Escapee From The Garden…

family vegetable garden

Some of you may remember that we planted our first family vegetable garden this spring.  The kids and I have had a great time planting the seeds, seeing the grow into full grown vegetables.  We harvested corn a couple of weeks ago and are picking cherry tomatoes daily.

Now, because this is our first garden, we have encountered some surprises.  In the spring, when we first planned on what we wanted to grow, we decided to plant some pumpkin seeds and even though it was too early to plant them (they would be ripe way before the fall).  But, the kids were so excited to be able to grow them that we went ahead….we could always plant some later in time to harvest them in the fall.

Family Vegetable Garden

Family Vegetable Garden

What we did not expect is how big the pumpkin plants have become.  We only kept 3 plants, although all the seeds we planted germinated.

The problem is that one or two pumpkin plants have escaped the confines of our vegetable garden….

Family Vegetable Garden

Now, I don’t think growing on the top of gravel is ideal, but the pumpkin plant(s) seems to like it….

Actually, they seem to love it better outside of the garden.  About 1/3 is inside of the garden and the rest is growing outside. 

Family Vegetable Garden

A couple of weeks ago, they began to flower and I was thrilled to discover a baby pumpkin starting to form.  

Guess where it is growing?

vegetable garden

Yep….right outside of the vegetable garden, nestled in dropped Bougainvillea and Palo Verde petals.


It is growing daily and we are so excited to have a fully ripe pumpkin in July or August.

Did I mention that I always tell clients and friends to “Do as I say, not as I do in the garden?” 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
17 replies
  1. Edith Hope
    Edith Hope says:

    Dear Noelle, This is all such fun! Indeed it is rather like reading a well illustrated children's book – The Tale of the Escapee Pumpkin. It only needs a few extra characters to flesh it out and you are away!

    I do hope that you all have a lovely and relaxing weekend.

  2. Tatyana@MySecretGarden
    Tatyana@MySecretGarden says:

    What fun, especially for kids! Pumpkins do take a lot of space. We always grow several of them for Halloween. To make them bigger, we remove (well, sometimes we forget to do it) flowers after several fruit are formed. Good luck! BTW, I saw pupkins hanging from the trees! It looks like they decide themselves what place is best for them!

  3. Curbstone Valley Farm
    Curbstone Valley Farm says:

    Wonderful! Actually, the gravel won't be a bad place for the fruits. Usually with pumpkins you need to be something like straw under them anyway, to help keep them blemish free, and prevent rot. Looking forward to seeing how many pumpkins you have by Summer's end!

  4. gippslandgardener
    gippslandgardener says:

    Hello Noelle, that pumpkin looks very happy where it is! I've had one sprawl over half the yard before.
    I hope you don't mind, but I'm a little ahead of myself (for once!) and am posting my bouquet today – I'll link it back to this post so others can find directions 🙂

  5. Kyna
    Kyna says:

    I wanted to grow pumpkins, but Chuck warned me they need a ton of space LOL Those are only 3 plants?? Wow…they sure take off!

  6. debsgarden
    debsgarden says:

    Your children must be thrilled! My son Mark once brought home a small pumpkin plant, part of a school project. I planted it in the front garden among the roses, not expecting much from it. It grew like kudzu and took over the place. We harvested over a dozen pumpkins from that one plant!

  7. Nicole
    Nicole says:

    Well you now have a naturally occurring potager! Why should pumpkins only be grown to ripen in fall? In the tropics they are grown year round.

  8. Catherine@AGardenerinProgress
    Catherine@AGardenerinProgress says:

    Wow it really had escaped! 🙂 It's pretty amazing how fast and big those vines get.
    I just got caught up on your last few posts. I commented on the yard or garden one. You do sound very busy. Sorry the camp didn't work out, but sounds like he's having fun with Camp Mom though! 🙂
    PS Glad you reminded me of the MGB, I probably would've forgotten again.

  9. Meredith
    Meredith says:

    The gravel will be perfect, Noelle, as you want to keep their bottoms nice and dry so you don't get rot spots. That pumpkin knows what it's doing. 😉

    I agree with Edith, this post read a bit like a delightful children's tale. Lovely!

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