Posted in Gardening, Horticulture, Mapleberry Gardens

Growing a “Blue Jarrahdale” Pumpkin in a raised bed (2017)

What can I say? When I saw a photograph of a blue-gray pumpkin I immediately wanted to grow my own. I found some organic, non-GMO, heirloom seeds and planted one in my raised bed. It brings me joy every day as I see it continuing to grow larger and change color.

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July 22: This “blue jarrahdale” pumpkin is almost as wide as the 10” tray it’s sitting on!

I am growing my single “blue jarrahdale” pumpkin plant in the sunny, southern half of a raised bed that it shares with a few tomato plants (an area measuring about 36×36 inches).  In early spring, I amended the soil with loads of compost and I’ve treated it weekly with a small amount of organic granular fertilizer. I started the seeds in pots indoors on May 13th and planted three of them out on May 27th. I (reluctantly) thinned to one plant due to the space constraint. By July 27th, I have just one thriving pumpkin on a bushy, 10 foot vine.  The vine is happily traveling south down my garden path. Several female flowers have perished throughout the season but one persisted and it is awesome.

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July 25: Valentina is catching some rays with my developing pumpkin. Isn’t that green-blue color gorgeous? It has changed a lot in just a few days.
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August 1st: The stem has been turning brown and the skin has been turning blue-gray. The skin on this pumpkin is perfect for Halloween. As it becomes more gray, it looks like a zombie version of an orange pumpkin.
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August 3rd: I harvested the pumpkin because the stem was brown and cracking. The vines were yellowed and looking poorly. I was excited to clean the vine out of my garden because I had just noticed a bunch of squash bug nymphs on several of the leaves. 
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August 3rd: Just admiring my clean pumpkin in the morning light.
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Ginger isn’t sure about the zombie pumpkin.
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I’m starting to get into the Halloween spirit and it’s only August 3rd. I love these ghost-like squash with my zombie pumpkin.
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July 25: A second “blue jarrahdale” pumpkin is growing in my “no till” pumpkin patch to the north but the vine is now tangled up in the fencing.
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August 1: This pumpkin is continuing to grow well. I’m using an upturned wooden bucket (9” diameter) for support.

Author:

Environmental biologist and wannabe homesteader.

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