Monday, September 26, 2011

Ripening Green Pumpkins

We had pests at the garden plot this year.
Lots and lots of pests.
We had a couple of scares from ol' Jacky Frost.
But the dead vines weren't from him.

It was this little fella.
and his plethora ravenous relations.
The adults eat the leaves, vines, and fruit.
The larvae feed on the roots.
Essentially, the whole pumpkin patch is their buffet.

These are bad guys.

What can an organic gardener can do?
There are Natural predators, including soldier beetles, tachinid flies,
 braconid wasps (no danger to people or pets) and certain nematodes.

(Soldier beetles are attracted to milkweed, goldenrod, hydrangea, catnip, sunflower, and yarrow.  Tachinid flies are attracted to parsley, tansy, lemon balm, pennyroyal, buckwheat, catnip, spearmint, dill, caraway, cilantro, and lavender.  Braconid wasps like
yarrow, dill, caraway, coriander, Queen Anne's lace, fennel, statice, butter and eggs, lobelia, allysum, lemon balm, pennyroyal, parsley, lemon gem marigold, tansy, zinnia Lilliput.)

braconid wasp parasitises an aphid

tachinid fly eggs on army worm catepillar

soldier beetle eats potato beetle larve

ladybud eating aphid

Try planting radish seeds right in the hills with the effected plants.

Also, chicken eat them!
But I'm not ready for chickens, yet.
Maybe just encourage the wild bird population.

For me, these are notes for next year.
My vines are goners.
So I harvested all my pumpkins and brought them home.

However, normally you want to leave your pumpkins on the vine.

It's also important to pull any vines and leaves away from the fruit.
You'll see in a couple of these photos a solar imprint of pumpkin leaves.
Interesting, but not what I'm going for.

Warmth is another factor.
In my photos the pumpkins set out on patio tables.
I think I'll go back to place them onto the soil
 in the my cleared gardens.
They'll be warmer there at night.

Don't forget to rotate them periodically.
Be sure the greenest side is facing the sun.

Don't forget that you can carve them,
even if there's still a bit of green!

Happy Autumn, friends!


  1. We've never had enough sunshine for pumpkins, but we lost a few trees this year and with all the advice I feel ready to try pumpkins next year (especially, I already have chickens for those pests) I think the kids would love it!

  2. I look forward to trying chickens one day. Well, hens. All the best with your pumpkins next year!


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As long as I'm on this journey, rambling through life's exhilarating highs and trudging heavily amongst it's incapacitating lows, I might as well share whatever may be gleaned from my little bits of wisdom and my many missteps. No room for judgment from this broken mama. I'm writing from my heart: raw, open, messy, but saved. And I'm still thanking God!