The giant pumpkin is proving it is a resilient little plant, but has been battling with the extreme temperature changes it has had to deal with these past few weeks.
While it managed to make it through the torrential rains fairly unscathed, today’s heat really has taken a toll on the poor plant and the leaves were completely wilted when I checked up on it a few hours ago…
Wilting is apparently a natural defense mechanism for pumpkin plants, who use it as a way of conserving energy and water during extremely hot weather, but you really want to avoid it where possible, as the leaf’s stomata close up and its ability to photosynthesize is hampered… not good for a young growing plant, or for growing a record pumpkin for that matter.
The problem is, it’s only October, and Mr Giant Pumpkin has to make it through December, January and February, which will bring some extremely hot days with them.
The good news is that a good watering and then leaving the hosepipe on it for a while, with the nozzle twisted so that only the finest of mist escapes, seems to have helped the poor thing bounce back and its leaves are all nice and rigid once again.
Thankfully the sun has also shifted and the pumpkin plant is now in the shade, so it should be fine for the rest of the day.
However, I’m beginning to realise that I’m going to have to make a plan to implement a more permanent irrigation system (its a thirsty little plant and hasnt even shot out the first vine yet) and might have to look at some sort of misting system to bring down the temperature if it gets too hot!