Pumpkins: Something Old, Something New

pumpkin plant leaves and tendrils

Unfurling leaves and curling tendrils

Did you know that pumpkins have been around since 7000 BCE?  Now *that* is something old.  Something new is planting out pumpkin seeds in EarthBoxes® on our front deck.  Most years, the pumpkins start out in the raised beds out back.  Unfortunately, the nasty squash bugs from last season wintered over, so I needed a ‘plan b’.  One of my readers suggested a decoy plant in the usual place so I did just that.  It’s growing so nicely though, that I fear I’ll be just as heartbroken if the nasty bugs take hold.

We’ve been growing pumpkins for a decade, mostly for carving and decorating. We’re all fans of Halloween around here, so nothing could be finer than a Jack o’lantern carved from a garden gourd.

Meanwhile, the pumpkins on deck are thriving.  We set up trellises this weekend so the pumpkins can climb up and over. I thinned the plants (always tough for me) so that the others would have room to grow.   I planted three varieties  from seed six weeks ago today, which means they’re already half way through the 90 day growing season.  Isn’t that amazing?

EarthBox Pumpkins 2014

Pumpkin progression: May, 3rd – June 16th

There are a plethora of buds, with the first few male flowers appearing this week.

pumpkin flower male

Male pumpkin flower, open for business

The females will bud next, then it’s up to the bees to cross-pollinate.

pumpkin bud female

Female pumpkin bud

To help things along, Salvia and Sunflowers are growing nearby. They’re all bee magnets, so a good time will be had by all.

pumpkins, salvia and sunflowers

Trellised pumpkins grow near sunflowers and Salvia

Please check back soon to see the pumpkins progress. Meanwhile, if you run into a squash bug, please DO NOT offer directions to our place. The pumpkins thank you.

Leaves, stems, tendrils, and flower buds

Leaves, stems, tendrils, and flower buds