend to grow better than larger pumpkins in Louisiana based on 2010 and 2016 results. Plant small to medium sized pumpkins and supplement with large pumpkins if purchasing pumpkins for field placement for Agro-tourism events.
  • Pumpkin varieties that performed well in the 2010 study and (in subsequent years that were not true variety tests)
    • Cinderella
    • Silver Moon
    • Magic Lantern
    • Orange Smoothie

209.jpg thumbnail


Charisma.jpg thumbnail


Early Abundance.jpg thumbnail

Early Abundance

Sunlight.jpg thumbnail


11/2/2016 8:35:30 PM
Rate This Article:

Have a question or comment about the information on this page?

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture