With the colder than usual Spring, and the flooding at the end of June, we lost a good portion of our growing season, no less than 3 weeks is my guess. Most of my pumpkins and gourds are well behind schedule, several weeks before they can be picked and expected to ripen. The only thing to do is to hope that Mother Nature is feeling generous with the warm weather this Fall, and that we don't get a killing frost until at least the end of the month. That's not what the forecast is calling for, but I really can't remember a time when the forecast has been accurate, (crossing fingers).
Out of the 9 varieties of pumpkins and gourds, only the sugar pumpkins and the gremlin gourds are mature enough to pick, so we plucked off 71 of them and lined them up on our deck to sit in the sun and ripen. It usually doesn't take long for them to slip into their orange skins once they've been fully exposed.
Here are some photos of a few of the patches with my wee model to give you an idea of the size.
|The first picking, all washed up and ready to go bask in the sun on the deck.|
|This variety, Fairytale, are the pumpkin variety I was most excited about this year, but the largest on is |
only slightly larger than a softball, and very green.
|Buttercup squash are producing well, and we should have quite a few to tuck away for winter.|
|The giants have grown well up the side of the manure pile. I'm afraid these will have been grown just for the foliage|
as we lost too much of the season for them to fully develop.
|This patch is huge, and consists of only 3 plants. These are Red Warty Things and they have only produced one|
mature pumpkin so far. There are a lot on the vine, but we need a few more weeks.
|A close up of the hops vine. To say it grew in thickly would be an understatement.|
|All my cosmos fell over this year, but still manages to produce a lot of flowers.|
|The large leaves spilling onto the path are those of the Cardoon plant.|
|There is still some color left in the flower gardens...|