Sep 30, 2013


I'm not sure that fall was always my favorite season but for much of my adult life it has been. I love the cooler daytime temperatures and the crisp nights. I love snuggling in my sweaters. And I love all of the rich fall colors.

The other joy of fall is pumpkins! Each year, as soon as they appear in the markets, I buy some and decorate my front porch. This year I decided to try my hand at growing pumpkins. I wanted some warty pumpkins that I'd seen several years ago but I couldn't find any warty pumpkin seeds. *sigh* What I did find was a package of bright orange pumpkin seeds AND a package of mixed decorative gourd seeds.

I planted them in the back half of my raised garden plot that normally goes unplanted. OMSH do pumpkins/gourds/squash want to take up a lot of room! The pumpkin vines seemed to grow all right but they only set two pumpkins (that I could find), right along the garden fence. The gourds, on the other hand... I had a fair time of it trying to keep them from climbing up my tomato cages and in some cases failed.

So a couple of weeks ago I decided that I'd had enough of losing the War of the Gourds. I'd just mowed and was headed to the green waste dump anyway so I pulled up all of the pumpkin and gourd vines,harvesting as I went, and put them into Fernando's bed. That was when I found a third and fourth pumpkin stowaway!

I have a wire fence that encloses my raised garden area to keep the dog out! Buddi used to EAT MY GREEN TOMATOES! (Tomato-snatchin' dog!) Harley, who isn't interested in eating anything, just loves to charge through on his way to bark at something and knocks off the tomatoes.

I discovered that the pumpkin vine had climbed said wire fence and grown a pumpkin right there... in the fence! I had to get out my wire cutters and snip this little cutie free!

The fourth pumpkin was hiding in the corner, under the grape vines. So the smallest and orangest pumpkins grew in my garden, the two larger ones and the warty guy I bought. But all of these happy little gourds grew right here on my productive 1/4 acre of heaven. (And that is a locally grown and produced grapevine wreath... that means I made it from my grapevines a few years ago.)

Usually I put out my pumpkin display as soon as pumpkins/gourds become available and they stay there until it is time to put up Christmas decorations (read- AFTER Thanksgiving!). By then they are usually a frozen and somewhat squishy mess and all go to the trash. BUT this year I may try bringing in some of my favorites gourds to *dry* and keep them from year to year!

Happy fall!

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