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Subject:  Foamy Stump Prevention Wisdom

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Kutztown, PA

I was reading back through some old posts about "Foamy" Stump and came across a post by Pap. Pap indicated there's some correlation between a foamy and high nitrogen levels. He also suggested not burying the main at all. He also indicated that high OM content may also be conducive to a foamy. Has anyone found that higher levels of nitrogen is a factor? Paps post was in 2009, a year he had 4 out of 4 foaming. I figured by now someone might be able answer the question. Yes - I understand turgor pressure is a factor, but does nitrogen play a role too?

7/27/2022 9:36:01 AM

big moon

Bethlehem CT

There was a time where foamy stumps were considered a big problem. Guys have ways to drain them now with a surgery they do to open them up. I am sure it does have to do with high N and organic matter. It usually also means that you have an aggressive growing plant. It is that fine line that we walk.

I would be very interested in hearing what other growers and especially what heavy hitters have to say about "mr foamy" and what they are doing culturally to prevent it or cure it if need be.

7/27/2022 1:01:32 PM


Kutztown, PA

big moon, three of the 6 plants I've grown have developed a foamy. I've treated all 3 differently based on their individual stage of "rot". I even caught one in it's early stages this year, and did the appropriate surgery. Though surgery may drain the stump, I don't care how much H peroxide or sulfur or anything else you put on it you've created an open wound. You've opened a door to every mold spore blowing in the wind including those that breakdown plant material which is most of them. You've also opened a door for bacteria that do the same. Even if it dries out and heals over it's to late the damage is done. If someone has a method of draining one that doesn't leave an open would I'd like to hear it, but like you I'd sure like to know how to prevent it and exactly what causes it. Turgor pressure has been mentioned as the mechanism, but what's the "root" cause? Good Pun uh?

7/27/2022 2:25:14 PM


Saegertown Pa.

its from High humidity and heat, I grew ten plant for 15 years or more and have had years were I had 10 for 10. and I dont have high OM or high N. You need to get them before they foam. if you have a cover over stump look for a wet spot around the base of stump, if you have a wet spot you need to cut a slit 2 to 3 inches long and 1/4 inch wide so the water will drain. dig out some dirt from bottem of stump and make sure your cut ends up at the lowest part of stump. Or just cut all your stumps open some time in July before you have a proublem. the cut will heal just fine. If you catch it before it foams and then it foams later spray with zerotol one ounce to half gallion of water, and use a shop vac to suck out any water or foam. If you catch it before it foams 95 % of the time you will be just fine.

7/27/2022 3:05:14 PM


Kutztown, PA

Thanks Quinn - we definitely had some high heat and humidity this year. Quinn, how do you determine if the surgery has been a success since a pumpkin will continue to grow even without the stump?
Check this video out - this guys doing some proactive surgery early in the game.


7/27/2022 3:35:08 PM


Saegertown Pa.

If you can keep it at the stump area and it does not go up the vine you have succeeded. If you treat the stump three times a day and it does not go up the vine it takes 6 weeks for the stump to rot mostly off if it’s bad. By that time My daily gains are the same as on the pumpkins with the good stumps. The key is to catch it early and you will get water instead of foam. The foam is from bacteria and that’s what you don’t won’t. 20 years ago every one said cut the stump off when this happened. and you would drop 10 LB a day on your pumpkin. I always tried to keep the stump alive as long as possible, doing it the way I do it now I haven’t lost a stump for a long time.

7/27/2022 4:11:12 PM


Central Illinois

Removing the first secondaries has stopped me from getting foamers, I would lose several plants a year to it, now I haven't had them at all for several years.

7/28/2022 3:57:39 AM


Kutztown, PA

Thanks Quinn for the valuable experienced advice. It makes sense. I watched a video Moby Mike did on removing the first couple of secondary vines early and any "kick stand" leaf stalks that would prevent the main from laying down (Like baitman is kind of talking about). I don't recall if it was an effort to prevent a foamy. Do you think there's any value to doing that too?

7/28/2022 8:35:22 AM


Longourditude -122.16

Hey I just noticed my apple tree is transpiring so fast today the trunk is very cold and has condensation on it. Suppose maybe foamy stump happens when the stump pulls water up, from deep in the soil, that is cold enough to cause condensation on the stump? Maybe the real reason people have less foamy stump is the use of year round heating cables? I never knew a tree could pull water up that fast. Has anyone ever seen condensation on their pumpkin stump because the water in the subsoil is cold??? How strange...

7/28/2022 9:38:03 PM



I put a 10" fan aimed down on the stump and surrounding ground area. Keeps that ground area from getting soggy. stays on 24/7.

7/31/2022 10:29:01 AM


Torrance, Ca.

What Quinn said!

Great info right there!

7/31/2022 11:53:39 AM

Total Posts: 11 Current Server Time: 10/1/2022 10:43:19 PM
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