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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Should I Persist with These Pumpkins?

pumpkin vine
I threw some Digger's Heirloom pumpkin seeds in a patch of spare soil I had late last year. Or maybe it was in January, I really can't remember when. The corn seeds before them had failed to germinate - or maybe they did poke a head through but were quickly munched. Anyway, I thought I'd try my hand at growing pumpkin.

I'd been getting a few lovely flowers and I noticed some bees buzzing about.
And the vine is of course quite massive and hides the view from the lounge window of our tatty undies hanging on the clothes line which is a good thing. It's also been crawling its tendrils onto my clothes line and has had to be ripped back a bit.  But nevertheless I was expecting great things from this vine. A few months ago I bought a ravioli mould and I've been dreaming of feeding the monkeys pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin soup and pumpkin chips in tempura batter.
But look what's been happening to the fruit.
Is it because I put the seeds in too late?
I know pumpkins like a lot of compost and they certainly haven't been mollycoddled by me - a bit of a seaweed feed and that's been it. Should I have treated them a bit better?
And lastly, all you experts out there in blogworld, should I give up now, rip this vine out and prepare the soil for something new? Or should I wait a few more weeks in the hope that one of these pumpkins will turn into a pumpkin? 

12 comments:

  1. My own pumpkin patch too are growing rather wild now, more male flowers than female ones. Praying for at least one or two little pumpkins soon...if Im that lucky! If not, I can cook the pumpkin shoots to make a sweet and creamy vegetable dish as shown in my previous post.Good luck with yours!

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  2. I think for Melbourne and Brisbane this year best way to get them to pollinate is by hand - its too wet otherwise.

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  3. If it hasn't set fruit yet, I don't think it will have time to do so. I would pull it out. Pumpkins grow best in a pile of poo and compost and like lots of water and sun. Don't give up though, have another go next year because pumpkins are so versatile and they keep.

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  4. It looks a bit like blossom end rot to me. That's caused by a calcium deficiency, but the calcium deficiency is usually caused by erratic watering, and not enough general mulch, organic matter etc. In Melbourne it's probably too late now to hope for much from them. I agree with Hazel though - compost, water, lots of mulch, and plant them in spring - summer and you will get a great yield.

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  5. That looks like mould to me and I would be worried that if you left it the mould spores would spread. I would remove the mouldy parts (throw them into the bin)and then dig the rest of the plant into the ground as a green manure. that way you get some benefit for the next crop. It probably is a summer crop for you.

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  6. I have endless problems with powdery mildew and I find that if there is a lot of it around then it effects the fruit as well as the leaves, so maybe that's the problem? I think, even if you did get some fruit it probably wouldn't ripen before the cold got to the plant, so maybe its time to pull it out. :)

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  7. When it comes to my garden, I am of the firm belief that intentionally planted pumpkin seeds will always fail. However those stray little pumpkin seeds that end up anywhere and are not set by hand with love and nurturing will ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL grow like crazy and attempt world pumpkin domination.

    but that is my garden. Maybe the rules are not the same out in the real world.

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  8. Oh no VG! :( Pull em out i say make way for newbies !! If you can't eat them...toss them out!

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  9. Same thing happening here with one of my vines... Sounds as if it needs to come out :(

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  10. Ok thanks everyone it's coming out. My zucchini had lots of powdery mildew but that's on the other side of the garden. I pulled that out recently. Maybe it spread. Interesting because I've noticed even my silverbeet has what looks like powdery mildew on some of the older leaves. There I was thinking it only affected zucchini. :(

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  11. I agree with Daffodil the stray seeds that fall outside the compost bin always do the best.
    As Elsie May said hand pollination helps things on a treat although I am not sure how this effects the trueness of type of pumpkin. But if you are going to pull them out pick all the flowers and do them on a tempura batter. Yummy.

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  12. Thats what happened to my squash and in the end I pulled it out incase it spread to everything else. x

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