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26 Oct 2011

Caged pumpkin babies

Sometimes life for a big pumpkin begins in a small cage . . .
Category: General
Posted by: christina

Up the back, in what will eventually be the "food forest", Christina is planting pumpkins to ramble and help tame the weeds between young fruit trees. The method is to lay down wet newspaper over the grass, then a thick layer of straw and rabbit poo from the rabbit runs, then a big puddle of compost, then plant a few seeds. The seeds are then covered with cages (upturned cheapo wire baskets from chicken feed). This protects them from being dug up and dispersed by blackbirds that love to dig through the compost and mulch looking for worms.

Once the babies outgrow their cages, they are usually big enough to withstand the scratching. As the vines grow and start to spread the mulch layer is expanded to cover the ground just in front of them. This helps suppress the weeds, and feed the soil life, as well as the pumpkin vines.

Its still miraculous to us that those seeds produce those big leaves, eventually a vigorous brazen vine, and finally a huge pumpkin full of hundreds more seeds. Amazing!

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