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Subject:  Tarps from Hell

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Kutztown, PA

So, I decided to put up some shade tarps this year at the suggestion of another grower. Since I often miss the entire purpose of all things pumpkin I premise this by saying my purpose for the tarps is to keep the sun off the pumpkins and keep them dry. I also have white sheets over them. It was suggested on this site that I forget the tarps and just go with double sheets. That worked for me last year. After having the tarps up a couple of weeks now I'm wondering if the reward is worth the risk. As someone said here if the tarp comes in contact with the pumpkin on a hot day it's cooked pumpkin for dinner; game over. That could easily happen, especially if the tarp is set in a way that catches rain or even if a single tiedown point comes loose. If it's windy and a tiedown comes loose it might beat the heck out of the pumpkin. The tarps also shade some of the leaves. Shading leaves when there's high humidity is conducive to powdery mildew growth. Also, the leaves that are shaded aren't getting enough sun to optimize photosynthesis. I haven't decided yet to take the tarps down and go with the double sheets exclusively but I'm leaning that way. Any thoughts??

7/20/2022 1:53:50 PM


Longourditude -122.16

I dont use tarps except to kill things.

7/20/2022 3:41:53 PM

Smallmouth (Team Ozark)


It's too hot here and I feel a double sheet might be too much. A well positioned and secured tarp will allow airflow, completely block the sun, keep the stem dry, allow a fan to stay dry, and not collapse from rain.

7/20/2022 3:50:08 PM

North Shore Boyz

Mill Bay, British Columbia

Garwolf, it’s perfectly safe to use tarps as long as they are adequately secured. We use our small hoophouses, with 1/2 tarps on the top to stop rain, but also allow airflow along the sides. We overhead water, and I like to keep the pumpkin and the stem dry.


7/21/2022 9:34:19 AM


Plymouth, MN

I use the same general set up as North Shore Boyz but with white fabric or privacy screen to cover the pumpkin. Dark colors make me nervous that either A) the tented area will get even warmer than ambient in full-sun and B) IF the fabric were to touch the fruit you'd be more likely to scald the flesh.

7/21/2022 9:38:35 AM


Westmoreland, KS

I'm with Smallmouth if you get weeks on end with heat I just can't see how a double sheet would be a good thing.

7/21/2022 11:34:21 AM

North Shore Boyz

Mill Bay, British Columbia

@cjb, I totally agree and only used this black piece , because I had a spare piece and it seemed to do the trick. Ventilation is also important.

7/21/2022 11:58:07 AM

Smallmouth (Team Ozark)


Exactly NSB, get a case of stem rot where you have to do surgery then run a fan 24/7, a tarp\tent is a must to keep everything dry and ventilated.

7/21/2022 1:27:15 PM


Kutztown, PA

Maybe it's a design problem. How are you folks constructing your covers?

7/21/2022 1:36:10 PM

Gerald UK

Watlington, UK

I have a tarp overhead with a gap underneath to allow airflow. The tarp is positioned so water from overhead will run off and away from the pumpkin and the gap between the pumpkin and tarp is always at least 6".
The pumpkin itself has a thin white horticultural fleece over it which allows air passage but creates shade. Between the tarp and the fleece no direct sunlight reaches the pumpkin.

7/21/2022 5:15:19 PM

Total Posts: 10 Current Server Time: 10/1/2022 10:42:35 PM
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