My Great Pumpkin

Since I’m not decorating my home for Halloween, I’ll decorate my blog. I did, after all, make the effort to grow a Great Pumpkin. This was my first attempt at pumpkins.

It began like this:

Pumpkin vine

My own Audrey II creeps out of its bed.

I planted two pumpkin plants, telling myself I’d pinch off the weaker one once they got established. Of course, when pinching time came, I couldn’t do it. I hate killing plants, especially the weaker ones that are making such a good effort. Grow little pumpkin plant, grow!

And it did. The pumpkins were in a warm bed (covered with plastic) shared with green beans, zucchinis, and second-string collards that filled holes or replaced plants that had died.

I forgot that pumpkins like to wander, but I’m not sure I would have done anything differently had I remembered. All my garden plants are welcome to wander. Ask the green onions.

Tiny green pumpkin

Well, what do you know: A baby pumpkin arrives!

Pumpkins were a long shot. Maybe somewhere between zucs and cantaloupe, perhaps? Besides needing some heat, they take a long time, and I got a late start due to spring caretaking.

Well, we got heat this summer. Take a look at my cantaloupe.

Cantaloupe plant with two flowers

It’s a cantaloupe, and it flowered!

I’ve never gotten a cantaloupe this far! It actually flowered, and at the end of the season, I had a cantaloupe about a quarter inch in diameter. Way to go, cantaloupe!

I took good care of my baby pumpkin and its two siblings. I even asked Mike to pinch off the other flowers so the plants would give all their energy to the growing pumpkins. I was pretty excited to have pumpkins; I think I could have pinched those other flowers if Mike had not been home to do it. Uh-huh. It’s so easy to say that now.

Growing pumpkin

It grows!

It was actually hard for Mike to pinch the flowers, too, but for different reasons, I think. He wants maximum production, but is never fully convinced whether that comes from concentrating energy into fewer fruits or allowing the maximum number of fruits. And he was probably concerned about my feelings regarding the brutal killing. Nevertheless, he pinched flowers, and I was mostly glad he did.

All three pumpkins grew. These pics are of the middle-sized pumpkin. When the first frost hit, both the larger and smaller pumpkins showed some damage, but this fellow stuck it out. It was just starting to turn orange-ish, while the others were still green. I picked all three and brought them inside, not really sure if they’d continue to turn orange or not.

They hadn’t gotten all that far when I left to come here to the lodge. As much as I wanted to watch what would happen, it seemed kind of ridiculous to pack three pumpkins and bring them out to the lodge. I mean, I limit clothing in order to “pack light.”

So I packed just the middle pumpkin.

My ripe pumpkin

It ripened!

Mike wanted to carve it, but looking at his schedule over the next two weeks, I don’t image that will happen. I think I’ll make pumpkin soup with it. Other than pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread, we’ve not had good luck with pumpkin recipes, but we had delicious pumpkin soup at a restaurant not quite a million years ago, so I’m willing to give it a shot.

Did I mention that my Great Pumpkin is just under five inches in diameter? It will be a small pot of soup.

Categories: Alaska, Gardening

8 replies »

  1. CONGRATULATIONS! (You could have lied a little; in the pic it looks much bigger than 5 inches!)

  2. Congratulations! Your pumpkin looks great! I grew some a couple of years ago, and talk about wandering, mine covered almost all of our yard between the fences. (The yard itself is much larger, but the fences close in the patio area a bit). And in our much easier growing climate, I only got three pumpkins as well, all about the same size as yours. Well, it was fun, and I will probably do it again.

    A local restaurant has a great pumpkin soup each year in October. I finally figured out how they made it, and their “secret ingredient” is a can of apple pie filling! Tastes wonderful, a little sweet, nice and spicy.

  3. Apple pie filling…interesting! I’m eager to get home and see if the other two ripened or rotted. My goal is to try the soup next week, using all three, if the others ripened.

  4. I know. There’s no scale in the pic, and I cropped it close to make it look bigger. What I really wanted was a follow-up pic of the pumpkin in my hand to show the scale. I didn’t think of it at a convenient time, though, so no such pic.