After my garden fail, I decided it would be fun to grow giant pumpkins. You know, the ones that win prizes at state fairs. Naturally, being my first year and all I wasn’t expecting any prize winner, but wanted a pumpkin large enough to display at the reception entrance of our friends’ wedding.
Envision huge pumpkin with the bride and groom’s names and the date carved into it at the entrance. Cue: Aww!
I borrowed books from the library and took extensive notes on how to successfully grow a giant pumpkin and I joined an online pumpkin growers group that my husband insists on calling the nerd herd to this very day.
Through the pumpkin group I got a couple of seeds. Following careful instructions the seeds were prepared and planted. Throughout the season I watched the plant vine out, re-root, and flower. Then the little pumpkins started growing and I had to cull all but one.
Every day out there measuring and taking pictures. Pumpkin group members were posting pictures of the various stages of growth of their own pumpkins. After several weeks mine did not seem to be keeping up. It was growing, but not at the rate the required wet, white sheets hung over it to prevent the skin from splitting (yes, such protection takes place).
As the season went on and the wedding drew nearer, giant pumpkins were making their way to state fairs all over – and weighing in at hundreds of pounds – my pumpkin seemed to have stopped growing.
The time came for me to harvest. My giant pumpkin weighed in at 13 pounds. Thirteen.
This gardening thing might not be for me.