I planted nine giant pumpkin plants last weekend. It may have been too soon to put them outside without a protective shelter, but I was afraid the tiny root balls were rotting. Why you ask?
About three weeks earlier I had repotted the seedlings into a larger pot temporarily because I was concerned the baby pumpkin plants had leached all of the nutrients from their seedling pots. And the larger pot, stolen from a gorgeous and coincidentally orange begonia, had bad drainage and the pumpkins were swimming in a slurry of enriched potting mix, Neptune's Harvest All-Natural Organic Fertilizer, and two weeks worth of water that hadn't been absorbed by the atmosphere of my home.
So, after working 30 quarts of cow manure into the freshly tilled soil, I transplanted the pumpkins outdoors. The plus side of the plants swimming in slurry was that they weren't root-bound. I smoothly eased each of the three clumps of pumpkins out of the pot they shared, dropped them into three freshly dug holes, and then scattered the soil slurry around the base of each freshly housed seedlings.
We've had two chilly nights, one rain storm, and several beautiful, temperate days. I've hand watered the plants twice.
I've examined the seedlings at length today. It appears as if one grouping is doing better than the other two. This group - made up of three plants - has fewer dried out leaves, more budding leaves/stalks out of the center of the plants, and was standing just a little taller.
I planted four watermelon plants nearby just to cover my bases in case none of the pumpkins survive.