I've had my garden for three years. Each year I attempt pumpkins. For some reason I keep going back to them despite miserable failure.
The first year I successfully grew about three pumpkins. They ripened and were ready to pick in August. They made lovely bread long before the autumn 'decorating' season. The vines, by the way, managed to be coated in ugly white powdery scum.
The second year I planted both orange and white pumpkins. We also added watermelon. I grew two melons. One between our chain link fence and the neighbors wooden one. The only way to free it was to slice it to pieces. It was too mangled to eat. The other seemed ripe. I picked it. We cut it open. It wasn't ripe.
I grew a small number of pumpkins too. The one little orange one that grew ended up out front with the other pumpkins last year. The white ones? Ready to pick long before we needed them. They rotted on the kids picnic table waiting for use. Oh, that is unless you count the one that grew on the other side of the fence for my neighbors to pick.
This year we tried again. I planted a packet of "Jack-0-Latern Pumpkin" seeds. One vine grew. I pretty much wrote off success early on in the season.
Near my one rinky-dink pumpkin vine appeared a surprise watermelon vine. Apparently a seed from my 'rescue the melon between the fence' mission produced an unplanned surprise. I transfered the fledging vine to another part of the garden. It's produced a lot of leaves. No watermelon. That is until recently. I appear to have one or two growing now. I promise to not touch them.
When we were building the patio last month my brother pointed to part of the pumpkin vine growing outside the cheesey garden fence. "You have a pumpkin you know," he said.
I didn't know and even as he pointed, I didn't see it.
It got ignored until one day it could no longer be ignored. It grew and it grew. It is the ONLY pumpkin being fed by one, GIANT, vine with huge leaves. Leaves bigger than your head. This means it's getting to be a fairly big pumpkin.
Megan likes to climb into the cave of leaves and hug the giant produce. "I love you punkin," she says as she rests her head on it. It makes for a cute picture and a good example of how big our single orange globe really is turning out to be. Surely not 'blue ribbon at the county fair' big, but big.