Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fall Pumpkins

Early this summer I planted two pumpkin starts on the back slope.  Not only did I want to fill in the bare ground, but I also wanted to see if I could get some pumpkins to grow for Halloween.  It seemed like those little plants were never going to take off, but finally, I think around July, they just exploded into flowers, then little baby green bulbs, then lo and behold: pumpkins..!!

Before I left for Portland and my long journey to Scotland, I picked (though...wait...I don't think you technically "pick" a pumpkin, do you..??).  So, okay, I harvested two and took them to my sister's.  One was nice and big, the other small and cute.  I cut two more off the vines for myself, and left three that were still green to fend for themselves.  I never for one minute imagined it would not rain the entire two weeks I was gone.  I mean, really, it's October for crying out loud.

The first thing I did on Sunday when I got home was check the pumpkins.  Sadly, the vines had withered to nearly nothing, but the three pumpkins were still hanging on, and in fact, had somehow doubled in size even without water.  I have now watered for two days and part of the vines have recovered, fortunately the part where the pumpkins are attached.

Here's a shot of the two I cut off the vine before I went on the trip.  I left them in the coolness of the garage where they survived just fine; I will hopefully carve them over this coming weekend.  I measured the height of these two and though it doesn't look it, they came in at 13 inches tall..!!

The three on the vine are even bigger.  They're taking their time in turning orange, and it's clear they won't make it by Halloween, but I'm going to let them just keep growing to see what happens.

For a bit of perspective:  See that large leaf in the middle foreground of the single pumpkin photo directly above this sentence..??  That leaf measured 15 inches...and shows just how big the pumpkin is so far.  Totally cool.  Last night the temps got down into the high 30s which should speed along the change in color, though it's to get into the high 60s during the day for the next week, so I'm not sure how that will affect the growth and/or color process. 

And honestly..??  Give me an Edinburgh rainy, misty October any day...it's not natural that it never rains here.

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