A handful of the wonderful Master Gardeners planted a pumpkin patch at the Park Place Health Care Center community garden, and the boys were invited to pick a couple last week. They were ecstatic. You can never have enough pumpkins at this time of the year. Sam barely made it inside the vines when he spotted one that he one. John was a little more discerning, and passed by a couple before choosing his first one. They each picked a couple, and helped Phyllis (as much as they could) load them in the wheel barrow. Phyllis added a few more to our bounty so we were blessed to go home with a nice selection of pumpkins.
When you’re cutting pumpkins, it’s best to set them in a garage or shed for a couple of weeks to allow the rinds to cure. They’ll last longer for you. If we carved these right away, even with the cold weather, they’re rot in short order. Hopefully, curing them a bit (and waiting closer to Halloween) will leave us with longer lasting jack-o-lanterns.
The last pumpkin we picked was at home. Our friend Joey gave the boys each a plant for giant pumpkins. It was a rough start in the spring with cold conditions, but it didn’t take them long to take off. Sam called dibs on the first big one. There was another one that was a respectable size for John, but the stinking deer came in one night and ate most of it. We put a cage around Sam’s because unless there’s another pumpkin hiding in the vines it’s the only good-sized one. (And that might happen. We were surprised to find a nice one last year after the frost knocked back the plants.)
So the boys have their pumpkins waiting in the garage until it’s time to carve them. We should have a pretty festive display!