Thursday, August 14, 2014

Growing Pumpkins

Every year I dutifully plant pumpkins, and after many gallons of water and fertilizer end with a couple tiny shriveled pumpkins. The plants this year were out of control and looks like I have five healthy pumpkins on the vine that are just starting to turn orange (although one is a variegated green and spotted yellow variety). Mind you in California were in the worst drought in recorded history, and this was one of the hottest summers on record. These poor pumpkins got very little water but are surviving. I hope they thrive in the next two months.






Aww, Little Squirt is the runt of the family.

6 comments:

  1. They look amazing! Good luck! I wish I had the space to grow pumpkins. My friend tries and they take over her yard but unfortunately they often get root rot ? I think that's what she calls it.

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    1. The vines are ridiculously prolific but do tend to get powdery mildew in humid/wet conditions (even though I water through a drip system). Apparently a solution of milk and water helps this disease. It doesn't look like these pumpkins will be getting any bigger this year, but who doesn't love a BABY pumpkin!

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    2. They look good and even if they don't get any bigger they have great form. We didn't get our crop in this year so I am living vicariously through other peoples pumpkin patches this year. Rotating where you plant and sterilizing the soil in the old plot can help with spotty mildew. I use a drip system and still get it every year. Tried the milk and it didn't seem to do anything.

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    3. Thank you for the gourd support Old Fashion Halloween! I will look up how to sterilize the soil. I live in Northern California and we get dew every morning. Its warm-hot during the day, then chilly at night, and sometimes foggy, so I get a lot of humidity for that darn mildew disease. Of course, Half Moon Bay is covered in fog year round and they grow tons of pumpkins. I wasn't to keen on the milk idea – rotting dairy in my garden? I already have a black thumb of death.

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  2. You have more than I do in less space! I only have two. I'm sure you'll need to harvest before Halloween, and fair warning you might have to cook them before Halloween too. My 3 sugar pies last year started getting soft only a week after they fell off their vines by themselves, so I promptly cooked what was still good & froze the puree to use for my Halloween baking. They were very tasty! However, my one small carving pumpkin lasted perfectly on my kitchen counter all the way through spring. You never know so just keep a close eye on them while storing. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks Webmistress! I didn't know Sugar Pumpkins had such special needs. Maybe it will go straight into the fridge, assuming that doesn't hurt gourds. I'll make sure they get a photo shoot as soon as they come off the vine which look fairly shriveled already. EEK!

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