If at first you don’t succeed…

Pumpkin Twirls

It has to be said… I have complete pumpkin and squash envy! We’ve tried for two years on our plot to grow delicious pumpkins and squashes, with no success…

We planted ‘Pumpkin Jack Be Little’ seeds in 2012.  The thought behind that, was that they wouldn’t grow too enormous and take over the plot.  That way we’d still get to make pumpkin soup.  That was, until I stood on the only tiny one that grew and literally turned it into a ‘squash’! ooopppsss 🙂 (I’m very clumsy! hehe)

Pumpkins of 2012

Pumpkin Jack Be Little 2012

This year we grew some squashes.  We both love squash soup and it would taste extra special if we’ve grown it by our own fair hand.  There have been lots of flowers growing and I thought we were in luck… as you can see in the picture on the right, a little squash started to form. A week later it had fallen off, turned brown and looked dead 😦

Squashes 2013

Squashes we’ve planted 2013

They have grown so fast and wild taking over the plot.  I got some advice of my friend Sue, to pinch off the tops of the runners to help the plant focus its energy back in to the flowers, to grow nice plump juicy squashes.  Unfortunately after chopping back a lot of the runners, I discovered there are lots of brown mouldy leaves. I don’t think we’ll have any joy this year!

This weekend I went out for a little hunt on the allotment, to see how people’s pumpkins are doing… very well it seems 🙂 It leaves me thinking what we’re doing wrong?  We’re determined to grow our own pumpkins and squashes.  It would be great to make our own soup and to carve them for Halloween 🙂

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again… Don’t give up too easily; persistence pays off in the end.”


Marvellous pumpkins from our neighbours plots 😀

Do you have any tips for me and my pumpkins? I’m going to do a bit of research into how we can make them better for 2014 – could be our soil? or we need to feed them?  Any tricks you have would be greatly appreciated 😀 I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently with super pumpkins 🙂

Lottie Land Girl Kaz xx

10 thoughts on “If at first you don’t succeed…

  1. Not sure what can go wrong, they are usually really easy, especially pumpkins. How do you plant them out? I plant mine by digging a hole and mixing the dirt taken out with manure to get a 50/50 mix which i then use to fill back in the hole to make a planting mound. the plant goes straight into the middle and apart from normal watering they don’t get any extra feeds. I get good results every year this way with pumpkins and have had mixed success with squash depending on what type and variety that I happen to be trying that year. ‘Sunshine’ grew well this year, as did the Vegetable spaghetti squash. Last year ‘Hunter’ Butternut did well, but other types didn’t. This year my Turks Turban squash look like deformed tennis balls, but that’s the name of the game, win some, lose some. x

    • Arrrh now I didn’t use manure… and we did have the potatoes in there last year so maybe there wasn’t enough umph in the soil! the runners grew so fast and long with flowers they just didn’t want to turn into squashes 😦 Never mind I’ll try again next year! fingers toes and eyes crossed 🙂 thanks for the names of the varieties you used, I’ll have a look into them x

  2. I am with you on the squash envy. We have managed 2 spaghetti squash and 1 sweet dumpling. I would have rather had more of the sweet dumpling as they are such a cute size. We seem to have got quite a lot of mildew both on courgettes and autumn squash this year.
    Have you tried a bit of manual polination as that could be the reason your fruits aren’t getting very large and then dropping off. Also cutting back some of the leaves to expose the flowers to the insects. We sunk half squash bottles into the ground by the roots last year to ensure you can water in the right place as by the time they start sprawling around the plot, it’s easy to loose where they started!
    Hope we both have better luck next year!
    Bev x

    • Hi Bev 🙂 thinking about it, the leaves were quite unruly and did cover up a lot of the flowers. I did start to really cut back the vines, but I think I was too late… could be the watering too! Spiders seemed to love the flowers and just sat in them!Thanks for your advice will have a good bash at them next year! 😀 xx

  3. Just a thought, we did a ‘Hot Bed’ for the first time this year, it meant we could plant out at the beginning of May and they were still protected. We planted Crown Prince and got 11 good size squash so result ! by the time the cover came off in June they were an established size and ready for the better weather and the bees to come and pollinate.
    I agree , I think it did sound like a pollination problem for your squash , I wonder if the very cold spring affected them ? Keep trying, just imagine the year when it works – a satisfying crop x

    • Hi Gill 🙂

      Hmmm it does seem like a pollinating problem. I don’t think the bees could see them with all the big leaves! Will keep them nice and tidy and I’m probably not going to plant as many plants next year. Maybe they didn’t have enough room to move. They came thick and fast with big leaves, they were like umbrellas, covering the flowers!

      Next year, more poop, water and keep the flowers open for pollination! xx

  4. Hi Kaz, my little girl and I borrowed a book from the library recently called “grow it eat it” by Dorling Kindersley & the RHS – it is a kids gardening book and gives you ideas for growing things in small spaces and in it they suggested growing pumpkins in a pot with four canes in, and then wrapping the vine around the canes as it grows. They say that you then make a hammock for the pumpkins as they grow. I can’t find an image from the book online and I haven’t tried it and it might be just a totally bonkers idea… but it might be worth an experiment next year as a way of keeping the pumpkins from taking up too much space? Btw I hand pollinated the pumpkins I’ve been growing on out plot which worked well – until I snapped one nice looking one off when I was trying to lift it onto a brick. Lord! x

  5. We had butternut squash plants trailing all over the garden this year but all we got were flowers, although we did exactly the same as in previous years when we’ve done much better. Sometimes it’s just down to luck and the weather. It was a late start this year with the cold weather early on.
    I’ve bought some patio squash to try in a pot for next year.

    • We had lots of flowers too but no squashes! I think next year ill only plant 3 squashes because the runners were so big (I put about 6 plants I’d grown from seed) see if I can control it better! Funny isn’t it it grew and grew but no squashes! Pity I couldn’t eat the leaves… We had tons of them 🙂

  6. Pingback: What can I do with all of my pumpkins? | James's Recipes

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