Yesterday you got to see one of my home-grown calabazas. Today I have a picture of a little Seminole pumpkin growing in the front-yard food forest:
Yes, I am on a squash and pumpkin kick.
Last fall around the time of my post on the 2014 sweet potato harvest from my food forest, Andi and I were talking back and forth and alternating between growing sweet potatoes and squash as ground cover in a food forest system. This spring I planted multiple squash seeds in fertilized pits out front and let them go – they’re just starting to produce now.
However, a lot of the sweet potatoes have come back as well. No matter how hard I try, I never seem to dig all the roots out and I invariably have plenty of them coming up the next year. We’ll see how they do. Usually the pest load gets to be too high when they grow in the same spot more than once or twice.
If you haven’t checked out the Seminole Pumpkin Project page I created, go check it out here.
If you have photos and details on growing Seminole pumpkins in your gardens, let me know – I’d love to post what you’re growing. This is a wonderful Florida heritage and I want to document the varieties as best as I can for the sake of anyone interested in studying or growing this incredible heirloom.
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Hi David, I am going to start calling you David instead of Mr. Goodman all the time. I guess it is the southern upbringing to show respect. I do not mean any disrespect by calling you David though… actually just the opposite.. enough now to my question.
I am planning a mini food forest in the back 40 (we just have 2.5 acres… so it will be something like .25 of an acre I guess). I have some local tree guys bringing me mulch at 15 bucks a load. I plan to do the lasagna thing and do the mulch first. I will then put yard waste and water hyancths that I am growing in my aquaponic system. My last thing will be to put some mushroom compost from the local supplier of soil, rock , sand. My wife, the cynic, asks what will I do when the weeds start infesting my project. My reply is that I will plant groundcovers: Seminole pumpkins, sweet potatoes, Mexican sunflowers, maybe peanuts (never grown them) . Is there any chance I will succeed in not having a weed infested food forest? I wouldn’t mind having a few edible weeds. Any other groundcovers you would recommend?
I’m with you on the “Mr.” We teach our children to refer to everyone as Mr., Mrs. or Miss… today’s society seems to live in a state of perpetual juvenility with no respect left.
That said – David is fine, of course. Heh.
The weeds always pop up eventually; hopefully, there’s enough shade in the system by the time they do that they aren’t a big issue. Even in areas at my place where the weed have taken over, I’ll knock them all down and use them as chop-n-drop food for the trees and other plants, then sometimes re-mulch over the weedy patch.
Other groundcovers: in shade, ginger and root beer plant (which is rather invasive… be ready). In sun, (along with your list) malanga, cannas, melons, calabaza, southern peas. In the winter, fava beans, mustard, collards, rye, wheat, chick peas, lentils, daikons… I throw a lot of seeds around and try to keep the weeds back. It usually works until mid-summer when the rains hit, then I basically lose control of the system until November. 😉
Also, chicken tractors help a lot with weed control in the food forest.
This is a two-parter.
1. Can you do a post about the upcoming fall growing season and what we can plant and when?
2. I’ve grown 180lbs of food this year, inspired by your previous blog posts on your yearly harvest, I’m hoping to hit 250lb by years end. How are you doing with your harvest? I know last year you hit 680 trying to get to 1000 where you at now?
1. Yes – I’ll be working on a fall planting post. Thank you for the reminder.
2. Congrats on your 180lbs last year – that’s big. As for me, I’m at about 400lbs right now. When the sweet potatoes come in, along with citrus and the second round of pumpkins, we’re going to be kicking. Dunno if we’ll hit 1000 but I’m hopeful.
Ive got Seminole pumpkins growing. They are just now kicking in good. Ive lost a lot to blossom end rot, but planted over an old pig pen, and lots of weed competition. I had 1.6″ rain thru June an now at about 6″ for July an everything growing like crazy! Anyhow, was going to let them lie till the vines started declining but found one pumpin rotting an went ahead an picked all the ones I could find. (10) there’s more. The guavas turning now an soon the persimmons, if I can keep them from the squirrels…
I wonder if there’s a missing mineral causing the blossom end rot. I haven’t had that problem with them yet – keeping my fingers crossed. Good luck keeping the fruit safe. The squirrels are pigs.