The video and images show in good detail the difference between the male and the female flower of the Jack O’ Lantern pumpkin plant. Much easier in my opinion to differentiate when the plants are seen en mass as versus the few I and you may grow in the garden.
From a seasonal and comparative perspective it may be worthwhile noting the video, photos and audio were recorded 13th August and now you know how I spend my Saturdays, when I’m not in a garden.
That said and as attractive as the crop looks and not to dissuade you from giving it a go, this audio tells a very different story to pumpkin plant growing when not entirely for fun… and is a nice insight into the crop when grown on a large scale and semi-commercially.
What I would say personally and from experience is that pumpkins are great fun to grow, partly as we know from such a young age what the unusual fruit should look like and from this gardeners perspective it is when others see the plant and my almost empathising with their anticipation of what is to come that I really enjoy.
Once again gardening is all about having a go and you can start growing yours as simply as on a window ledge next year in an old yogurt pot and transfer out once the seeds goes about two weeks past germination. Just make sure you have enough space prepared outside in advance for them and sow about five or six seeds just in case one or two fail.
I had written an article last year on growing pumpkins from seed [check out the comments for ] and it seems many of you are on the hunt for pumpkins…. particularly pumpkin farms.
I did try and I did put the S.O.S out there for you. But there was very little response. If you know of anyone – leave a comment & make them famous 😉 But I did ring Natasha in Sonairte [click here], a place I have visited in Co. Meath [ just past balbriggan] many times. The mother of all gig for kids has to be the pumpkin carving course….. It’s times like this even I wish I had children 😉
Natasha sent me this email:
Pumpkins are such cheerful bumps in the garden aren’t they? The perfect colour to remind us which season we are in. Growing up in Australia, one of my fav winter dishes was pumpkin soup and you can’t beat roast pumpkin sprinkled with rosemary, thyme and salt.
News just in!! I have been out in the garden just this afternoon, chatting to the gardeners. They tell me that due to the inclement weather this year, our stocks are depleted, and everything has now been harvested! But don’t worry, there are still some left including some big rounded beauties! They are a bit pricier than what you would buy in other shops, not for growing up organic, but because they should keep for several months.
Sonairte’s pumpkins and our other organic produce and plants can be found at the Dublin Food Coop every Saturday, 9.30-4pm. Its an indoor market, Newmarket Square just off the Combe, Dublin 8. Here you will find fantastic organic food products including wines, breads, cheeses, dry goods and good coffee. www.dublinfood.coop. The market has a lovely, friendly atmosphere and you can by lunch and read the papers at your leisure. Alternatively pop into Sonairte itself and visit our ecoshop. We are on the Laytown Road just off Meaths coastline! Only 40 minutes from Dublin, there’s a bus service stopping right outside. Most convenient, especially if you’re carrying a pumpkin! The ecoshop, café and river walk are open 10.30 – 5pm wednesday to sunday
FYI, Sonairte hosts a Pumpkin Carving workshop, for adults and children. Its next Friday 30th Oct, Time: 11 -1pm, Cost: 20€ (1 adult, 1 child,1 pumpkin!).
For anyone who would like to learn more about growing their own veg and fruit, here are the details of other courses.
Thanks Peter for your time. If readers have any organic gardening queries, they can feel free to give us a buzz.
Other sonairte courses this year:
SOFT FRUIT AND FRUIT TREES IN THE GARDEN
With Kathy Marsh. A complete course on fruit growing for amateurs, covering choosing, planting, pruning and propagating.
Date: November 7th and 8th, 10- 4pm Cost: €120 or €75/ day (incl. lunch)
DRY STONE WALL BUILDING
With Bob Wilson (CELT). Covering basic techniques from foundation to capping. Also corners, steps, stiles, retaining walls and garden features and introduction to the use of lime mortar. Bring strong boots and rainwear .
Date: November 7th and 8th, 10am – 5pm. Cost: €150 (incl. lunch)
GROW IT YOURSELF
Course tutors Kathy Marsh and Geraldine O’Toole. A one day course at an affordable price to get you started on producing tasty, cheap and nutritious organic vegetables in even the smallest garden
Date: Saturday November 14th. Time: 10am – 4pm. Cost: €35.
*Please note that lunch is not provided. Our cafe will be open or you can bring your own and eat it at our garden picnic tables. All our courses can be viewed on our website. For more information and to book: Call 0419827572, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.sonairte.org
I hear you… it’s only mid July. No matter. You need them for October – but they have to grow! If you ever want to know when to start growing anything the easiest [cheaters tip!] advice is to check your garden centre once a month – when they’re available by seed – that’s when to start. Easy!
This is from the Johnsons range. I actually thought they’d be difficult to grow? no – easy peezy. really! There’s the packet [left] and the seed just below. I just bought them in my local garden centre.
How? who? what? Take a tray or a small plant pot about the size of a tea cup; fill with clean compost; soak first with water [from the bottom up is better – ie. sit in a basin of water and let in take up the moisture until the compost goes from dry brown to damp black] and then push the seed [it looks like a leprechauns surf board] sideways a little [half an inch] below the height of the compost until you can see it no more.
Jack O lantern [cucurbita pepo] is the more common or the ‘typical’ pumpkin as we know it and the plants will need to be planted about one metre apart outdoors when the roots fill out the tray. As you can see mine [after just two weeks! – click here] have a just little more to go before I allow them into unprotected typical irish weather.
Books and catalogues generally base sowing times on an average/ mean temperatures and as long as I understand what the plant needs to grow then I can work away and pretty much garden away as I please.
The ‘book’ tells me I’m a little late sowing – but the book obviously hasn’t seen the barbados like weather that’s been coming to North Dublin recently!!
here are my plants as of 28th of August as promised:
I can only really buy seeds and the paraphernalia required in the same places as you. This week I bought [in woodies: i emailed them this post] mustard, pumpkin, carrott, sprouts, cabbage, brocoli, onion and sweetcorn.
I didn’t buy lettuce seeds because the man said: ‘did you see them there?’ ‘no, I couldn’t find any’ I said. ‘well then they must not be there?’ I said ‘I suppose you’re right…. thanks for being so helpful…’ and then he continued talking to his mate behind the counter. So I asked the girl on the cash register but I forgot [and she reminded me!] that ‘no I don’t do customer services…’
Anyhow; Fill the trays with compost. Pop two odd seeds into each plug cell. Don’t forget to label them! Drop into a sink and allow the water to be drawn up from the bottom. And wait for nature to take its course.
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