Now….About Those Pumpkins…

Failed Idea

It would have been a great idea, if it had worked…

Some of you may remember this post from last year, when we started clearing part of the Back Field with the intention of using it this season for squash and pumpkins. That plan began to unravel in early spring, when I heard that our friend and long-time Yard Guy Osvaldo was moving back to Brazil. (Not a huge surprise – his father had fallen ill the summer before, and his wife hated it here anyway)

I was still hopeful at the beginning of the season when one of the boys who had worked on Osvaldo’s crew came by to offer his services. Now Osvaldo knew plants, he knew design, he knew how to operate big equipment, and he knew how to choose who to bring out and keep them motivated and working…Eddie? Not so much. There’s a huge difference in a man in his 40’s who is a good leader and a boy of about 25 who has always just been ‘one of the guys’…

still hopeful at this point

I wasn’t ready to give up, though…

I remembered seeing articles a few years ago about growing things in bags of soil. Some of the garden supply catalogs even had little well-like collars that would poke into the bag to direct the water down inside while supporting the stem…If it worked for tomatoes, why not pumpkins?

So, I got out my carefully hoarded  cardboard to smother the weeds, and plonked down some bags of dirt. Ripped them open and placed my little seedlings inside. I even had a really cool watering bag with a spout that fit the wheelbarrow, in case the rain failed me…

the best of the bunch

You know what I didn’t count on?

Three solid weeks of temperatures above 90. The poor little roots must have cooked inside those bags… That photo above is of the biggest plant.

Sigh. It was worth a try, though. Good thing there are plenty of Pick-Your-Own places around here…

Waiting for next year

I’ll just put this away until next year.


37 thoughts on “Now….About Those Pumpkins…

    • So true – there was really nothing to lose. The soil will go into the yet-to-be-built raised bed in that spot, and I already had the seeds. As Linus says in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, “Just wait til next year!!” 😀

  1. Hmmm: I would never have thought to do this . . .but it is clever . . . and our planting season is about two or three weeks away: you have made me think 🙂 ! Just wonder even if one did get enough water to the roots, would the root system have enough room to expand and bear fruit! May just try one for experiment . . . I would be able to let you know ere your next season 😀 !!

  2. Lovely sign Marie 🙂
    Other than that the word bugger springs to mind, I know squash like it rich, maybe you could try them lasagne bed style with lots of rotted material underneath cardboard and grass clippings – keep them cooler……..

  3. What a shame!! Did Angel grow any pumpkins in another location? What if you cut slits or holes in the bottom of the bag??? Silly me, I know NOTHING about gardening!! Just a thought. I remember going to pick pumpkins and that is fun!!

    • The plan is to get about a dozen straw bales to build a temporary bed over the cardboard, then fill the rectangle with compost. Because of the water flow in that area, the soil needs to be corralled instead of just piled. With a little luck, I can get it done in time to plant the garlic in it this fall 🙂

  4. I love your experiment! There’s always next year, keep dumping leaves and such on your cardboard and it will soon become the perfect pumpkin patch. All my best pumpkins grew out of the compost pile anyway!

  5. You sound to be very philosophical about the pumpkins… probably the best approach when extreme weather makes growing impossible. I like the idea of a pick your own pumpkin farm, it’s not something I’ve come across over here.

  6. It might have helped with all your heat to have put a pile of that straw over the bags to shade and insulate them? Too bad, but as you say, there’s always next year!

  7. I’d not heard of this planting method, Marie, but I usually skip past that part of the story, website, or catalog and go straight to the container gardening section. 🙂 It won’t be as convenient as going out to the pumpkin patch and picking your own, but I’m sure Niko & Angel will enjoy a trip to one of the Pick-Your-Own spots. Hard to believe we’re talking about pumpkins already!

    • The farm will mean better pictures anyway…not like I was going to grow an entire field of them, right?
      First of September is coming up fast…Sarah sighs at least once a week and says she’s ready for Sweater Weather 😉

  8. The heat go to my zucchini and tomatoes this year and they just stopped producing… there’s still time before the frosts though! This idea was definitely worth trying though – my mum always used to grow her tomatoes in grow-bags and it worked well, but the UK rarely gets such heat for a prolonged period. A pick-your-own field is possibly more fun for the kiddies…? 😉

  9. You were harvesting such big pumpkins last year you had to take down the wheelbarrow? Don’t I remember a shot of Angel and the pumpkin? The cardboard was a good idea though.. anything to keep the weeds down.. have a lovely day in the rain, c

    • You remember right…I put extra tomatoes in the pumpkin spot from last year, thinking that the new ‘bed’ would work. Silly Me! 😉
      No worries – soon as the Girl is back in school next week, I’ll go down and order some straw bales and get that area prepped for the garlic to go in come October.

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