What’s wrong with the pumpkin?

I was really shocked this morning when I stepped outside to see how the garden had been doing overnight: my one and only decent pumpkin was splitting:

We shouldn’t get frost for another couple of months, so that can’t be the cause. I am therefore wondering if the outer skin was too tight for the insides of the pumpkin, so when it grew it put too much pressure on the outside.

Anyway, the next question was to decide whether to leave it on the plant and see what happens or to remove it and eat the little bit of flesh there is. In the end, I decided on the former course of action, as I doubt that disease is the root of the problem, so I don’t think this pumpkin will do the plant any harm. (I hasten to add that I wouldn’t have eaten the pumpkin if I thought it was diseased either!)

Another pumpkin has started to grow on the other of my two pumpkin plants, so I hope that this one will grow properly. Last year, I got two pumpkins altogether from one plant and it took quite a while for this to happen. I didn’t have the problem shown above; the pumpkins simply started to rot on the plant, as another this year has done.

Whilst searching through the channels on the radio the other day, I came across a gardening show which was discussing cucumbers. In a nutshell, the problem the gardener was having was that their cucumbers kept dying on the plant and the probable cause was that the plant was not yet established enough to produce adequate fruit. So perhaps there is time yet for my plants to gain sufficient strength to provide us with something for Halloween.

If not, we will have to visit one of our favourite farms for a lantern this year. That will be a disappointment but at least we will have a trip out 🙂

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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16 Responses to What’s wrong with the pumpkin?

  1. Our pumpkins are all small this year and already ripe. I had heard on the radio that our area might not have pumpkins for Thanksgiving and Halloween this year because the dry, hot summer has made them all ripen too fast. I’ve also noticed that our vines are starting to die, so I don’t think we are going to have a great year either this year.

  2. I have a lot of tomatoes splitting this year. I think this is from uneven watering. At first I was rarely watering and just letting nature water the garden but that wasn’t a good idea since we’re in a drought. I always pick my tomatoes when they start splitting because otherwise the flies and the ants starting eating them and I’d rather not encourage that. Since I began watering every other day, I have a lot more tomatoes and a lot less splitting. I hope you grow a good pumpkin before the end of the season!

  3. PJ Girl says:

    Poor little thing! I’ve never grown pumpkins so I can’t help unfortunately. The plant looks nice and healthy though… could all the recent rain have caused the split do you think?

    • Going on what Marcella said, it would seem likely that the rain is the culprit, as the plants are healthy and the pumpkin still looks healthy, apart from splitting.
      Pumpkin plants take up a lot of room but they are great at the end of the summer, into autumn, as they keep the garden looking green when it would otherwise be looking a bit brown and empty.

  4. We’ve grown pumpkins for several years, with varying results each year. We have the vines on a drip system, so it keeps them uniformly moist. They tend to wilt at the end of a hot day, but they bounce back. We, too, lost several early fruit, but now have five huge pumpkins on one vine.

    You can store pumpkins for up to a year in a root cellar, or similar cool, dry place. Once carved, they rot within a few days.

  5. PS…sorry you lost your pumpkin. I know how that goes. It can be so disheartening.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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