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Kitchen/Green Witch
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I still have not gotten out to the garden to remove all the dead leaves off my vines. My younger brother in law was in this week from out of state, so most of our extra time was spent with him and the family. I was going to do it, today, after work...but it's storming, so that's not going to happen. Maybe tomorrow...by then, they could be ready to harvest, though!! (Same with my remaining veggies...I haven't checked them in a couple days, either!)
 

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WitchyKitty -- I'm anxious to hear your review of the little pumpkins. I always like to learn from everybody here about what varieties they planted and what the benefits and challenges were, but your information is especially helpful to me, since your growing conditions are pretty similar.
 

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WitchyKitty -- I'm anxious to hear your review of the little pumpkins. I always like to learn from everybody here about what varieties they planted and what the benefits and challenges were, but your information is especially helpful to me, since your growing conditions are pretty similar.
Well, two plants I had were the Daisy Gourd seeds that you sent me, so I'm sure you know how those do. I have orange/yellow ones and green bumpy ones. I have a fair amount on the two plants...but the Daisy Gourds seem to be major Squash Bug attractants! They seem to prefer them.

The Little October Pumpkins, which you showed me, online, also had two plants planted and I got a fair amount of those, too...however, I now have, at least, two that have burst open! I have no idea what is causing this...is it the squash bugs???

I think if we had had a warmer Summer, I would have gotten an even bigger yield, as this weather brought on my powdery mildew earlier than usual and the amount of insects this year has been out of control!!

On that topic...I notice, when I finally got out to the garden, today, after the storms, that one of my PoaS plants had been blown over. I staked it back up and hope it will survive. My issue, is that when I went over by it, a cloud of teeny white bugs flew everywhere!!! My tomatoes?? Same thing, but worse!! I harvested a whole basket of tomatoes and every one was garbage. The leaves are dying, too. They are hovering near my peppers, too!! I am about 100% sure they are whiteflies, which I have NEVER had or even seen before! WTH????? Why am I having so many insects this season? I have no idea what to do. I don't have the money to go out and buy enough insecticidal soaps, neem, homemade sprays, ect to spray every leaf on all my plants.

My tomatoes are just done for, I guess. I went out with my hose and power sprayed all my veggie plants. Once they dry, I am yanking up the tomato plants. I will have to keep an eye on my peppers and PoaS plants after that.

As for my gourds and mini pumpkins...I think I just have to harvest them, even with not dried stems...and hope for the best. The squash bugs are mauling the fruits now that the leaves are done for. I don't want to lose anymore and I want to be done with all these damn squash bugs!

I have no idea what to do...I can only think of not planting a garden, next year, to clear out the insect issue...but this breaks my heart. No pumpkins? No gourds? No veggies??? I want to cry. I have never in my whole life of planting things dealt with all these squash bugs and now, whiteflies...any thoughts???
 

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I’ve finally finished harvesting what was left. A couple nice looking pumpkins, and my ornamental corn. I just need the corn to dry and turn brown so I can bundle it up and tie it to my porch columns.
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And here’s a shot of everything I ended up with for the year. I should be able to carve 33-35 of the pumpkins and gourds, so I’m thrilled with that! I don’t think I’ve ever grown more than 10 that I could carve in a year.
720179
 

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This is the second of these pumpkins this has happened to...it's hard to see, but the outer skin of the pumpkin is actually bent outwards. Like it exploded open from the inside. The first one this happened to was an even bigger explosion hole. What is doing this to my babies?! 20190915_154458.jpg

I ripped out my tomatoes plants and disposed of them...then I organically sprayed my peppers and PoaS plants. I sprayed the soil where the tomatoes were, too. These whiteflies need to go somewhere else!

Might be harvesting my pumpkins and gourds tomorrow...we will see.
 

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I’ve finally finished harvesting what was left. A couple nice looking pumpkins, and my ornamental corn. I just need the corn to dry and turn brown so I can bundle it up and tie it to my porch columns.
View attachment 720176
View attachment 720177
View attachment 720178

And here’s a shot of everything I ended up with for the year. I should be able to carve 33-35 of the pumpkins and gourds, so I’m thrilled with that! I don’t think I’ve ever grown more than 10 that I could carve in a year.
View attachment 720179
Omg...soooo jealous! It's beautiful! Great job growing, this year!!!!
 

