Friday, August 28, 2009
Two and a half inches of rain last night certainly provided the pumpkin and gourd vines in the garden way out at the back of the property, with a good drink of water. Yet, once again, as the end of the growing season draws nearer, I have not been rewarded with a good crop of pumpkins and gourds. This garden also holds zinnias, calendulas, sunflowers and strawflowers for cutting and drying. While the calendulas and strawflowers are now beginning to wither, the zinnias and sunflowers are just coming into their own, thanks to the hot, dry August we have had until now.
Tomatoes and broomcorn also occupy this 30 foot by 30 foot plot. I don't even want to talk about the tomatoes this year--rough, rough year indeed for tomatoes but I may actually see some turn red within the next week or so. The two rows of broom corn are looking fine and are withstanding the recent rain and winds and will be ready for harvesting next week. I will use the broomcorn in dried flower arrqangements.
Next year, I am totally revamping the soil in this garden with a truckload of manure and not just 20 or so bags that worked in recent years until last year when it seemed that I couldn't grow a pumpkin or gourd to save my life. At least last year, I could blame it on lack of rain, but not this season. And, compared to last year, these vines are producing a bumper crop...so to speak.
The vines have been healthy and green throughout the summer producing a steady display of beautiful yellow and white blossoms, depending on the gourd or pumpkin variety. These blossoms have been particularly appetizing for the deer but even they could not keep up with blossom production so I was confident, back in June and even in the beginning of July, that I would see nice, plump. colorful luminas, Cinderellas, blues and birdhouse pumpkins and gourds bursting out of the chicken wire. I envisioned beautiful orange, green and yellow globes gracing my front porch and tabletops this fall. However, what I'm getting are small, yet colorful and, okay yes they are still pretty, but not the overflowing and showy gourds as I had hoped for. I guess beggers can't be choosers and gardeners can't be either.
Yet, there were some bright spots. I collected little spooky whites and mini summer gourds and even one birdhouse gourd. An atlantic Giant Pumpkin, that's not going to be anywhere near a giant size looks healthy enough and there are a few cantalopes coming along as well. There are still alot of blossoms out there so hope springs eternal for me but the clock is ticking. So, we'll see if any more pumpkins and gourds appear during September.