Have you ever grown pumpkins?


The first pumpkin I ever grew.
Right now, pumpkins are of three things growing in my summer vegetable garden alongside peppers and basil.

In June, I planted 4 different types of pumpkins – Cinderella (an old fashioned looking pumpkin), Lumina (a white pumpkin), Rouge Vif d’Etampes (a French heirloom pumpkin) and some seeds from an unknown heirloom pumpkin I bought at the store last year.

Male pumpkin flower

The pumpkin vines are growing nicely and the male flowers have begun to appear.
Pumpkins have both male and female flowers – the male flowers appear about 2 weeks ahead of the female flowers.

Lumina pumpkin

I’ve had both successes and some failures growing pumpkins.  Last year, I planted a Lumina pumpkin, which was so beautiful.

This summer, I decided to dedicate my entire potager vegetable garden to growing pumpkins.

Why an entire vegetable garden you may ask?


My first attempt at growing pumpkins began in my smaller vegetable garden, located just off of my back patio.  

I remember being so excited when my pumpkin seedling grew its first pair of ‘true’ leaves.


But, what I had not prepared for was how wide it would grow – a lesson on why reading the label on the seed packet is important.

My young pumpkin seedling soon outgrew my little vegetable garden and in fact, most of its growth extended outside of the garden.  

I patiently (not)! waited for signs of a young pumpkin to form.


You can imagine how thrilled I was at finding this young pumpkin growing a couple of weeks later.


The only issue was that it was growing outside of my vegetable garden.


To be honest, I didn’t really care – there was plenty of room for it and it seemed happy perched on top of my garden hose.


It grew fairly rapidly and soon its green color lightened to a beautiful orange.

As you can see, it wasn’t a large pumpkin – smaller varieties are easier to grow in the home garden.

White ‘Lumina’ pumpkin hidden underneath the leafy vines.

My hope for this year’s crop is that I will soon find young pumpkins growing underneath the huge leaves of my pumpkin vines.

How about you?  
Have you ever grown pumpkins?  
What types?  
Any helpful tips you’d like to share?

********************************

On a personal note, I’ve been knocked flat by a virus – neverending cough, sore throat, headache, aches, fever, etc.

I’ve always found it surprising to get a flu-like illness in the middle of summer and not during the cold winter months, which actually works better for me since I my work tends to slow down in summer.

After 7 days, I am slowly getting better and am  thankful for the timing of my illness.  Next week – July 31st – August 2nd, I’ll be a presenter at the annual Hummingbird Festival and it would be almost impossible to give two separate 1-hour presentations with the current condition of my throat right now.

Sorry for complaining, I have a bad case of cabin fever, but my body isn’t up for doing much of anything except for a 10 minute walk this morning through my gardens to see how they are doing – but that felt wonderful!

I hope you are staying healthy this summer!

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, 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."

6 replies
  1. Brandi
    Brandi says:

    Oh, I love your pumpkin patch! I also have my first pumpkin patch going and have planted several varieties. I don't recall the types now but the jist is smaller orange ones, some spooky blue New Zealand variety and a "Halloween Mix' all from Burpee. I first planted in May according to Burpee's directions and while the started off great the heat quickly stunted their growth. The original seeds are reinvigorated and growing fast now. Last weekend I planted more of the same seeds and those are also growing fast. I hope to see them start to flower soon.

    Reply
  2. Brandi
    Brandi says:

    Oh, I love your pumpkin patch! I also have my first pumpkin patch going and have planted several varieties. I don't recall the types now but the jist is smaller orange ones, some spooky blue New Zealand variety and a "Halloween Mix' all from Burpee. I first planted in May according to Burpee's directions and while the started off great the heat quickly stunted their growth. The original seeds are reinvigorated and growing fast now. Last weekend I planted more of the same seeds and those are also growing fast. I hope to see them start to flower soon.

    Reply
  3. Diana Elizabeth
    Diana Elizabeth says:

    I hope you feel better Noelle! Your pumpkins look so lovely. I grew summer squash but didn't eat them, I have seemed to do well growing things but not know what to do with them after 😉

    Reply
  4. RobinL
    RobinL says:

    I've never had a big enough garden to grow pumpkins, but I've always wanted to! I did grow gourds up a trellis once, and I was thrilled till the squirrels stole them all off my front porch. I didn't even know that they'd find them edible!

    Reply
  5. Seasons
    Seasons says:

    Hope you feel better soon!
    I have grown pumpkins (or attempted to) several times, mostly when we lived in Albuquerque. The best experience I had was when I grew "Baby Boo" (mini white variety), mini orange ones, and a mixed gourds set of seeds. My kids were young, and it was exciting to peek under the big leaves and find new babies taking off! The vines had plenty of room, and I had a bumper crop off everything! At least 70 of each thing, I was giving them away right and left! I was the leader for my daughter's Daisy Girl Scout troop, and so I did an activity where they decorated the little white ones, as heads. I LOVE pumpkins and gourds, so I displayed them all over my home. What is so heartwarming about PUMPKINS? They are bright, and plump, and they each have their own personality. And so much more! Enjoy your pumpkin growing!!

    Reply

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