Pumpkins and Homemade Fertilizer.

I have been blocked from the roadside (garden) access to the garage and worm farm since the crew began installation of the siding on the South side of the house. Six trucks pretty much fills in the front. Today I was able to visit the garden, it isn’t pretty after not being watered for just over one week, no weeding or picking of vegetables. I’ve been under the weather since June when combined with the smoke and pandemic it’s been a tough year for gardening.

I’m happy with the Pumpkins, this one is a volunteer in my neighbors yard there is one more against the fence. I have decided to grow more Pumpkins next year I have used the same seeds for years developing a nice average size. They have good shape, color and next year they should be larger. My plan is to grow as many as possible, hopefully 100 or more then give them away to the kids on the Island, free. I will have to hire a few high school kids to pick and stack them for me, I’ll pay them and place a tip jar to cover expenses. They are enjoyable to grow.

I have grown enough for most of the grandkids, the little ones at least the older ones can help me cut and stack next years bounty. There is no way I will be able to use all of the seeds, I have a way of planting them that has served me well. I encourage the kids to keep the seeds and grow some for next year. There is really not much to prepare the seeds I plant they go from Pumpkin to soil by the handful. I make sure each planting has plenty of worm castings then is drenched with home made fertilizer in the form of worm tea which I make myself. Both additives are loaded with natural nitrogen which is ready for the plants to use immediately. Unlike commercial products this will not burn the plants, it is strong nitrogen wise and weak in synthetics that are responsible for the burn.

This is a photo taken last year, I no longer grow them in the raised beds. I choose to plant them on the ground, the only vegetable I do. The main reason is they take up a lot of space and its best to let them sprawl around, even if it means growing into the neighbors yard. Pumpkins don’t need an over abundance of water after they are established water on the same schedule as the Tomatoes works fine. I grow them throughout the year, the early ones I feed to the worms a food they like the best. There have been years Pumpkins were available for every feeding (2-4 weeks apart). They will last a long time when stored in a cool dark place however if they are compromised with a poke or cut through the outer case they rot within days. Most Squash is like that I’ve stored Butternut, Acorn and Zucchini Squashes for no more than a year. I lose some but they end up being fed to the worms continuing the cycle, it’s a never ending loop. Besides eating all of the organic waste from the kitchen the worm farms eats cardboard, paper, burlap, and newsprint. They are a real ecological boon which makes me feel like I’m doing my part to keep waste from the collection yard; it’s a small part but effective.

Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance

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