Less Noise, More Green: Pumpkin Pie is now Pie in the Sky

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pumpkin Pie is now Pie in the Sky

I am a Master Gardener, but yesterday I didn't feel like one. Yesterday morning I ripped out all of my pumpkin plants and my dreams of homegrown pumpkin pie along with them. The worst part is I made several mistakes that could have been avoided because I know better. I'm a better gardener than this.

This is the first year I have tried to grow pumpkins. I know they need a lot of space, yet I decided to plant them in a bed where there was not enough room for the plants to breathe. I planted too many seeds thinking I would thin the plants out if they all germinated. Well, they all germinated and I didn't thin them out because I have trouble pulling healthy plants.

Which brings me to my worst transgression. I did not cover the seeds with a row cover. I know pumpkins are a squash. Squashes get vine borers, hence the need for protective covers. Somehow I failed to connect the dots. Surprise, surprise, the pumpkins got vine borers. Then they got powdery mildew because the plants were weak, with not enough air circulation. To add insult to injury the mildew is spreading to my other squashes and cucumbers. It didn't help that I planted them too close to the pumpkins making the transfer of disease as easy as pie. Irony noted.

I am mentally sitting in the corner with a dunce hat on my head.  J. C. Raulston said  "If you are not killing plants, you are not really stretching yourself as a gardener." Well, I think I've done enough stretching for one season.  I'll be eating humble pie this Thanksgiving, but I guarantee you I wont make the same mistakes next year.

So endeth today's lesson.

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