Thursday, July 31, 2008

Enraging the Great Pumpkin


I tried to kill the pumpkins.  Not intentionally, mind you, but I was overcome with arrogance.  I planted six in a square foot, and I was supposed to thin them down to three.  They came up faster than everything else, and they were, by nature, enormous (even though they're about the smallest species of pumpkin there is).  They were beautiful; they made me feel like an expert, successful gardener; I was overcome with hubris; I also became attached to them.  Finally, I had to do something.  They had overtaken their space and were encroaching on the carrots, the radishes, and I don't know what else.  I couldn't dare to sacrifice three of the pumpkin babies for the sake of my other plants.  I decided to transplant them to a pot.  Once I had three out, I moved two of the remaining three to give them more space.  I turned around to check on Duncan, and Jamie said "Those pumpkins don't look very good."  Within minutes (literally), the leaves and stems had wilted sadly, almost defiantly.  I watered and watered and watered, and they showed no sign of revival.  I was as devastated as a person can be about pumpkins (though I knew I could have new plants that size in three weeks).  I decided to wait until morning to see how they looked.

Miracle of green-thumb gardening miracles...the pumpkins came back!  The original leaves are still wrinkled, sad, and dying, but the rest look fine, and there is new growth.  The moral of this story is that pumpkins appear to have very sensitive tiny little roots (I can't remember what those tiny little hair like roots are called that stick out off the main roots...Marcie...?), and they do NOT want to be transplanted.  Nevertheless, if you're compelled to do it for some good reason, or you flat out forget and do it anyway, they just might make it if you have a little faith.
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