Archive for the ‘Operation Pumpkin Patch’ Category

I’m offering free heirloom pumpkin seeds to the first 50 people who stop by the Guerilla Garden Adventures booth located at the Eco-market in Sardis Park on Wednesday May 6th from 4pm-8pm (45845 Manuel Rd Chilliwack, BC.)
You will have a choice of either “eating pumpkin” seeds or “prize winning gigantic pumpkin” seeds for as long as supplies last. Not sure where you’re going to plant it? Well it is rumored that some people (not to mention any names) are already scoping out unused lots and other public spaces as potential guerilla garden pumpkin patch locations. I cannot for liability reasons condone planting on someone else’s property but I’m just saying…… FREE!……your choice of the following 2 types of pumpkins seeds:

EP – Eating Pumpkin Seeds

Sugar Pie Pumpkin

  An heirloom, these Sugar Pie pumpkin seeds will grow a classic pumpkin that is especially good for pies and canning. Vines develop small slightly ribbed, bright-orange pumpkins that are 6″-9″ in diameter and have the sweetest flavor and finest texture for pies and casseroles.
Matures in 110 days (Open-pollinated seeds)


GP – Gigantic Pumpkin Seeds

Gigantic Pumpkin

One of the largest varieties of pumpkin in the world, seeds from this and related strains are commonly used in pumpkin weigh-off contests. These heirloom giants (the largest fruit of any plant in the world), grow on very large plants, with vines up to 50′ long, so they require lots of room, full sun, and fertile soil to produce the giant pumpkins.
Matures in 110 days (Open-pollinated seeds).
I can personally attest to the fact that these gigantic pumpkins regularly grow to 50-100 pounds and therefore are not considered “Balcony Friendly”.  In 2013 I planted these pumpkin seeds very late in the year (July 1st) and my pumpkin still ended up weighing 74.2 pounds and came in 2nd place in the Operation Pumpkin Patch contest at The Sunshine Community Garden.

2nd Place Pumpkin_2013
Just imagine how big it would have been if I had planted it in May when I was supposed to. It is said that under proper conditions these pumpkins can weigh up to several hundred pounds and I believe it.
Not sure how to go about growing your pumpkins? Here are a few pointers…….

Pumpkin Growing Guide and Tips

Operation Pumpkin Patch Kit

Timing
Direct sow or transplant in late May or early June when soil warms up. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 25-35°C (68-95°F).  For transplants, start seeds indoors during the first two weeks of May. Be sure to harden off plants before placing out in the garden if starting indoors. Note: Master Gardeners will tell you that pumpkin transplants should go into the ground no later than June 15th but feel free to push the boundaries.

Growing
Choose a sunny spot with fertile, well-draining soil and then dig in a generous quantity of finished compost and/or composted manure. Pumpkins are big greedy feeders. Like my friend Tim Dixon says (who came in 1st place at the Sunshine Community Garden pumpkin contest) the secret to growing a prize winning/ good tasting pumpkin is lots of POOP! Pile up the manure into “pumpkin hills” about the size of a small pitcher mound and then sow the seeds 2cm (1″) deep. Sow 3 seeds in each hill. Seeds should sprout in 7-14 days. If growing gigantic pumpkins then pull out (or transplant) all but the strongest plant.

Fertilization
All pumpkins grow male flowers first, then the female flowers are produced. The female flowers have tiny fruits at the base of the petals and require pollination by bees. However, if no bees are to be found use a small paintbrush and gently “tickle” each flower on the vine. This is like artificial insemination for plants.

Watering
Pumpkins may seem substantial but they are 90% water so keep pumpkin plants well watered, particularly in hot weather. Always water the soil, and avoid getting the leaves wet as much as possible because powdery mildew is almost always a problem here in the Pacific Northwest, especially when it comes to pumpkins. There are some mildew resistant pumpkin varieties out there but the sad truth is that they still get powdery mildew.  It just seems to happen a little later in the season than the non-resistant varieties. A homemade organic spray for powdery mildew can be made however I never got around to spraying my pumpkins at all and if you look at the pictures above the pumpkins themselves turned out great even though the leaves are covered in powdery mildew.

Gigantic Pumpkin Tips
When growing gigantic pumpkins for bragging rights you will want to feed weekly throughout the growing season with a fish or kelp based fertilizer. Also the pumpkin will grow larger if you keep only one fruit per vine. As the pumpkin develops, try to gently encourage it to grow at a 90° angle to the vine itself as the largest pumpkin varieties will grow on their sides and they will end up looking like a half deflated balloon.

Harvest
Pumpkins are mature when they have colored up well and their stems are crisp. For the best sugar content, cut the stem about 4cm (2″) or so from the body of the fruit. If the weather is dry, allow the pumpkins to cure in the field for 10 days, or in a warm room for 4-5 days.

Here’s to The Great Guerilla Garden Pumpkin Adventure of 2015!

 

Advertisements
Guerilla Garden Royalty

This photo was taken by the Sunshine Community Garden Paparazzi!

These scarecrows at the Sunshine Community Garden are easily the most stylish scarecrows of 2013!

Scarecrow Contest 2013 Carlie Chaplin

Scarecrow Contest 2013_Glamor Gal

Scarecrow Contest 2013 Angel
 A Guerilla Gardener at the Guerilla Garden Cafe 2013

I thought the special was supposed to be vegetarian!

Scarecrow Contest 2013_Mini Scarecrow

Scarecrow Contest 2013_Scarecrow on Crutches

9

17

045_IMGP0862

Scarecrows from all walks of life are showing up at the Sunshine Community Garden Pumpkin Patch!

The Guerilla Garden Cafe 2013

The Guerilla Garden Cafe located in Pumpkin Patch plot #20 at the Sunshine Community Garden is now open!

Ray peeling potatoes at the Guerilla Garden Cafe

Ray has gotten himself a job at the Guerilla Garden Cafe and is preparing for the grand opening!

Scarecrow Contest 2013_Hula Gardener

Scarecrow Contest 2013_Sunshine Man

Scarecrow Contest 2013_Hockey Witch

A few more scarecrows have taken up residence in the Sunshine Community Garden Pumpkin Patch.

The Guerilla Garden Cafe Sign

The Guerilla Garden Cafe is rumored to be opening soon at Pumpkin Patch Plot #20 in the Sunshine Community Garden!

A Guerilla Garden Cafe table 2013