Sunday, July 06, 2008

Unintended Consequences (Sometimes are Quite Pleasant)

As the title of this post may have communicated, we hadn't quite planned on this happening, but when we threw the softening pumpkins from last Halloween to the compost pile, we should have expected as much! Actually, we're thrilled we have a virtually no effort pumpkin patch going back at the far end of the veggie garden ... the last time we tried pumpkins, they did fantastically most of the summer until later when the stinkbugs came in and sucked them dry, which we really hope doesn't happen this year.
If this little experiment we have going back in the veggie garden works out to (the most recently hatched) plan, we will have, at virtually no cost, our own Corn stalks and pumpkins for the fall display! We're even going to expand a little bit back there and plant yet another row or two of corn, because even though the first seeds were literally planted in MUD, they're doing great! So if we can eke another 2-3 weeks out of summer this year, we should have a second crop of corn. We'll see how that all turns out though... if nothing else, we'll have stalks!

Lesson learned: unintended consequences most often aren't pretty, but in this case they were! I just wish I had gotten pics of the many blooms that were open on July 3 (the day before I took these), they are truly beautiful and huge flowers!


boran2 said...

Nice work, if unintended! You're right, IVG, pumpkin blossoms are pretty.

Gail said...


Before long you vegetable growers will brain, I mean convince me to plant vegetables! Probably not...even though you get these lovely unintended consequences
There's the other consequences---a little bit of maintenance!

On the other hand...the one that keeps points for putting in a vegetable garden! We went to Whole Foods and they were selling blackberries for $11 a quart! I better stop before I upset myself more!

I agree they really are lovely flowers...


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

B2, we always dispose of the pumpkins in the compost, but they've usually been carved first. We had a couple last year that hadn't gotten carved, then got soft, so out they went. And here they are again! Like I said, we should have expected this, but just didn't think about it then, lol.

Annie in Austin said...

You were lucky enough to have a place where a thrown pumpkin could grow, IVG! I smashed ours in the dormant vegetable garden last December, thinking the birds and squirrels would eat the seeds. But the critters ignored them, and Philo and I had dozens of pumpkin plants to weed out so we could get ready for tomatoes and peppers.

I hope the raccoons let you have the stalks, at least.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Aww Gail,
You should at least try a few things, even if you have to put them in big pots. There are quite nice varieties of tomatoes that do quite well in a big pot ('Patio' which is "ok," or the newer "bush" varieties of Better Boy and Celebrity that don't get huge, but produce regular sized fruit).

Do you at least have some herbs like Basil, sage, thyme and such? They're a must for us, and I also re-started parsley and cilantro again this year and they're doing well. Poor soil, admittedly, but not clay....

Hey, try tossing a pumpkin in your compost this fall and see what happens! You might be surprised.

Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hey Annie!
You managed to sneak in while I was typing a response to Gail! lol

Thinking about what you said, yeah that could be a problem, but we're really not using much of that end of the garden this year, so better pumpkins than the other weeds that would grow there without them. Our compost wasn't used last year (we skipped veggies then, bad us), so it's especially rich this year, when we are using it. In the past when we carved the pumpkins I always toasted the seeds and we ate them. Funny the critters wouldn't touch yours!

I hope the raccoons do leave the corn alone, but we think the one that used to live in the maple has moved on somewhere as we don't see signs of them now. At least they'll be too high for the damn rabbits.

Gail said...


Oh yes, I have about 6 Rosemary in pots, two of which are over 4 foot tall; a 6 foot bay tree, several sage plants, thyme and oregano is a great ground cover! I put the rosemary and baytree in the shed if the temps go below 25 degrees. It's a different world in zone 6b/7a!

I forgot to plant basil this year! But, we haven't been cooking as much either.

Oh, after visiting the Austinites at spring fling I planted cilantro in the sunny looked pretty and hopefully it will self seed.


Iowa Victory Gardener said...

Hi Gail,
Glad to hear you have some herbs! I'm envious you have such big Rosemary ... we didn't even get any this year, because we can only grow it outside, and if we try to overwinter it inside, it invariably dies on us at some point. It's not hardy for us though we love having it! We have found a use for the dead plants though ... if you throw bits of it on the coals when you are grilling, it adds a nice hint of flavor to what you're cooking (smells great too!).

Don't worry about cilantro not seeding, because it will produce a lot, so just let a few go and it will come up in place next year. I'm going for that this year, as it inevitably "bolts" on us after it gets about 8" tall, at that point it's no longer Cilantro, but full blown Coriander and doesn't have the same flavor at all. When yours bolts, just let it go and you will have it back next spring!