How does your Gourdidous Grow?

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The lovely spring weather in Northwest Indiana has brought out my Gardening Bug which makes everything seem a bit greener, even when it is not, like my wallet. I see the tips of tulips poking through the ground

One of the tulips responsible for my Spring gardening madness.

and immediately feel the need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on mulch, plants, stakes, fertilizer, pots, planters, signs, patio furniture, hose implements, and…seeds, LOTS OF SEEDS.

Here is my list of items, so far. Let’s not forget there are still tomatoes and peppers to purchase.
Blue Lake 274 Bush Bean
Dills Atlantic Giant Pumpkin
Indian Berries Popcorn
Knucklehead Super Freak Pumpkin
Dakota Garden Pea
Jamboree Hybrid Pumpkin-Squash
Prizewinner Hybrid Pumpkin *Sub
Daisy Mix Gourds
Sylvesta Lettuce
Red Candy Apple Onion Plants
Goblin Eggs Gourds
Wando Pea
Galeuse D Eysines Pumpkin
Small World Of Color Blend Pumpkin
Rumbo Hybrid Squash
Autumn Explosion Hybrid Indian Corn
Phantom Hybrid Pumpkin
Rouge Vif D Etampes Pumpkin
Smr 58 Cucumber
Gremlins Gourds
Lunch Lady Gourds
Little Gem Romaine Lettuce
Homemade Pickles Cucumber
World Of Color Blend Pumpkin
Copra Hybrid Onion Plants
Contender Bush Bean
Jack Be Little Pumpkin
Espada Bush Bean
California White Garlic
Autumn Wings Blend Gourds
Wee Be Little Miniature Pumpkin
Honey Bear Hybrid Acorn Squash
Jungs Sweet Repeat Leaf Lettuce Mix
Red Warty Thing Pumpkin

You, see? The Gardening Bug has really flared up this year. It is a fairly common disease, most likely passed on through recessive genes in the parents. I know I inherited it from my mother. Half of these seeds are hers and she is still eying the broccoli and potatoes at our local greenhouses.

And to think how my brother and I used to groan about her gardening projects and now, instead of finding a cure or somehow trying to relieve her symptoms, I’m making the illness worse by saying “MOM, look at the sale on blueberry bushes! We could buy 100 of them and start selling blueberries next year!”

Mom and I would picture ourselves on the most beautiful July day casually going along picking berries in the sunshine, with a gentle breeze gliding by fluttering our hats, while the dog and the cat run and play at our feet. The reality would occur three years later when the bushes are finally mature enough to be picked. Mom and I would be staggering in the heat, grimy from the dirt and the sand, our hands blue and our faces blistering. At least I’ve realized the reality but that doesn’t stop me from running after my crazy gardening dreams, for example the multitude of pumpkin and gourd seeds I ordered. Which I should have seen as a symptom of a much more refined strain of the gardening bug.

Last year, I moved back home again to Indiana, and my Gardening Bug developed into a specific strain, I refer to as Gourdidous.

The crazy amount of pumpkins I had in 2011.

More Pumpkins and the Indiana Sky

Gourdidous is a strain of the more common Gardening Bug, in which the afflicted person becomes obsessed with growing pumpkins and gourds. The afflicted person may focus on one variety of pumpkin or gourd, such as giant pumpkins, or they may be distracted by a wide variety of pumpkin and gourd plants. Be aware that such individuals with gourdidous may deposit pumpkins on your doorstep and display a ridiculous amount of gourds and pumpkins outside and inside their home weeks before the onset of fall. They may inflict pumpkin and gourd recipes on you, and become very upset should their pumpkins be given away, sold, or destroyed even with their permission.

Josh is still not sure about sphagetti squash and my dad gave the dish a less than approving eye (and he eats everything). When a local gentleman who sells pumpkins at fairs and festivals offered to buy some of my stock, I was overjoyed. But when the fruits were gone, I had a minor freakout, even though he gave me a fair deal. How could he take my precious gourds!?

But this year, I feel more prepared, not only for planting, but also for letting go. I have learned it is okay to let go of your gourds. Less they become squishy puddles of fowl smelling goo a few months later. Others afflicted by Gourdidous should realize that the rise in temperature, the sloshing of your stomach, and the closing off of your throat because your gourds are gone are temporary. Pumpkins can be grown again the next year and that is part of the joy of it.

This year there should be tons to go around.

Maybe I should check that seed catalog again.

Sparkplug, the assistant gardener will help me.

He’s such a great helper, look at those muddy claws!

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