Thursday, June 10, 2010

now back to the garden

Back in April Pat and I were pleasantly surprised when we noticed pumpkins growing in the new flower bed in the front yard. We let a pumpkin winter over (nice way of saying we forgot it) in the bed's smaller predecessor. I was literally giddy with excitement (or as close as I get) thinking about the possibility of growing a pumpkin. That is correct, I was thinking pumpkin in the singular. I thought the pumpkin vine would look nice winding around the flowers and grass we planted in the bed. I did not expect to get the behemoth that has taken over the flower bed. There are healthy day lilies and daises within the mass of pumpkin leaves. I've moved the grasses twice. Not that we've learned anything from this. Pat planted three zucchini around the soon to be overwhelmed water feature. I'm going to have to make the flower bed bigger. Oh yeah, my neighbor says I have to do something with Q-tips and the pumpkin flowers because I can't rely on bees. I am clueless; there are loads of bees in our yard. I really thought that pumpkin stands got these things from semis filled with them and the semis got them from somewhere down south.



Yes, that is sweet peet under the tarp. You never know when it will come in handy.


13 comments:

jeansgarden said...

That is the prettiest pumpkin patch I've ever seen! I didn't know they needed help with pollination; maybe that's why my father only got two pumpkins from that vine the Halloween vandals inadvertently planted in the front lawn 50 years ago. I hope we'll get to see photos of your pumpkins in September. -Jean

René said...

Great looking pumking vine, but the credit goes to the photographer. Looking forward to pumking pictures.

Meredith said...

You crack me up, Jim. That flower bed is almost all pumpkin now.

It's all cucurbits that are having pollination issues lately, from what I understand. I first learned about this from my granddad a few years ago when he was still farming -- and lost an entire field to lack of bee activity. If you have lots of bees in your garden, you can wait and see! I had great success in my little organic garden last year, plenty of bees around. :)

But when I lived in midtown Atlanta, I had to go out early in the morning with a small artist's paintbrush, coat it with pollen from a male flower, and swipe it down into the female flower. (Don't I sound scientific? ;)

Seriously, though, there is a pollinator problem. I read last year that pear farms in China use hand labor -- that's right, men on ladders, up in trees -- to pollinate their orchards now. :(

Sorry for the long-winded comment. It's late, and I'm babbling.

Edith Hope said...

Dear Jim, This is so very exciting. I am tempted after what you describe to have a go at growing pumpkins myself!

Kyna said...

That's why I've always been afraid to try growing pumpkins, because Chuck told me they take up so much space LOL. Your vine looks beautiful though! :D

Urban Dirt Girl said...

what do you have in your soil Jim?! You seem to have a bunch of extra large everything. I can't wait to see what the end result will look like. As jeansgarden said, its a very very pretty pumpkin patch. M

Peeoknee said...

You make me laugh when I read your post about this over-wintered pumpkin seed. I have MG like that!!
It's like if you build it they will come. And it did. I will follow to see how everything will be doing being pushed out of the way by this big guy :)

PatioPatch said...

Lovely healthy pumpkins and thanks for info on pollinatin. Everything in your garden looks so flourishingly big and robust - you must have wonderful soil or do you talk to all your plants?

Laura

PhotoGirl said...

Don't forget about us entering pictures at the fair! hope you guys have a great summer :)

pamsenglishgarden said...

Just found your blog - and you impressed me with your giant pumpkin patch - so now I will have to return to see its progress! I have never grown them. I do have, and love, hostas however.

gippslandgardener said...

Hello Jim, It's alarming to read that there is such a shortage of natures little pollinators about, but heartening to hear that you have many buzzing about your pumpkins!
We have problems with bees here in Aus too, but I did notice a lot of native blue banded bees last spring/summer in the garden. I might just experiment with growing a couple of pumpkins and try hand pollinating one and let nature take it's course with the other to see what happens.

debsgarden said...

Hooray for your pumpkin! When my son was in kindergarten he came home with a tiny pumpkin plant he had grown from seed in class. It was about two inches tall. I planted it in the front garden along with the roses and other flowers. Without fertilizing or any care at all, the thing grew like kudzu and took over the whole area! We harvested over a dozen little cooking pumpkins from that one vine. Since then I have tried to grow pumpkins in the vegetable garden where they belong and have had zero success.

Mad about Garden said...

Never tried growing pumpkins in my zone 11 coastal area but it sure looks very very pretty.

All the best
Ibrahim