Surprise, a la Dear Old Dad!

Okay, I think my father has had his annual joke on me, and this time it's a doozy!
Of course, it could have been anyone, strangers walking/driving by...... but we do tend to plant something odd in each others garden to surprise each other, every year. :).
I bought a crabapple tree to plant on the sidewalk to street part of my yard. So first I had my usual and VERY handy friendly and inexpensive pal till the area to plant it. He tilled quite a bit more than I expected, so along with the tree, (about 4-5' tall now and doing very well), I had planted some hollyhocks and foxgloves on the outer edge. with salvia, dusty miller, dianthus, gerberas, balloon flowers, snapdragons, around the middle and caladiums on the sidewalk side. ALL of these are doing so well, and there is plenty of cypress mulch to keep out weeds.
All of a sudden one day, even though the hollyhocks had not quite flowered, I noticed what I thought at the time was another small hollyhock starting to grow. I thought, well that was quick. Hmmmmmm.... maybe, just maybe, there was another tiny one, or more likely a bit of root I had missed when transferring it from the pot to ground....
The leaves weren't quite the same as they grew, and soon enough I realized it was something in the squash family! I figured my Dad put in some zucchini or yellow squash as he knows I love both, but have forgone my veggie garden this year to devote to my landscaping and flower gardening projects. It just seemed like a funny-odd place to plant a zucchini. ;)
Heh, both Mother Nature and I have been making sure it gets plenty of water, and it's out in the open with no shade, so full bright sunlight every day! Growing like crazy, tons of little squash blossoms starting to come out! I'm actually HAPPY!
Went out yesterday after not paying it much attention, for about a week or so, as the whole 'patch' is doing well, (aside from this plant covering a few dusty millers and salvias, and it is starting to encroach on other plants there.......<hackles are raising> <grrr>)
Pulled up one of the *little* "squash blossoms", do I have zucchini, or yellow squash?
Nope, I gots me the very first of this years PUMPKIN PATCHES!!!!!
I'm gonna kill him, as I just know it was him!!
Like I said, it *could* have been anyone, and I didn't think anyone would go around spittin out zucchini/squash seeds...<lol>....but I just have this funny feeling, as he's had a little too much NON-interest on guessing what was coming up there!
So, okay, I've never grown pumpkins. I have a few questions.
Will this thing take over my whole flower patch?
It's about 4-5 ft from the crab apple tree, so I'm not worried about that too much, or should I be?
Do ppl usually plant pumpkins this time of year?
When will the little (almost baseball sized) 'fruits' become real big pumpkins?
Will these be like 'labo-lanterns' as in ready by Labor Day? Or does it take them longer? I can't see them not being big enough by the end of July, never mind August! Heh.
What would you do if this were your front garden? Remember it's right up next to the street, and the plant will certainly make it to the curb by the time it's done growing.
All of my neighbors are in stitches about it, but I really don't think they'd have done it as we just moved in last Sept., but who knows. <g>
Oh well, that's my new 'garden surprise' for this year, (hope it's my last----other than a wisteria that will finally bloom sometime in its lifetime.....my sweet peas will flower...my cardinal climber will bloom this summer....or my clematis will finally acclimate.)
Thanks for any advice.
MaryBeth
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"> Okay, I think my father has had his annual joke on me, and this time it's a

Another question about this new surprise I have growing, would anyone recommend that I use anything to hold my new 'fruits' up off the ground, to keep from rotting? Like old pantyhose? I know I used this for watermelon in the past, on a fence line. And for many other squash related fruits.
Thanks again, MaryBeth <still shakin her head>
PS I'm wondering how soon I could over fertilize his lawn for him during the night.....oh, wait, nevermind this is the Dad that 'fertilizes' every single lawn to green mush as soon as it starts to look nice....hmmmm.
Any other good ideas for planting something obnoxious, but not too big in his yard? Don't wanna do any damage, but just make it a minor 'pesky' problem. <rubby hands together>
MB
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mary this might blow your mind but before you go after dear old Dad let me tell you my story.
Same exact thing happened to me this Spring. There in my new primrose and foxglove bed appeared this wild thing growing I knew was some kind of squash family member. I couldn't let it take over my new plants so I transplanted it to a very fertile spot near a composting log pile. It loves it there by the way. Come to find out my neighbor had been giving the local birds pumpkin seeds. We also have allot of squirrels that travel back and forth raiding our bird feeders and digging holes everywhere they feel like. Best we could figure it was planted by one of those pesky squirrels. So before you kill your Dad it might be from a squirrel or even a bird that dropped it in flight? BYW there was a long debate on this newsgroup about if mine would turn orange or become some green stripped mutant a while back and so far there are several of the green stripped variety. I have a bet going with my brother so this is just an experiment. I would suggest you move it where it will have lots of room to spread out! And throw some cow manure around it and see what you get? Good luck Elaine in Ga Zone 7

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Elaine wrote:

We grow green striped pumpkins about every other year. Down here in the south they're called cushaws, easier for us to grow than the big, old squash they call pumpkins. Make good pies, good as a side dish, etc.
George
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oh yeah here is a picture of when it was small. http://home.bellsouth.net/p/s/community.dll?ep34&fileid 08839&groupid16665&folderid$2824&curRec=3&folderview=thumbs&ck I'll get an up to date picture of the new fruit if you like. Elaine in Ga

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

http://home.bellsouth.net/p/s/community.dll?ep34&fileid 08839&groupid16665&folderid$2824&curRec=3&folderview=thumbs&ck
Oh geeze that's so teeny compared to mine. I'm going to transfer it to the raised rows I had, (after tilling), put in, then gave up on veggies to concentrate on flowers and more landscaping this year.....next year the veggies go in, after we trim enough trees back there for more light.
I did find out it WAS my Dad, he admitted it to me, and I'm about to go grab his huge half barrel tomato plant, with tons of almost ready tomatoes, and place my pumpkin bed in another half barrel and put it where his toms are now!!! LOL
He's a buggar!
MaryBeth < I *knew it was too convenient to be a squirrel or a bird, to perfect a setting in my little front garden!>
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mary Beth,
Rather than over fertilizing his lawn, why don't you write a message in his lawn with fertilizer. This way, in a few weeks after a good rain, he will notice your love note to him mysteriously appearing in his front lawn.
Mark http://groups.google.com/group/Organic-Veggies
Mary Beth wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Ooooooooow I LIKE you !!! You think like we do!! LOL
Thanks for the laugh! MaryBeth
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.