Friday, July 18, 2008

Pumpkins

A couple of years ago I planted a pumpkin in the flower bed at home. I knew nothing about them and had no idea how they actually grew. I thought they would be a novelty for the grandchildren and even had ambitions to have it for Halloween! It grew to about 12ft long, romped through the flower bed and produced ONE tennis ball sized pumpkin! Needless to say I did not go near them again, until this year when I saw some for sale. I succumbed and bought one tiny one at the end of May. This is it 2 weeks later on the 13th June when I potted it on. The intention was to keep it in the pot at home and when we dig out our second early potatoes to move it out to a permanent bed in the allotment where it will have room to grow.






This is the second potting on, there is a kind of silver 'bloom' on the leaves I'm not sure if it is fungal or not but it does not seem to be hindering its growth. There are a few flowers developing on it now.


This is our pumpkin moved out to its allotment bed on 16th July to continue growing (hopefully) in solitary splendour . It has one small pumpkin behind a female flower. The male flowers are sterile and die off. It is quite easy to recognise the male and female flowers and I have no intention of going into the sex life of pumpkins here ! I only hope it is self pollinating as I have no intention of becoming an A.I. facilitator for a pumpkin! It will get regular feeding and watering and if it develops about 2 or 3 fruits then the growing tip should be pinched off to allow the plant to concentrate on those fruits. If we had a few plants then we could allow one pumpkin only per plant to see what happens.
I suppose if we were growing them for eating then smaller pumpkins and more of them would be the way to go.








These are a colony of pumpkins growing on top of the pile of horse manure in the allotment. Zwena our allotment owner said they will eventually reach down to the gate and two years ago she had a monster one! Watch this space for updates!

3 comments:

fiftypushing said...

Here in South AFrica, pumpkins grow rampantly. The leaves on my efforts have often turned yellow with those fungussy bits, but the fruits still seem to grow. Courgettes often get stung by something though. Yours (pampered as they are!) will definitely take over!

Peggy said...

Hi fiftypushing, thanks for the encouragement.We have one courgette in the greenhouse and the fruits develop a soft patch on the end and we have had to discard about 4 of them so far.Our summer has been terrible so far and all fruit and veg do need some sunshine to thrive

Graycrow said...

I will be interested to see how these pumpkins develop, I have a friend who wants to grow them on a commercail scale. My mother grew them quite successfully in Wexford in the past, but she has several acres of garden so space is not an issue.