Friday, July 11, 2014

My First Pumpkin

The song "Finishing the Hat" from Sunday in the Park with George keeps running through my head.  Specifically, the next-to-last line "Look, I made a hat!"  That's how I feel about the pumpkins.

With the under-performance of the fountain garden this year, I'm putting all my gardening mojo into the pumpkins.  I won't have a Halloween pumpkin patch, but at least I'll get to eat something I've grown.

The first pollinated female flower is coming to maturity much earlier than I expected.  It took almost exactly six weeks from pollination to ripe.  Pumpkins in July are definitely something you only get in warm climates.  There are places in this country where it is only now warm enough to start the plants.  Of course, then they will have October pumpkins, like normal gardeners.  I'm actually grateful that some of my vines were less robust at first and are only now starting to fruit.  It will make my season last into August.

As you can see in the photo, there's only a little bit of green left before I can cut it from the vine.  Good thing, too, because the vine has a pretty bad whitefly infestation.  I've been turning the fruit, to point the greener parts toward the sun.  What's on the bottom now is ready to go.

Pumpkin #2 is one of the small twins.  In the photo, it looks the same size as the one above, but it's really less than half as big.  Note the 6 oz tub it is sitting on, as opposed to the large tub that holds almost 2 lbs of cream cheese.  I've been collecting those for several weeks as props for the pumpkins.

I'm definitely in the mood to try out some pumpkin recipes I've been collecting.  As for whether I'd do this again, maybe I'll wait until the drought is over.  I feel extremely guilty every time I water them, even though hand watering is less wasteful than the sprinklers.  And I will most certainly wait until late June or the first week of July to do it.  Next time, I'm doing this to get on the Great Pumpkin's list.

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