Pumpkin Primer

3 1/2 weeks ago, I thought I had a fruitless squash vine taking up all sorts of space in front of my house.  All bloom, no squash.

1 1/2 weeks ago, I discovered we had a pumpkin!

2 days ago, I find my pumpkin is already orange and ready for Fall decorations!   Check out that development!

The problem?

It’s mid-August.  Pumpkins are fall, harvesty things.  Who the heck decorates their home with a pumpkin in August?

Turns out I can make the pumpkin last for weeks by cleaning it in a weak chlorine water solution and the storing it in a cool dry place on a piece of cardboard. (http://www.pumpkinnook.com/growing.htm)  I hope it works.  It also says how I should leave it on the vine for as long as possible, but how long is that?  If all else fails, it looks like I will have plenty of little squash/ gourd things that are climbing all over the big metal trellises.  I thought it was very interesting that the vine basically died to pump the pumpkin full of nutrients (http://www.informeddemocracy.com/pumpkin/growing.html) so that the pumpkin could be a great pumpkin and then pass on its seed.  It’s not a perfect analogy, but it did make me think of when Jesus says in John 15:5, “I am the vine and you are the branches.”  The vine grew up strong and then died so that it could give life to the pumpkin.  🙂

Another problem, with my literal vine and pumpkin, is now the vine is next to dead, leaving a big, empty space in prime, visitor-seeing garden space where all those big. pretty leaves used to be.  Looks wretched out there, doesn’t it?  Maybe I’ll just mulch it and call it a year for this area.  At least the tomato plant that randomly sprouted there (remember that guy?  No?  Neither did I till all the vine leaves wilted.) is making use of the trellis and starting too bloom. I’m still impressed anything grew here.  This is apparently the worst spot in my front yard.

I am interested to try growing corn, beans, and pumpkins together, as one of those websites was saying how they are complimentary plants.  The beans grow up the corn stalks (I knew that part) while the pumpkins sprawl in front of them, creating a weed barrier with those big leaves (did not think of that!).
In other news, more tomatoes are coming in so I made my first batch of spaghetti sauce using only tomatoes from my garden!  Still having blossom end rot problems, but most of the tomatoes have grown enough before getting noticeable spots that they are still useable.  I just cut around them.  I hope we have time soon to make fried green tomatoes.  Mmm!


One response

  1. My pumpkins are all big and orange and ready to pick too! I’m zone 5. I think the heat of the summer made them grow especially fast this year. I’m going to keep them on the vine as long as I can. I’m counting on carving them up in October. That’s a great tip for keeping them fresh if the vine dies. Thanks for the post.

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