Thursday, September 17, 2015

Garden update--harvesting pumpkins

My helpers and I harvested the pie pumpkins this past weekend, and I'll be canning them this week.  You know, if I get to it.

Six little pumpkins, sitting on a fence...
Aren't they pretty?  Bubby named his Spikey and Spikey Junior, because of the spikiness of the stems.  I'm not sure how he's going to feel about eating them.  Although he did ask if we can roast the seeds, so, on some level at least, he's aware that these things are food, not friends.

Two female pumpkin flowers appeared on the vines last week, and then another appeared early this week, and even though it's really late in the season, I went ahead and pollinated them.  With squash pollen.  Because there wasn't any pumpkin pollen available.  This kind of thing happens in nature all the time.  Bees don't care which kind of flower they visit in what order, so they deliver different species pollen at least sometimes, especially when the plants are in such close proximity to each other.

If these pumpkins reach maturity, they will be just that: pumpkins.  If I were to plant the seeds from these pumpkins, and they were viable, they would produce a pumpkin/spaghetti squash hybrid, which would be really interesting.  I'm going to do that, if ...

The spaghetti squash is really close to being harvest-ready, which is good, because I'm seeing my sis soon, and I need to give her one.  Yes, I need.  Also good is the fact that I don't have to deal with preserving pumpkins and spaghetti squash in the same week.

My poor little zucchini plant doesn't quite know what to do with itself now that its out from under the tyranny of the tomatoes.  It currently has 4 maturing fruits on it, and many more female flowers developing.  Not sure if that's good for it.

The honeydews, although smaller than the honeydews I'm used to, seem to not be getting any bigger, which is kind of a sign that they're done growing.  Just...kind of.  I keep thumping them to see if they sound hollow (even though I've heard it's a myth that you can tell melon-ripeness by listening to the thump), and they do not.  So they're going to stay on the vines for a bit longer.

My watermelons continue to grow.  One is about the size of a softball, the other is just a little bigger than a golf ball.

As I stand and gaze upon my melons and those three baby pumpkins, I find my thoughts straying to substantial, straight sticks and clear plastic and building a hot house.  I am not aware of any clear plastic currently on our property, but let's just say there might be some soon.  Note to self: check Menards ad for clear plastic.

And then there's these.  Gonna have to deal with them soon, that is, if the deer don't get them first.  We have a mama deer who has perfected a two-legged stance.  She stands on her back legs and knocks the apples off for her babies (twins--so cute).

What's growing at your house?

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