Pumpkin, Pumpkin

| 10/6/2010 4:34:34 PM


A photo of Anna WightI planted a variety of pumpkins this year, with mixed results. The little white and yellow mini pumpkins were the first to set fruit, and ripen, and were then promptly eaten by *something* bigger than a breadbox. The old fashioned pumpkins grew nice vines, but didn't set any fruit. The pie pumpkin set one fruit, which I'm trying to "save" from whatever started nibbleing on it two weeks ago.

The BIG MAX... well, let's just say that the BIG MAX took over the garden. Through the zucchini rows, up the tomato plants, down the tomato plants, through the peppers, up the corn stalks, down the corn stalks, across the yard. And I have 3 small BIG MAX pumpkins to show for their effort. They're all roughly the size of a bowling ball, and one of them is dangling in the center of a tomato plant.

I think the summer heat had something to do with the overall poor performance of the pumpkins. And considering the invasion of the garden this year, I'll be planting the pumpkins a great distance farther from the garden next year!

How did your pumpkins do this year? What did you plant, and how did they grow? Will you be carving up some halloween fun this year, with farm fresh pumpkins?

Matt in IL
11/30/2010 1:55:44 PM

We've had great luck with Big Max pumpkins the last 2 years. This year they grew wonderfully for us in east central Illinois. I didn't get them planted until June which is a little later than I probably should have, but they turned out great. They sprawled all over the place of course. I mulched them well with grass clippings and didn't really do much irrigation with them at all even through our very very dry August. I maybe watered them once or twice all summer long. We ended up with 4 big pumpkins - the biggest was 84 pounds, the next was 70 something pounds, while the last two were a little under 50 each. We painted them for Halloween and then I cut up part of one so far and cooked it down into puree to use in homemade pumpkin pies which turned out really good. Just one of those pumpkins gives tons of puree. This is our first year of cooking them down. I never realized they were such a useful crop! I'm going to try some pumpkin soup and maybe some pumpkin bread.

11/28/2010 11:24:17 AM

Family emergencies out of town, surgery, and then a 19-day Grand Canyon raft trip gave me an even later start than usual on my pumpkins and winter squashes. I decided to focus on smaller varieties that do less vining and more fruiting. I've got some nice buttercups finishing under plastic right now. Turbans and Jarrahdale did not make it, but butternut squash and a smaller variety of spaghetti squash did great. In my area, zone 6-7 border, I usually wait until July 1 to plant any pumpkins and winter squashes. That way, I can be sure of them finishing before the first hard freeze, but they are less vulnerable to predatory insects. http://ozarkhomesteader.wordpress.com/

Nebraska Dave
10/10/2010 8:49:08 AM

@Anna, I really don’t have the space to grow pumpkins or anything that vines other than Cucumbers. Cucumbers are a necessity as my grandson can devour a several pickles a day. Next year I will have an entire bed devoted to just cucumbers with a row of dill on the end of the bed. It will be for as many dill pickles as I can preserve. In my youth on the farm we planted pumpkins in the corn fields and harvested the pumpkins right before the corn was harvested. It seemed to work well. I kind of miss those days but my small intensive vertical growing garden keeps me quite busy. It will be even better next year with the two extra beds to tend. My ever increasing water system project will continue to keep my mind active and body tired. Have a great autumn pumpkin harvest day.

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