Tuesday, October 11, 2016

My attempt at an orange thumb

Nice pumpkins
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
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My Facebook friends know that I've been unintentionally growing pumpkins in my front yard for the last couple of months. Today I finally pulled the gourds off the vine and decided to share the fruits of my "labor" with my readers. It started last fall when my sons smashed what remained of my daughter's Jack-O-Lantern. Some of the seeds ended up in the rock garden in the front yard, mixed in with our other plants.

Early in the summer, I noticed a vine growing. At first, I thought it was a weed, but quickly realized it was indeed a pumpkin vine. For years I had tried and failed to grow pumpkins, so there was no way I was giving up on this, even though it was sprouting in my front yard. 

Winding down... the vine started dying
The vine grew to about ten feet in length and I early awaited to see how many pumpkins I'd have on it. There were flowers everywhere, but in the end, only four gourds grew. One didn't make it very far. Another grew to about the size of a cantaloupe and two others stood tall. But the victory was short-lived.

Stinkbugs infested my surviving pumpkins and chewed their way through the bottom of one of the pumpkins. It oozed what I call pumpkin puss all over and is imploding as a result. It won't make it until Halloween, but it lasted long enough to snap a picture for this blog.

Didn't make it
Despite my enormous vine strangling out some of the bushes and looking kind of obnoxious, I enjoyed this mini-lesson in agriculture. Next year I will plant the seeds in an appropriate place and hopefully have better luck. Now it's time to plan a trip to the pumpkin patch...

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