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Wow, Mayor of Haddonfield! I'm impressed! That's a jaw-dropping harvest! Again, I'm inspired to soldier on another year!
You got some beautiful diversity in shapes, sizes, and colors...and a lot of traditional carving material, too! Really nice!

WitchyKitty-- On the other hand, that's heartbreaking! It has been just an awful year for bugs! I really thought our cold winter would re-set a few of these pests that have been making their way up from farther south. But no.
An agronomist friend said that a lot of disease spores blew in on the wind in late winter. Did you guys get that khaki-to-pink snow (I think it was in March)? The color was from dust, all the way up from Texas. Along with the dust we got a lot of new crop diseases (like tar spot fungus). I don't think most insect eggs are small enough to come along, but we clearly got insects galore in the Midwest/Great Lakes region, too.

I was in the same mindset mid summer-- that maybe I should just skip a year, but that would take a lot of fun out of my summer...along with taking a lot of frustration. I'm seriously considering digging a fire break and doing a controlled burn of all the garden rubble this fall.

I don't know what would make your pumpkin explode like that. :cry: If it were near the stem, I might suspect a SVB got into the fruit, but it's clearly not near the stem end at all. I really like the shape and look of the little pumpkin, other than the hole part. It was clearly a cutie before that happened. I hope that you have enough left to do your traditional painting.

Just thinking back, last year I did have some gourds that fermented inside, and blew up when I tried to pick them up. I don't know how yeasts got inside the gourd-- but there was definitely some anaerobic fermentation that went on. I could smell it. Did your pumpkin smell like hard pumpkin cider when it ruptured? I suppose it would be hard to say if you weren't right there when it happened.
I hope the rest of your plants hang on and do well for the remainder of the season.
My PoaS, taken from above. They're about 2.5' (shorter than last year.) -- They've had loads of flowers for weeks, but hardly any are getting pollinated and setting.
20190908_101803[1].jpg
 

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Wow, Mayor of Haddonfield! I'm impressed! That's a jaw-dropping harvest! Again, I'm inspired to soldier on another year!
You got some beautiful diversity in shapes, sizes, and colors...and a lot of traditional carving material, too! Really nice!

WitchyKitty-- On the other hand, that's heartbreaking! It has been just an awful year for bugs! I really thought our cold winter would re-set a few of these pests that have been making their way up from farther south. But no.
An agronomist friend said that a lot of disease spores blew in on the wind in late winter. Did you guys get that khaki-to-pink snow (I think it was in March)? The color was from dust, all the way up from Texas. Along with the dust we got a lot of new crop diseases (like tar spot fungus). I don't think most insect eggs are small enough to come along, but we clearly got insects galore in the Midwest/Great Lakes region, too.

I was in the same mindset mid summer-- that maybe I should just skip a year, but that would take a lot of fun out of my summer...along with taking a lot of frustration. I'm seriously considering digging a fire break and doing a controlled burn of all the garden rubble this fall.

I don't know what would make your pumpkin explode like that. :cry: If it were near the stem, I might suspect a SVB got into the fruit, but it's clearly not near the stem end at all. I really like the shape and look of the little pumpkin, other than the hole part. It was clearly a cutie before that happened. I hope that you have enough left to do your traditional painting.

Just thinking back, last year I did have some gourds that fermented inside, and blew up when I tried to pick them up. I don't know how yeasts got inside the gourd-- but there was definitely some anaerobic fermentation that went on. I could smell it. Did your pumpkin smell like hard pumpkin cider when it ruptured? I suppose it would be hard to say if you weren't right there when it happened.
I hope the rest of your plants hang on and do well for the remainder of the season.
My PoaS, taken from above. They're about 2.5' (shorter than last year.) -- They've had loads of flowers for weeks, but hardly any are getting pollinated and setting.
View attachment 720181
I don't think I've seen the colored snow...I'll have to ask my husband if he ever remembered a colored hue to it last winter.
Yeah, two of my adorable Little October pumpkins ruptured like that and I just don't know why. I checked for bugs, I never see it happen, so I don't know about the smell, the pumpkin is still firm...the first one did rot completely shortly after this happened to it. So weird.
I will have enough to decorate and paint if the rest of them don't explode...
I just have no explanation for all the bugs. It just keeps getting worse. Bugs I've never dealt with, before.
I have been dealing with japanese beetles eating all my yellow roses, too, this year and last year...never dealt with those before, either. Grrrrrr.

