What’s on Deck?

With the ‘rainy’ season behind us (ahem), I’ve pulled out the seat covers and the mat for our front deck. The deck feels like an extra room for about six months of the year. We generally put up an awning as well, but we waited for the winds to die down.  Now it’s so hot, that we’re more comfortable indoors.

deck furniture

Ready for summer

That took about 30 seconds

That took about 30 seconds

I’m trying something different on the deck this season: pumpkins.  Pumpkins growing in EarthBoxes® to be precise.  We’ve grown pumpkins in the back garden for many years with great success.  Last year, however, this happened:

Unwelcome Squash Bugs

Unwelcome Squash Bugs

Squash bugs.  Voracious, pumpkin-eating, squash bugs. I salvaged what I could by harvesting early, but not without casualties. I crossed my fingers that they would die off over the winter and all would be well. Ha! Thanks to our unseasonably warm *and* dry winter, they’ve seasoned over.  I spotted one in the garden last month.

I just couldn’t face another infestation, so I’m trying a covert operation instead.  I’ve surreptitiously  planted the seeds in the EarthBoxes®, far from the vegetable beds along the deck.  My hope is that mum’s the word.  One of my readers suggested planting a decoy out back, and I may well do that too.  I have plenty of extra seeds.

earthbox pumpkins

EarthBox® pumpkins

This year’s selection includes three seed types: an assortment of saved seeds from last year (the mystery box) along with  Botanical Interests Jack-o’-lanterns  and Luminas.  Mystery seeds are always fun to grown.  Three months from now, we’ll be pleasantly surprise.  My son requested carving pumpkins this year and the Luminas are one of my favorites.

The EarthBoxes® escaped the squirrels notice, but not my paintbrush.  Pauline and Boomdee convinced me that bling adds zing, so I put my Martha Stewart stencils to use. I don’t have the free hand skills to paint flowers and leaves, but I can definitely paint a stencil!  It’s good fun, too.

Seed packets, stencils and the finished boxes

Seed packets, stencils and the finished boxes

Do you have season-changing rituals?