My name is Charlotte, sometimes known as Ms Lottie, occasionally as The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady. This is my blog, where you'll find me writing a lot about my quilting and textile arts and a little about my family's life in a small seaside town in New Zealand. Haere mai!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pumpkins (which is rather a cool word when you say it slowly)

I harvested my pumpkins yesterday. I'm not sure they were quite ready; the vines had died but the stalks weren't completely dry and brown. I'm going to let them all mature and dry off in the sun then I guess I'll find out if they were picked too early when we crack one open and roast it.

I'm very proud of them. This is the second or third time I've tried to grow pumpkins and the first time I've ever actually had a pumpkin to show for it. And they are all a good size. I guess I should weigh the biggest...but it's dark outside and I ain't going out there now just to haul pumpkins round!

What I've learned so far about growing pumpkins:

  1. The bloody things are Triffids. Do not grow them in your regular garden unless you want to be pushing aside prickly stems just to get in the gate.
  2. They like water, but not on their leaves. I got lazy and threw buckets of water over them instead of pouring it carefully underneath and they got powdery mildew just like that.
  3. Compost, compost, compost or whatever plant food you can get. I watered with worm wee and the growth over the next week was phenomenal.
  4. When the growing pumpkins are baseball stage, you can scratch letters into the skin and it will scab and grow along with the pumpkin. I didn't know this until too late but next year I'm thinking I'll name all my pumpkins - or write rude slogans, "Get your grubby hands off me!" or "I hate pumpkin soup."

But the pumpkins had to go, even if it was too early. I had billions of seedlings busting out of their pots. I planted peas, lettuces, parsley, kale, cabbage, broccoli, leeks, marigolds, sweet williams and violas. All of those fitted where I pulled up two pumpkins and 12 or so dried up old corn stalks.

Oh, and by the way, I don't hate pumpkin soup.


  1. they take over EVERYTHING!! crazy stalks & leaves everywhere. can't wait to harvest ours.
    enjoy..I like pumpkin in things

  2. I have never been successful at growing Pumpkins. I will try again. Your Pumpkins are beautiful!

    Last year I purchased mine from an older couple down the road. They were very successful at growing sweet Pumpkins. I bought two dozen. Still have some in my freezer. It is so yummy.

  3. Hi Lottie,I grow pumpkins around my yard on occasion, mostly because I like to see things grow, and too, they fill up a lot of space with the vines, but yes, you are right. They tend to spread their vines and take over that area.My husband hates it when I grow them close to the house. Yours do not look at all like mine though. Ours are orange and much bigger, but then I'm sure there are many different kinds of pumpkins, like anything else.I grew up fairly poor, and if there is any way to use pumpkins, I'll bet my Mom has tried it. We ate a lot of fried pumpkin in our childhood.Mom would peel it, cook it, mash it up, and fry it down low with sugar and cinnamon. We(me and my siblings) eat it that way today(but not as often. I guess it's a memory thing.)Later Sue from Ky.

  4. Awesome looking pumpkins - good on you!

    I didn't grow any this year as we get lots in our organic box, but I missed them - so will again this year.

    Love Leanne NZ

  5. What great pumpkins, I have yet to find mine in a maze of tangled weeds. cheers Marie

  6. Wow! They sure are big bad boys. Would love to have the room to grow some one day.
    Tracey x


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