Lots more spiders, too. I am fine with spiders, but the amount of webs all over everything, daily, is driving me crazy. At night, I always seem to be the lucky one to walk right into them...

Maybe I'll just set fire to the whole yard....
 

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Unintentional pumpkin. Suspiciously right about where we carved last year. Except, I just noticed it? And the yard has been mowed?? But it still has its round baby leaves, so it can't have been mowed down? Healthiest pumpkin plant I've ever had. 🤷
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I also have an unintentional corn stalk, from the decorative stuff I hang up on the fruit stand. Strange year.
 

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This is the second of these pumpkins this has happened to...it's hard to see, but the outer skin of the pumpkin is actually bent outwards. Like it exploded open from the inside. The first one this happened to was an even bigger explosion hole. What is doing this to my babies?! View attachment 720180

I ripped out my tomatoes plants and disposed of them...then I organically sprayed my peppers and PoaS plants. I sprayed the soil where the tomatoes were, too. These whiteflies need to go somewhere else!

Might be harvesting my pumpkins and gourds tomorrow...we will see.

Aww WK - there's really nothing I can say except I'm sorry. Something similar happen to a pumpkin. It's like a tire that blew out... (for lack of a better explanation)

The bugs are horrible and don't get me started on the mosquitoes!!! This is my favorite time of year but they are wretched and forced us inside tonight.
 

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This is the second of these pumpkins this has happened to...it's hard to see, but the outer skin of the pumpkin is actually bent outwards. Like it exploded open from the inside. The first one this happened to was an even bigger explosion hole. What is doing this to my babies?! View attachment 720180

Ok .. finally found my pictures. I'm going to do some research and find out why our pumpkins "blew out"
 

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Dang, pumpkin blowouts; one more bullet to dodge!
I read an article about giant pumpkins blowing out because of growing (or taking up water) more quickly than their "skins" could accommodate, but I didn't find anything that would apply to mid-sized or minis.
 

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About how tall were those? It might actually be worth it for some of my ideas...gonna go check mine.
The millet were only about two feet tall, three if you counted the bucket they were in. For what I had hoped to do with them, they would have to be around six feet tall to match the corn I grew. Those are small corn stalks, but I wanted them that way so it would be easier to use them in a corn field with an eight foot tall scarecrow.
 

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Wyatt's Wonder wound up with three set fruit, but only one has been increasing in size over the last 3 days. Because it's so late in the season, I pulled out all the ruthlessness I could muster, and took off the smaller two, each ~6" to 7" in diameter. Realistically, none of them really had/has time to ripen, including the biggest one. It's pretty, though: bright yellow and round, and has already grown to 12" in diameter. If we get a late frost, it will look nice in a display for a while, even if not fully mature.
Wyatt's are supposed to be big, though not bona fide giants. Seeing how fast the fruit is growing-- going out there every day and seeing an appreciable difference from the day before-- really helps me understand the allure of growing an actual giant pumpkin. (Not to the point where I'm going to do it, though. Growing normal-sized pumpkins is punishment enough ;) )
 

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I just harvested all my gourds and pumpkins, and tore down the zillions of vines we had tied, hung and attached all over.

I cannot believe the amount of squash bugs in my garden...omg...it's like a plague.

Between sweating from the humidity in the air and working to tear and cut all that down, the mildew, the bugs and the fact the pumpkin vines and stems give me a mild skin reaction...I feel gross, like bugs are crawling all over me, dirty and itchy all over. I may need to bathe in bleach...

I have a pile of all the vines and leaves in my yard. I am trying to get the energy and willpower to go back out and dispose of all that horror. I am considering tossing gasoline and a match on the pile and blow torching the whole garden and back yard to get rid of all the bugs!!!!!!

If you see on the news that a crazy lady from Illinois set the neighborhood on fire, you will know it was me...
 

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I hope you got a good harvest, anyway! You deserve that!
They all just got a bubble bath with a little bleach, and now they are air drying. Once I get the rest on the towel in the mudroom to dry the rest of the way, I'll get a final count and take pics.

I am a little concerned for some of the green bumpy Daisy Gourds...some were a bit smaller and darker, I hope they weren't to young to harvest. They didn't seem to be getting bigger, and their skin seems firm. I have the same worry for a couple of the Little October Pumpkins. The orange striped Daisy Gourds all seemed pretty dry stemmed and their vines were all goners, so I think they will be okay. I hope they will all be okay!
 
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