Commercial producers of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) in the mid-Atlantic region frequently experience losses of fruit size and quality from the fungal diseases powdery mildew (Erysiphe cichoracearum) and black rot (Didymella bryoniae). In addition to loss of fruit size in some cultivars, the diseases can result in poor quality handles (fruit stems) and pre- and postharvest decay. Since the pumpkins are grown for ornamental use, their appearance, size, and quality are important in marketing strategies. Applications of recommended fungicides during the growing season, although costly, reduce losses in fruit size and quality in susceptible cultivars during years in which the pathogens become established prior to fruit maturity. Larger-fruited cultivars, in general, benefit more from fungicide application than smaller-fruited types in fruit weight, although both benefit in improved handle quality. Cultivars with apparent tolerance to fungal diseases are identified for producers who choose not to use fungicides.
Recommendations for culture of sweet corn (Zea mays) suggest separation of genotypes for color and/or sweetness by considerable distance since corn is generally wind-pollinated and unwanted pollination may result in undesired color or sweetness effects. Many small-scale producers lack adequate acreage to separate plantings by more than a short distance. To determine the extent of cross-pollination, `Golden Queen' yellow sweet corn was seeded in a circular pattern of 16 rows in 1989 and eight rows in 1990. White `Silver Queen' was then planted in 20 rows around the yellow genotype. The circular pattern enabled detection of pollen carried by wind in any direction. Yellow kernels on `Silver Queen' were attributed to cross-pollination. Depending on wind speed and direction, cross-pollination ranged from 50% on adjacent rows to none as close as eight to 10 rows from the yellow type. Consumer acceptance of a white genotype with a few yellow kernels was not determined.
Commercial producers of pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) in the Mid-Atlantic region frequently experience losses from the fungal diseases powdery mildew (Erysiphe cichoracearum) and black rot (Didymella bryoniae). In addition to loss of fruit size in some cultivars, the diseases can result in poor-quality handles (fruit stems) and preand postharvest decay. Since the pumpkins are grown for fresh market ornamental use, their appearance, size, and quality are important in marketing strategies. Applications of recommended fungicides during the growing season, although costly, reduce losses in fruit size and quality from fungal pathogens. Subsequent storage studies have documented reduced losses and maintenance of handle quality of pumpkins treated with fungicides during the growing season. This suggests that those who want or need to store pumpkins prior to sale can evaluate costs and benefits of the program. Producers can also choose cultivars that are better suited to storage if fungicides will not be used.
Vegetable culture with Municipal Solid Waste Compost (MSWC) amended soils was evaluated with the emphasis on crop and soil responses. There were three treatments of 0, 20, and 40 t·ha–1 of MSWC applied in the fall of 1993 to a Matapeake Silt Loam on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The following spring the soil was prepared for planting tomatoes and green beans. All crop management practices were in accordance with the standard procedures followed in Maryland for each crop, except for the addition of the MSWC. Both crop yields were significantly increased with the addition of the MSWC. Following the bean crop, broccoli transplants were established in the fall of 1994. Again, the yields obtained with the MSWC plots as compared to the control were significantly greater. Soil properties were also favorably affected by the addition of the compost. Analysis of soil samples indicated significant increases with MSWC, such as cation exchange capacity, soil pH, percent organic matter, and water-holding capacity.