Garden Party: Pumpkins & Co

I am not sure I really planned to grow pumpkins this year. When I tossed the Halloween decorations into the back field last fall, it did cross my mind that I might get pumpkin plants this year. So I guess that is an indication of intent. That I got two very different types of plants, only one of which is producing pumpkins, is not what I expected but now I am glad that the zucchini impostors are making pumpkins because the plain pumpkins are not doing well at all.

The plain pumpkins: I suspect I have done everything wrong for these poor plants.

The plain pumpkins: I suspect I have done everything wrong for these poor plants.

Of course, who needs jack-o-lantern-sized pumpkins in August?

Ironically, this one is not the largest, just the most orange.

Ironically, this one is not the largest, just the most orange.

I am hoping that the pumpkins will continue to produce new fruit right into the fall, and we will have some ready to become jack-o-lanterns. Otherwise these plants will feel like one great big waste of space.

The biggest yet, and it is almost all dark green.

The biggest yet, and it is almost all dark green.

When I mentioned to my farrier that I might just try to grow giant competition-sized pumpkins, he told me to be sure to rotate them. “You don’t want a flat side,” he explained. I get all kinds of good information chatting with the farrier.

One little pumpkin decided to set up shop in the beet bed. That would not do, so I got him a chair.

Have a seat little fella.

Have a seat, little fella.

So far, the color change routine for these guys is to start pale yellow, then get darker and darker green before turning orange. Or that’s my best guess since I didn’t even notice the orange one until it was orange.

The squash plants are still squashed-looking from the turkey attack. They look very sad indeed but they are still producing:

The turkey seems to have taken out about half of the leaves and stalks in the zucchini bed.

The turkey seems to have taken out about half of the leaves and stalks in the zucchini bed.

I can’t tell if the scalloped yellow squash are reaching the end of their season or just suffering from breakage:

They seem to be evacuating their planter, which they once loved so well.

They seem to be evacuating their planter, which they once loved so well.

I decided it would be safe to remove the wire cover from the carrots and onions, since the carrots were starting to poke their greens through the wire.

A deceptively cropped section of the carrot row.  The whole row is not this dense.

A deceptively cropped section of the carrot row. The whole row is not this dense.

At this point, I have no idea what kind of carrots I am growing. I am sure I put down three different kinds of seeds in my several attempts to get them to sprout. Oh well, how different can one carrot be from another?

The onions have also taken hold:

Onions, with a little weed mixed in.

Onions, with a little weed mixed in.

I was glad to find some weeds to pull out. Perhaps the fertilizer I gave them a couple of weeks ago was all they needed. Perhaps I should add more and get a proper weed crop going.

The bell peppers are coming along. I can finally see a distinct color change happening. Here is the ripest of the mini bells:

One little pepper, almost red!

One little pepper, almost red!

Of the full sized peppers, I am starting to feel moderately smug about the early care I accidentally gave them. The late arrival, the one that made me think I had watered too much, still has its one pepper but that is all it has, while the others have many small ones coming along.

One great big bell pepper on the way.

One great big bell pepper on the way.

I am sure it will be the most delicious pepper ever, but it is a little disappointing that it has not started making more.

The tomatoes continue to struggle. The Early Girl has resorted to ripening cherry-sized tomatoes:

The tiniest Early Girl ever.

The tiniest Early Girl ever.

It is a valiant attempt to deserve her name. The Lemon Boy is producing medium-small fruit at a fairly steady pace, about one a week:

This week's Lemon Boy.

This week’s Lemon Boy, taking on a distinctly lemon shape.

The Better Boy is also producing at a steady rate now. I guess the caterpillars, if that’s what they were, have not done him in. Here is the largest of two nearly ripe Better Boys:

Big is what the Better Boy does best.

Big is what the Better Boy does best.

 

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