We’ve grown pumpkins every summer for a decade. Our first crop was a happy accident when my then four-year-old spilled a bag of squirrel food. We swept up most of it, then kicked the rest off the path into the dirt. Before you can say ‘boo!!!’ we ended up with five pumpkins.
To celebrate that tenth anniversary, we’re growing an all-volunteer crop this year too. I feel a bit guilty when I walk by our little patch and realize I had next to nothing to do with it.
Earlier this year I popped the lid off of one of my composting bins and spied a pair of pumpkin seedlings. I smiled, put the lid back on and went about my business. The next time I checked the bin was full of seedlings! Clearly they enjoyed the impromptu greenhouse effect, though the lack of light was a concern. I left the lid ajar and before I could even think of transplanting them, the crop took off.
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I prepared the garden bed intended for the crop and simply eased the entire contents of the compost bin over on its side, then into the bed. I held my breath for a few days, hoping the trauma of being upended didn’t finish them off. Instead, they continued to grow.
At last count, there are 11 little pumpkins growing on the various vines. I’ve lost a few to snails and a critter with sharp teeth, but the remaining pumpkins look good.
I’m a huge fan of all things Halloween, so growing pumpkins in the back yard brings me great joy. After all these years I’m still in awe that one little seed can produce a vine that runs half the length of the house in three short months. Beautiful yellow flowers give way to bountiful fruit. Days shorten, vines brown and left standing is a bounty of orange goodness.
Do you have a summer tradition that brings you great joy?
You can check out my page Passionate about Pumpkins to see a decade of growing, displaying and my husband’s awesome carving.