|A few sad-looking stragglers of last year's crop.|
It wasn't until I started the plot some twenty years later that I discovered the overwhelming cost/benefit ratio of pumpkin that would have me voluntarily eating pumpkin in most meals for a whole year. For nearly no cost of time or money, I could grow enough pumpkin in three months to last till the next season - gladly spending the zero effort required to preserve them for that long.
...Only that its not going quite the way I'd hoped.
Usually the main obstacle in pumpkin season is the constant heat wilting the leaves and stressing the plants. I nowadays always plant pumpkin in the understory of my orange trees and amongst my "corn field" for some protection. However, all that we seem to be getting so far this year is a cool, "watered down" excuse for summer. When summer has occassionally been seen hiding amongst the blackened clouds, the yard turns into a sauna. The end effect is that the pumpkin, shaded and wet, never properly dry out - perfect conditions for the growing spots of death that's now slowly strangling the plants.
Powdery Mildew and I, we know each other on a first-name basis. I had hoped I had it figured out last year... only saving seed from the pumpkins that weren't targeted by my old aquaintence. But now i realise it must have just been a clever ploy of microclimate that saved those plants, and the mildew laughs at me from its newly infected hosts.