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Taking your pumpkins all the way to the roof (top)

This year I decided that I wanted to grow a few pumpkins.  I like Pie.  So I went and started some seedlings, planted them, and a few weeks later they were thriving and happy pumpkin vines.  However I ran into a slight problem.  Connecticut Field Pumpkins grow like mad.  They were threatening to take over my garden and the back yard. 

I needed space for my tomatoes, aliums, and other cucurbits, so I scoured the internet.  Somewhere, I found a picture a guy had of a forest somewhere--with pumpkins growing in a tree.  The vine had apparently climbed the tree, and set fruit high up in a tree.  There's also this news article about the Greenfield, Iowa couple who found a pumpkin growing in their pear tree.

So I thought to myself, if they can grow in trees, why not up and onto the roof of our garden shed?
 
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Step 1: Have the Right Pumpkins, Soil, and Time

Picture of Have the Right Pumpkins, Soil, and Time
Most seed packets dictate 100 days from germination to harvest.   So get moving on the planting part or it might be  too late.  Seeds ought to be planted relatively close to the surface you're going to trellis them up.  Once the vine gets thick and mature
it will be much more difficult to train without risking breaking it.

Additionally your choice of pumpkin should be vining, and of a small or medium variety.  While growing a record breaking pumpkin
on your roof may sound like a neat idea, it could cause water to pool on your roof, causing damage to shingles.  The other reason you need to keep the pumpkin size down is that you have to get it down some day. 

A good rule of thumb is this:  Grow pumpkins no larger than the heaviest thing you can carry up and down a ladder, without assistance.  A record-breaking pumpkin could break you.

I selected Connecticut Field Pumpkin, which is the classic "Jack-O-Lantern" pumpkin, and of a medium weight (25-50 lbs).  Being medium sized pumpkins with long, vigorous vines, they're well suited to this sort of trellis. 

Additionally, you may wish to use landscaping fabric and mulch around the base of your pumpkins--all the way up to the side of your structure.  This prevents grass and weeds from growing in between your plants and the building, and controls insects  
Kundry9 months ago
Funny I should find that today. Last year, my spaghetti squash decided to grow thru the hedge. It was growing fruit inside, and the neighbors walking by wanted samples. This year, I put it at a different spot, still near the hedge, and it's sneaking that way again.
wtickell1 year ago
I enjoyed the write up! Thank you and thanks for the sense of humor you spiced it with...
Psickattus (author) 1 year ago
I guestimate that I could easily grow at least twice as many vines had I used an entire side of the shed rather than just two corners,
diy_bloke1 year ago
neat, but being killed by falling pumpkins could become so 2012!
Psickattus (author)  diy_bloke1 year ago
Pumpkins are all potential pie. You wouldn't want to waste pie killing someone right? Therefore it goes without saying that all pumpkins ought to be given proper support.
Psickattus (author) 1 year ago
I don't know if they will cool our shed. I suppose they could if I had more than six vines, but it's not climate controlled--beyond a simple fan. If I really was going to go whole-hog on covering a shed roof with pumpkins, I'd probably use a wire structure parallel and slightly above the roof to lessen the chance of water pooling on the asphalt
l8nite1 year ago
this sounds like a neat idea, maybe the leaves will help shade and cool your building as well
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