Sunday, June 14, 2009

Elizabeth Castillo: Pumpkins Happen!

Good morning, Pumpkinstas!

I received these pictures, dispatch and link from Elizabeth Castillio:

"Hi Stuart,

I'm sharing pictures of my pumpkin vine with a tiny pumpkin on it. You can check out my blog below and see how far my vine has come! While I've planted pumpkins in the past, this year the vine looks it's best and it's growing strong."

Thank you very much, Elizabeth! I think that this might just be the first fruiting of the season!

Here are some additional details from Elizabeth, updated June 16, 2009:

"I planted them directly into the ground on May 5. At first I watered twice a day because I wasn't to sure if water was getting through the weed guard. I had cut a small "X" for each of my seedlings to poke through. Then about 2 weeks later, I saw the weed guard raising from the ground. It was seedlings growing but not fitting through the X. So I cut the X bigger and carefully lifted the plant through and took a picture.

With the light rains we got a few weeks ago, I didn't go out there and water, but then I realized it began to droop. The overhead watering was too hard on the sad leaves, so my husband purchased me a soaker hose which I now turn on, on a low volume and let it soak for about an hour or so every other day or two. The weed barrier really warms up the soil under the pumpkin vine, and once yet the water seeps down quite nicely. I placed a fence around it to keep my toddlers and chickens out! Although I quickly learned that chickens and fly up to five feet when they really want to get food. So my husband built them a coop far away from my vegetable garden.

It's funny, I planted a mixed variety of pumpkin seeds just days apart from my giant pumpkin seeds and the vines are no where near the same size. In fact my other seeds, still look like seedlings! I wish I would have taken a picture of both plants next to each other.

I'm so glad you posted my pictures up. I love sharing my info with others, although for the first three years I did more killing than growing (in all stages). My first year I planted my seeds and forgot where, so I was watering the whole yard, only to later find out my garden had pulled it out thinking it was a wild pumpkin weed! But little by little we're getting better.

PS: I found a place that has free steer manure:
13101 Rosecrans AveSanta Fe Springs, CA 90670
(562) 921-5712 ‎

For a $15 tip, they'll fill up a truck load with a giant scooper! Plus, it's so cool to go there and check out hundreds of cows here in LA County. Besides here, I only see them at the county fairs. Make sure to take your own shovel and bags/buckets. And if your out of milk or cheese, they have a dairy store.

We purchased the painted lady (native) caterpillars at the Kidspace Museum and I have a small butterfly garden in hope that they will return and lay eggs one day."

Thank you very much for your additional information, Elizabeth!