October 29, 2012

Garden Surprise!...

I posted in the past about the garden that mom and I planted in her back yard.  We had at least 5 different kinds of greens, multiple hot and sweet peppers, corn, sweet potatoes, green and wax beans, strawberries, squash, cucumbers, 4 kinds of tomatoes, onions, garlic, we even planted watermelon and pumpkin seeds in a back corner to see what they would do. There was much more in the garden that I'm forgetting.  A few things never became established or couldn't take the Florida heat.  We would pull them out and toss them in a pile in the back corner where moms property meets her neighbors, an old family friend, who runs a nursery.

We never had much luck with the squash.  It was one of the first things we planted and it just kept getting a fungus so we pulled it out and threw it in the corner.  When Jasey and I moved out most everything had died out from the end of summer heat so we pulled out whatever wasn't going strong and threw it in the corner as well.  That left some peppers, garlic, AJ's lima beans, sweet potatoes, strawberries, asparagus and a few other things.  I had just plated the watermelons and pumpkins and most were doing well but the ones that had died off got chucked in the corner.  We actually had a very good little compost pile in that corner!

We decided to let the weeds take over, whatever was left got thrown on the pile and pretty soon the weeds were green and lush.  Then mom noticed a vine creeping it's way along the trees over the 'compost' pile in the back corner.  Our squash that never wanted anything to do with the garden life was  growing al on its own.  How cool, it had been a good two years since we had attempted to grow the squash.  We thought maybe there would be a few ready to pick around Thanksgiving that we could cook up.

Then mom started noticing the vine all over the place.  It grew by, what seemed like, feet everyday.  Then flowers started blooming!  There were blooms all over the place...I mean all over the place!  There were vines 50 feet in the air that we hadn't noticed before!  Then mom started noticing little squash!  She kept an eye on them but after a couple days she was calling me, amazed.  They were getting so huge but didn't look like crook neck squash which is what we were pretty sure we had originally planted.

Next time I was over we went to take a look and were shocked at what we saw.  One of the fruits was more than double the size it had been just 2 days earlier.  As we looked we started noticing a lot more squash than we first saw.  There were at least 12 of these things hanging in the trees, some of them 30 to 50 feet above our heads!  Then I spotted one just over the fence line only about 15 feet up.  Mom got a ladder and I climbed up to get it.  (That shows how excited I was cause I hate ladders and this was a very unsteady area)

It was round, about the size of a basketball and dark green.  Some of the other ones were more elongated and dark green but had some lighter spots along them. We just stared at it for a while trying to figure out what it was and decided to cut it open.  

Just before we cut it open it hit us, it was a pumpkin!  The other ones with the spots were watermelons!

Our watermelons made it.  Our pumpkins were growing.  They were growing...50 feet in the air...in Florida...in trees!!!  We grew pumpkins in trees!!!

Me with my pumpkin!!!
Those are some of the vines on the ground behind me, they are in the trees in the background too but are harder to see unless you know what to look for.

I couldn't get enough pics with the pumpkin!

In the middle of this pic below the branch going across the photo is a watermelon.  You can see some of the lighter spotted lines going up and down.  It was about 8 inches long when I took the picture.   

There is a watermelon and two pumpkins in this pic.  The same watermelon from the last pic (top left of the middle) then go down diagonally to the right there is a pumpkin in the center of the pic and another following that same line.  They are all just a few inches apart in the picture.  

A watermelon dangling overheard.  It kept swinging in the breeze so the pic is blurry.

Cross section of our pumpkin.  It was very sappy when I cut it open.  Obviously it was no where near ripe but it had the ridges in the skin which you can see along the edge and it certainly smelling like a pumpkin.  I didn't keep the seeds, though I wish I had.  

I would say oh I'll just get the seeds from the next one but unfortunately I don't know if that will happen.  We discovered them and took these pictures 3 days before Hurricane Sandy 'hit' us.  We didn't get a whole lot but we got enough big winds to do some pumpkin and watermelon damage.  Mom called me that night and I went to her house yesterday so I could survey the damage.  About 3 big branches came down and while there are still a few vines hanging on everything is gone.  All the vines came down and most of them were snapped.  The ones on the ground are fine so far but we have no clue where they begin so it may be a matter of time before they die too.  We went into the neighbors yard and found a smashed pumpkin on the ground.  The poor thing fell to its death :(

Though we did discover a lot more vines on his side so maybe something somewhere survived.  All the fruits that we did spot were watermelons.  Pumpkins and high winds apparently don't mix.  We don't know for sure yet but we believe that the vines growing in moms yard are pumpkins.  That would be so cool!

I was excited enough thinking that this crazy vine was squash, it ending up being pumpkin was unbelievable!   It was sad to see them down, especially so soon after discovering them and so close to a couple of them possibly ripening.  It would have been neat to see one of them ripen and who knows it may still happen but I am thrilled just by the fact that they grew!  

My favorite part of fall...PUMPKINS!!!!

1 comment:

  1. A pumpkin is a squash so therefore you were right...they were squash. Sorry to hear they didn't make it through the storm. Just ask Spookley all about high winds and pumpkins not mixing...:)