Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Pumpkin Experiment FAIL
Yep here is the total of my failed pumpkin planting experiment harvest. Pretty damned sad isn't it?
The funny thing is I have a few thousand plants still down there and blooming with bees still working the blooms. I am really not sure what happened but I have several theories and I am also thinking it was a combination of them more than any one problem in specific.
For one thing most of the seeds were from my explosively large Pumpkin harvest of 2013. I planted several different varieties and I think I got a lot of cross pollination not only between the Pumpkin types but also from the Squash and such. You will notice a green and orange stripped one in the back left of the picture and a couple of white gourds. I didn't plant any gourd seeds or anything other than standard orange pumpkins (with one exception).
So either my seeds were not viable due to cross pollination, which would explain why so many survived and bloomed but didn't bear fruit or perhaps the dry spell we got stunted them and caused them to not fruit. It was like they took off like wildfire and then just stopped growing all of a sudden and allowed the weeds to take over.
All the Pumpkins I got were small or "Pie Sized" at best but I didn't plant any Pie Pumpkins. I did throw in a few seeds of a green knobby variety and did actually get one very knobby orange Pumpkin so who really knows what happened.
I am not going to give up though. I am already making plans for doing things a bit differently next year and starting the crop earlier than I did this year to try and get more growth before the dry spell hits. All of these Pumpkins that I did manage to get came from the same general spot which is a lower area in the middle of the whole which leads me to believe that my lack of moisture theory has some relevance. I am also going to limit myself to one variety and buy all the seeds for the planting this Winter so their won;t be any nagging little cross pollination questions next year either.
Finally I am going to plant two sections widely apart next year. The main crop and then a second smaller field close in to my Western Apiary. The smaller one will have the advantage of being in a low lying area and having a spring right next to them so I can hand water if needed. That should go a long way in answering some of my questions into how the crop failed.
Let this be a lesson to all the "It ain't rocket science and I will plant when I need to" types out there. You better have all the particulars for your local conditions worked out before you need em because afterwards it will be too late.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!