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Subject:  Should i be terminating the secondary vines?

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Tasmania Australia

Hi, Sorry for this double post, I put the first post in the wrong section, under general discussions, it should of been in here, apologies for this.

I just thought i would ask a question in regards to terminating the secondary vines.
Is there a general rule or advise on when you should be terminating the secondary vines?
Should i be looking at terminating them before i pollinate or after i pollinate.
I have been trying to do a bit of research on this and can't really find any answers.
By terminating the secondary vines, dose this sort of send more energy back into the pumpkin?
Or should i not be looking at terminating the secondary's and try to keep them growing as long as possible?
Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

10/30/2021 6:58:43 PM


Columbia, Kentucky

Everyone will give you a slightly different answer. I terminate the secondary vines at 15' long. Pollination time doesn't have anything to do with terminating secondary vines however you want your plant as big as possible or close to full size by the time the pumpkin is 20 days old. Again depends on your weather and how you train your vine pattern. Best of luck, Scott

10/30/2021 8:26:37 PM


Ironton, ohio

Solid advice from a cat growing 2000 pounders, good luck bluesilver

10/30/2021 9:32:12 PM


Tasmania Australia

Thanks for the advice, appreciated.
I wasn't sure if by terminating the secondary's if it has any effect on the actual growing of the pumpkin.
By that i mean, say the pumpkin was pollinated 20 days ago ( just a random figure for reference )
If i terminated the secondary vines then, would i see a benefit in the growth of the pumpkin compared to if i just left the secondary vines continually growing outside of the patch?
I hope that question makes sense.

10/30/2021 11:02:07 PM



Its believed that plant growth and pumpkin growth do compete with each other.So what Scott says about secondary vine lenght and plant size (before fruit set) are reasonable benchmarks for growing as big as possible.You might let some plant continue to grow till day 40ish so that you still have some younger leaves to feed the fruit the last third of the season.

10/30/2021 11:52:38 PM


Tasmania Australia

Thanks for the reply, kind of making a bit of sense for me now i think.
So basically try to keep as much growth growing as you can until say a month after pollination, then terminate the secondary's to promote more growth into the pumpkin, also possibly keep a few of the newer secondary's growing to help feed the pumpkin, Dose that sound about right in general?

10/31/2021 2:00:32 AM

The Gridiot

10,000 BC Younger Dryas 2

The secondaries closest to the pumpkin seem to be the most important. The secondaries at the back of the plant near the stump seem to be less helpful. In my limited experience there's not much benefit from letting the secondaries at the back of the plant grow as big as they may want to. But there could be a lot of benefit from letting the secondaries near the pumpkin get longer, and even training tertiaries out from these appears to work. Check out mobeymikes waterfall/pitchfork tertiaries?

BTW, in theory, pruning ideally keeps nutrients and energy closer to the pumpkin but also can change auxin levels in the plant. And that quickly becomes an advanced discussion. I'm not enough of an expert to say anything with any confidence, so I'll just leave that as a sidenote.

10/31/2021 3:50:58 AM



Thats the basic idea.

10/31/2021 1:08:05 PM


South Dakota

Try to find some discussion on source/sink relationship of your plant. Generally thought that directing all the plants energy to one sink (pumpkin) and fewer sinks on the vine (growing points) is beneficial.

11/2/2021 9:54:41 AM


Tasmania Australia

Thanks for the reply, I will keep searching for source/sink relationship, so far not a real lot of information on this, our growing season has generally only just started here about a month ago, so just looking to find as much information i can.

11/2/2021 5:06:17 PM

The Gridiot

10,000 BC Younger Dryas 2

The roots are probably a bigger sink than the side vines. Just sayin.

The conversion from roots as a sink to the pumpkin sink is probably the real key.

And yes you wont find any info on this. It's a "beyond advanced" topic as far as I know. The right mix of environment and hormones will determine if the plant can pump less of its resources into its roots/ more of its resources into the pumpkin.

I believe there is a self-sacrifice mode where the plant (chemically decides to) no longer invests in it's own needs and everything goes into the fruit. I'm not sure we understand this at all... I dont think anyone has studied this, even top biochemists would struggle to piece together all the variables. Its PhD stuff for sure... I think we just call it luck.

11/2/2021 8:43:39 PM

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