Remember when I said that I would tell you how my pumpkin patch turned out? Oh, I was so full of hope then. I was sure that we would be drowning in pumpkins, that I would have given as many as I could to my neighbors and explored many pumpkin recipes.
Well, I don’t have any of those problems.
I don’t know what happened! Guys, it all started off so well. Mr. Man plopped the seeds in the garden. We had sprouts before we knew it!
They were growing and growing.
So many plants, with so many potential pumpkins.
Our future was looking like it would be FULL of pumpkins.
Then it all started heading south. This guy committed suicide, he just dropped off the vine onto the driveway.
The one, respectable-looking pumpkin got this icky spot, yuck!
And then all the plants suddenly pooped out. It was a gardening massacre.
So, now that it’s too late to do anything about it, I decided to do some research. The top Google result, The Old Farmer’s Almanac (https://www.almanac.com/plant/pumpkins), sure had everything that I needed to know about growing pumpkins. Too bad that I didn’t read up before we started! Here are my top take-aways:
- Pumpkins like hot soil, which explains why they took off so well in our raised planter bed. You’re supposed to build little “hills” for your pumpkins to grow on to help keep the roots stay warm.
- You also need to keep the soil moist – mulch, mulch, mulch.
- And feed, feed, feed – manure or compost plus high nitrogen fertilizer (during early plant growth) and high phosphorus fertilizer (once blooming begins).
- You need to be careful about getting the plants wet. I think this is the biggest booboo that we made since Mr. Man likes to water the garden from across the lawn. Once the leaves got powdery, it was over.
- If/when you start to get fruit, place something (ex: cardboard) under the fruit to keep them from getting icky spots from sitting in damp mulch.
- If/when you pick them, keep 3-4” of stem to help them last longer and cure them in the sun for a week before storing.
Now that I’ve armed myself with some knowledge, I think we can attempt pumpkins again next year with the potential for better results. As far as this year goes, I see a trip to Trader Joes for pumpkins in my near future.