Why are the pumpkin leaves changing colors?
This week I went up to Challenger Elementary to check out our pumpkins. I found some interesting changes. First, the irrigation seemed to be working pretty well. The strawberries looked great. There was even a couple of ripe berries, which my son, Riley, immediately grabbed and gobbled up. Not fair. When I tested the irrigation there were 4 fountains of water spraying up from the strawberries. The sprinkler heads had blown off from all of the water pressure. I was able to find them and screw them on a little tighter. Hopefully, that will fix the problem. Next, I noticed quite a few weeds popping up. Luckily I brought Ella and Riley. We all pitched in and began working on clearing the weeds to give the pumpkins more room to grow. Pretty soon everything was cleared. The last thing we did was an examination of the pumpkins in our two gardens. Ella took some photos for me.
Some of the plants seemed to be discolored. The leaves were changing color. They were turning yellow. I don’t think this is a normal growth pattern. I guess it’s time to start thinking like a scientist. What do you think it means?
I found a few plants were eaten a little and a lot. The plant above was pretty devastated. It looked like it had been munched on by something. Before school ended the class was worried about a local bunny eating them, but I think that’s very unlikely. If a rabbit was eating them they’d be gone. A rabbit would completely destroy a young plant. This is something different. What kind of pest could be feasting on the pumpkins?
Most of our pumpkins did look pretty healthy, but I did continue to notice a difference between the 2 gardens and the variety of pumpkins. Here’s the data we ended with in June. It demonstrated a big difference in germination rates.
If you look closely at the run charts you can see that Garden 1 seeds germinated much quicker than Garden 2. Why was that? Well students hypothesize that it was due to the amount of sunlight. Garden 1 received much more during the day than Garden 2. We don’t know for sure if this is the main factor effecting growth, but it’s a pretty reasonable prediction. Below you can see a visible difference in the size of the plants in Garden 1 versus Garden 2.
Also, I noticed that the Snowball pumpkin plants seemed larger than the Kandy Korn. Why is this? You can see this in the Garden 1 picture. The Snowball pumpkins are in the 2nd and 4th rows. Also, you’ll notice it in the Garden 2 photo. The Snowball plants are in rows 1 and 3 (counting from right to left). They’re more developed.
Stay tuned for more garden news. Send a comment if you think you have ideas or feedback worth sharing.