As my pumpkins grow, I want them to be comfortable. Cozy. I want them to stretch out without encumbrance. The easy solution is to keep adjacent rows clear and “open” with my handy-dandy black paper. This prevents the vines from running into other plants. Easy enough, but I’m afraid it might overheat my sweet baby pumpkins. As an alternative, I’ve planted my pumpkins in the end rows next to the grass borders, giving them plenty of room to spread. Grass is nice and comfy, right?
But my grass is filled with weeds, weeds that grow tall and fast. From experience, I’ve learned the two (pumpkin vines and weeds) are incompatible because as your vines grow and the grass grows, your pumpkin leaves get overwhelmed by the mess growing up from below. You can’t mow under them. You can’t clip the weeds free. Last year at the school garden, the kids and I placed lattice beneath them which seemed to help, but I don’t have enough of the stuff for my home garden. Remember, we’re talking 100 ft. X 4o ft. That’s a lot of lattice!
So I’ve decided on burlap. I’ve used it in the past as an organic bug repellent. Yep, covered my cabbage with the stuff to keep the cabbage moths at bay. Since there are no cabbage in the garden at the moment (WAY too hot), I thought what better way to use what I have sitting idle in the garden shed than to cover the ground with burlap? It’s perfect!
They look happy, don’t they?
I think so. I’ll keep you posted as they grow. This particular variety is a Seminole pumpkin, a smaller version used for baking and such. At first I thought the white stuff on the leaves was fungus, but I think it’s supposed to be there. 🙂
At the other end of the garden I have my Big Max Jack-o-lantern style pumpkins. Kids LOVE those and we do like to keep the kids happy! (Keeps the “weed mutiny” to a minimum). This morning I noticed a beautiful pumpkin bloom on one of these big guys…
Almost looks like a day lily, doesn’t it? I love the golden color. Sign of a beautiful squash pumpkin to come? 😉