The threat of an early frost had us fleeing to the pumpkin patch to save our crop. We came home after enjoying a supper with relatives and after being given some serious advice, we were out there with flashlights unil about 8pm (yes, it is getting dark that early already), saving all that we could find.
There were only about 6 plants all together, but the patch grew massive, bearing nearly 100 fruit. We took off about 75, and left the small ones to weather the storm.
We did not get a frost that night and that was over a week ago. Upon closer inspection in the daylight, we have found at least another 25 pumpkins and squash. We will let them grow until the threat of the next frost and then in they will come.
The morning after picking was spent washing each individual with a bleach solution, and then placing them in their own space (not touching their neighbors) on wooden pallets. Now, hopefully, they will last to be carved for Halloween.
To date, the most pumpkins we've decorated for the occasion was 120. That was when we lived in the city. Out here we have a lot more room to spread out the little devils, so next year's patch is going to have to be a lot larger. We carve them in the traditional ways, and we also paint a bunch. Some of the tiniest ones end up scattered in amongst the larger.
This was our first summer in this yard, and the garden was not well planned at all. Actually, it's a miracle we planted anything at all. We came down during the last week-end in May and it was raining and cold, even threatening to snow. But we were determined to get something in, and now we are glad we did.
We've already picked the place where next year's fall friends will grow, and it is a lot larger then this year's space. Our hope is to line the driveway with them one year. The weather would have to be kind to us for that to happen.