Sustainable Pumpkin Production in the Southeast
The production of food and fiber with low off-farm inputs is one of the goals of sustainable agriculture. This producer will use a legume cover crop to supply most of the nitrogen demand of his pumpkins.
He plans to evaluate a pumpkin production system using a legume cover crop preceding pumpkins and to use cover crop residue to suppress weeds and to provide erosion control during pumpkin production. Water holding capacity should be increased as a result of the cover crop and residue.
In the fall, the producer plans to establish four test plots, each consisting of three rows of pumpkins. He will then use two varieties of clover with and without nitrogen. The following summer, before the pumpkins are seeded, biomass samples will be taken and the cover crops killed and turned under. Once the pumpkins mature they will be weighed and graded for overall quality.