Diary of a Rocket Gardener – Yellow Leaves?

yellow leaves on squash and pumpkins

Well, I should have learnt from this last year with my courgettes, but I got it wrong again! A few weeks ago I planted two pumpkin plants in a grow bag. I didn’t want them to grow too big and my intention is to cut off the growing vines as soon as I’ve got two or three fruits on each plant. Things were going well and my pumpkins were flourishing. Then, a week or so ago I noticed that some of the leaves were turning yellow. I didn’t think much of it and put it down to not having watered them well enough during that hot week we had. But the leaves have been turning more and more yellow. And then it dawned on me…the poor things were malnourished!

I was a bit surprised as they are still quite young and since they’re in a grow bag I thought they’d be fine. But a little research made it clear that grow bags and compost bags run out of nutrients quite quickly, within a few weeks. I wasn’t sure whether they’d be better off in a raised bed, in a big pot of compost or remaining in their grow bag with a liquid feed. In the end I decided to pop them in a raised bed. I dug up some potatoes so I had a little space, and I’ve re-planted the poor pumpkins giving them a few handfuls of fresh compost at the same time.

I hope that within a few days they will be looking healthier again, but I’m also conscious that there could be problems with the leaves being sunburnt or scorched because they really do get the full sun all day. There are also one or two other things that I thought they might be struggling with. One is Yellow Vine Disease, but I think since it’s only affected a couple of leaves it won’t be this. The other is Downy Mildew but this would have a more patchy appearance. So fingers crossed it’s just a nutrient deficiency and they’ll sort themselves out now that they have access to plenty of nutrients in the soil.