Harvesting the Pumpkin Patch

Big day in the pumpkin patch!  It was time to clear out the veggie patch in the front yard, which included searching for all the pumpkins hidden throughout the garden.

This is what the front garden beds looked like before I started work this morning.

Pumpkin Patch Left

This is the front of the front yard towards north.

Pumpkin Patch Right

And this is the towards the back.  That is a heck of a lot of cleaning up to do!  I was hoping that there was some pumpkins in there, somewhere.

So with lots of help from my Mother-in-law, Pam, we cleared the blooming lot.  So much vine from only four seedlings way back in September 2013!

Cleared Pumpkin Patch Left

Cleared Pumpkin Patch Left

So many loads of pumpkin vines had to carted to the area near the compost bins at the back of the block that Ben had to pitch in as well.

Cleared pumpkin patch right

Cleared pumpkin patch right

I bet you are wondering how many we found?  Well, I found 17 pumpkins hiding in the patch.  That 5 more than I had expected when I did a head count a week ago.  They were all over the place.  A couple of them got sunburnt during the hot, angry summer that we experienced this year, so we will eat those first.

Queensland Blue Pumpkins 2014

Queensland Blue Pumpkins 2014

Anyway, I placed them all on a long bench, and there they will stay until we eat them all over the course of the year.  Notice that I left a fair bit of stem and the runner attached to each pumpkin.  This is so the pumpkin don’t rot from the where the stem connects to the top.  Trust me, it works.

Harvested Queensland Blue Pumpkins

A couple of final tips to ensure a long storage time.

  • Never carry the pumpkin by the stem.  Once it breaks, the pumpkin’s insides get exposed, and it starts to rot.
  • Make sure that there is plenty of air flow under the base of the pumpkin.  This also helps extend the storage time.

Well there you have it.  That is my pumpkin crop for 2014.  I only planted one variety this year so that I could save seeds that would be true to type.  Next year I will use these collected seeds to grow the next patch of yummy pumpkins.

How did you go with your crop of pumpkins this year?

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Gavin, I’m yet to harvest my pumpkins, I have four large ones and a smaller one growing. I didn’t intend to grow pumpkins, they came up all by themselves after burying some kitchen scraps in an experimental straw bale garden. Not bad for not even trying! (Newish vegetable gardener in Ballarat)

  2. says

    They look pretty fantastic. You’ll be having lots of yummy roast veggies and soup over the winter. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    • Gavin Webber says

      I agree Kathy. So many roasted pumpkins, so many pumpkin risottos, and so much soup. I never get sick of this vegetable.

  3. says

    I’m yet to harvest my pumpkins too but I actually have some so I’m happy. They’re starting to reach a reasonable size now, aided by the pruning they got. In order to grow them big as fast as possible in lieu of first frost date in early March (no frost yet) I pruned off everything except the runner on which the pumpkin grew. I pulled out all unproductive vines too and nipped of the tip of the growing vine. Maximum access to soil nutrients and water for the remaining vines and the fruit have thanked me for it and are getting to a reasonable size. I’ll hold out picking until the frosts. My buttercup pumkins are on my front deck and they look wonderful as well as get the air they need.

    • Gavin Webber says

      Great tips Jessie, and excellent forethought for your climate conditions. What would happen when the first frost hits. Will the growth just stop, or will the pumpkins themselves get affected?

      • says

        The first frost will toast the vines. The pumpkins should be fine I’d think as I saw plenty of pumpkins on the vines at David Holmgren’s place at last year’s Permaculture day when I toured his gardens. :) Once the vines are toasted I’ll chop them off at the roots (planting out my onions and garlic around the vines) and add the pumpkins to the front deck. :) I like the pumpkins being on display as it is advertising for growing pumpkins if that makes sense. Our street is a dead end and very quiet but we get a lot of people ignoring the “no through road” sign who might see it and get ideas. It also speaks to the neighbours which has to be good right?

  4. says

    I’ve got pumpkin growing like a weed, seriously! Two wheelbarrows full just from rogue seeds that came up after the chooks moved to the next garden bed, just from the seedlings I missed pulling out! A bit of rain, a week on holidays and they’ve taken over everything. It has started to rain again here in The Northern Rivers after a very hot and dry Summer. We’re going camping next week, we’ll be good for pumpkins again in Winter… ;-)

    Have you tried pumpkin curry? I’ve got a very simple recipe here: http://marijke-sander.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/recipe-2-pumpkin-curry.html or just add to any other red curry recipe, it’s amazing!

    • Gavin Webber says

      Funny you should mention rain Marijke. We had a burst of rain (16mm) back in early Feb. At the time the pumpkin vines only had 2 pumpkins on them. After the downpour, it took off and gave me an additional 15 pumpkins!

      Love your recipe, I have my own version. Instead of the potatoes and sweet potato, I just use whatever pumpkin I have at hand. It tastes delicious; Chickpea and Potato Curry.

          • says

            Who doesn’t like some feedback? It was a great hit! On top of the potatoes I added about half a pumpkin to the mix, which made it nice and creamy. And had a big enough pan to have enough for the freezer and our casual Leftover Thursday. With triple the chickpeas soaked and pressure cooked, with extra bags for the freezer ready to go, this one will be a very easy repeat one.

  5. says

    From the plants I put in in two different beds I have the total of two pumpkins and both from the same bed…grrrrr. Not sure what I did wrong – lots and lots of male flowers and millions of leaves in one bed but no pumpkins. The other bed struggled to grow just two small butternuts. Hopefully next year will be better as I do love my roast pumpkin and pumpkin soup. Well done on such a magnificant haul Gavin. I’m green (or should that be orange) with envy.

      • says

        Just checked your post on growing pumpkins. I did all that. The bed was full of cow manure, they had full sun and plenty of water. Must have just been my year. Never mind there’s always next year. Thanks for your posting on growing pumpkins though – I will use it as reference next year.

  6. says

    When you next make pumpkin soup with these beauties, add some curry powder to the soup as it boils away (my recipe has carrot, onion, celery and zucchini too) and add light coconut milk or cream after you’ve whizzed the soup with a stick blender. It is warming and delicious and quite exotic!

  7. says

    Gorgeous pumpkins Gavin. A super simple but delicious salad: roast pumpkin served at room temperature w greens such as baby spinach, slivered almonds, little pieces of soft cheese (I use bococinni but you could use any of yours) with a balsamic vinaigrette. Put some homemade bread on the side — delish.

  8. Lynda says

    Goodness, that’s a lot of pumpkins Gav. Will the 3 of you get through these before next season? That is a good storage tip and im off home to remove my butternuts from the solid shelf they are currently sitting on. I haven’t yet got the trellises i need to do vertical yet and hubby is soon to have op which will put him out of action for 3 months. Love all these recipes from your readers.

    PS. Ive started on the grass – woo hoo. Soon ill have paths like you. Lynda X

    • Gavin Webber says

      Hope hubby is okay. Just be aware that butternuts will not store as long as Qld Blue or Aussie Butter, as they have thinner skins.

      I love the recipes as well. It is great when lots of readers chime in with their own experiences!

      Gav

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