Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Highs and Lows of Pumpkin Growing

Pumpkin growing can be a harsh sport. One day the vines are growing like crazy and the next day the leaves are being riped by hail. One day the pumpkin is putting on 30 pounds a day and they next day it has blown up. One day the pumpkin is pollinated and the next day it is aborted. A good grower once said that if this was easy then it wouldn't be any fun. A six month growing season creates a lot of room for errors and disasters. Another good grower once said the harder I work the luckier I get.

The pumpkin only put on one inch today. It really surprised me. Yesterday evening was a fertilization day, today was a watering day and there was a fair amount of sun today so usually that has meant good things. Thoughts like "has it stalled?", "is something wrong?", "is my season over?" run through your head when things like this happen. Yesterday I read a grower's diary from last year. Just happened to stumble on it. I noticed his pumpkin was at the exact same weight as mine on the exact same day. I zoomed forward through his diary because I wanted to see where he ended up so I could find out the potential of my pumpkin. As I went through the different days I came to find out his pumpkin stalled a week later and it was hardly any bigger 6 weeks later at the weigh-off. Wish I had never read that diary. Gives a guy nightmares.

The odds are that I either miss measured or it was a temporary one day thing. I've seen it a couple of times this growing season (although never this small). Right now the pumpkin is about 307 pounds. That means I have reached my early season goal. But like every grower I have bigger things in my sites now. Anything under 500 pounds won't feel too good this season. That is why there is always next year.

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