Well, we can probably kiss the giant pumpkins goodbye. It was so hot and dry this summer that keeping up with the watering was difficult. There were days that the vines seemed to just barely survive. The squirrels, who had ignored the plants all summer, just went nuts a few weeks ago and started to chew up the vines and fruit, apparently realizing that it was a great source of water. (There are no squirrels where the others were planted.) Despite the invasion, it appeared that a handful of pumpkins would survive.
Before heading to Maryland, it cooled off a bit and started to rain. It apparently rained some more while we were gone. It has continued to rain. Whether that caused rot, or insects attacked because the dust and spray was repeatedly washed off, I don't know. We'll be lucky if a single pumpkin here survives for Halloween. I don't even know if any of the regular pumpkins will make it.
At the farm, four giant pumpkins were planted and the vines had really grown. A few weeks ago there were numerous fruits, but last night I found just one remaining. The vines looked horrible, too. I think insect damage out there was the problem. I'm not fond of dusting and spraying to begin with, but next year something will have to be done. The regular-sized pumpkins and late squash are doing OK, but I'd be shocked to see decent results in a few weeks.
While out in Maryland, we were surprised to see so many pumpkins already for sale. We had some volunteer pumpkins come up early this year and after picking they rotted (big surprise in this heat) or were attacked by squirrels. I don't know how the Marylanders plan on keeping their pumpkins in good shape for the next month.
[Tags: giant pumpkin]