Beyond "Knee High by the 4th of July"

An experiment in vegetable gardening

In Search of the Great Pumpkin

July 15th, 2012

I’m feeling a bit like Linus van Pelt these days, because every morning I head out to see if there’s a pumpkin rising out of my pumpkin patch.

The 6′ x 6′ raised bed in the center of my garden officially became my pumpkin patch when I planted the transplant Jack O’Lantern on May 28th and the seeds Connecticut Field on June 6th.

Since my pumpkin patch is small by most standards, I need to encourage the sprawling vines to grow up rather than out.  So before the pumpkins grew too big, Bruce and I hoofed it over to Tractor Supply, bought 2 steel cattle feedlot panels and attached them at the top with hog rings to make an A frame trellis (I promise you that when I was growing up in suburbia, I never dreamed I’d use “Tractor Supply”, “cattle feedlot panels”, and “hog rings” in a sentence that had anything to do with me!).

Thanks to the drip irrigation and warm temperatures, it wasn’t even a month before “Jack O’Lantern” was off and its vines quite literally running and “Connecticut Field” had sprouted and started reaching for the trellis.

Surely, it was just a matter of time before my first baby pumpkin would appear!  And on June 26th I spotted something I thought might be it!

It definitely looked like a baby pumpkin and it was at the base of a flower which I thought was a good sign.  I became more and more hopeful over the next few days and began to envision my pumpkin cradled in a sling tied up to the trellis.

Then, on the morning of July 2nd, I saw this:

And my hopes and visions shrunk right along with what I thought was a baby pumpkin.

The same thing has happened to other potential baby pumpkins since.  “Why?” I wondered (and for the sake of experiment and experience, I decided for once NOT to consult the Internet…yet!).

It can’t be for lack of pollination!  There are plenty of bees!

And it can’t be for a lack of growth!  There is plenty of that, too!

So, for now, every morning, I go out to my pumpkin patch, weave the vines on the trellis in search of my Great Pumpkin.  And wait.

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  • Deb says on: July 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm

     

    My only question (hunch?) is this…i love the trellis idea, but if the pumpkin doesn’t have solid ground to support it, does it know it shouldn’t grow? (sorry…sounds philisophical, lol!)
    Tricia, i love your garden. Hope to come and visit it one of these months/years! xoxo

    • Patricia says on: July 16, 2012 at 9:59 pm

       

      Good question – I just wish I had an answer! Supposedly “vertical gardening” works for pumpkins!? I guess time will tell!

      And you are welcome to come see my garden any month/year/century! :)

  • Heather P Chapman says on: July 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

     

    Keep the faith, Linus . . . um, I mean, Tricia! The Great Pumpkin may be mysterious in its ways, but it will most assuredly come in its own good time! :-)

    • Patricia says on: July 16, 2012 at 9:57 pm

       

      I’m hoping the old adage “Good things come to those who wait” holds true in this case! :)

  • Michelle K. says on: July 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm

     

    I will be anxiously watching with you! I look forward to the day the Great Pumpkin appears……But it sure does look gorgeous in the meantime.

    • Patricia says on: July 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

       

      Thanks for joining the vigil! The fact that the pumpkin vine looks so lush without any pumpkins is certainly a mystery!

I'd love to hear your comments

Beyond "Knee High by the 4th of July"

An experiment in vegetable gardening