26 Sep

It’s been awhile since I visited my blog.  Just didn’t have the time, or the energy when I did have the time.  We have been deeply rooted into wedding planing of late so that’s where all my time has gone.  We are now at 13 days and counting.

We did manage to plant broccoli, brussels sprouts, green cabbage, red cabbage, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers.  At the moment the rows are neat and clean, free of vines, weeds and grass.  It’s just 4 little rows so surely I can keep up with that.

I learned a very valuable lesson with the pumpkins that I plan on not repeating.  The absolutely most important thing to remember when growing pumpkins (or any plant that puts out runners) is to make sure your space is as clean and cleared of any and all other living plants as possible.  Once those runners are out there, any kind of weeding must be done by hand.  And absolutely no mulch around you plants, that excessive moisture brings the powdery mildew plus the bugs love it. Very quickly on we realized we wouldn’t be able to get any piece of heavy equipment out there to clear up between the rows and that it was ridiculous for me to try to get it cleaned up by hand.  I tried that remember?

So I started talking to other farmers at the Farmers Market, especially the ones that came with other vine growing produce, like watermelon.  They looked at me like I was crazy for asking how they kept their fields clear of weeds in and among all the vine growing produce. Every one of them said we don’t weed, just leave it alone, it’ll keep your pumpkins from getting sun bleached. Well  I think I bought into that mainly because I was tired of fighting the weeds, cause that’s what we did, left it alone.  Let me tell you why any form of weeds or unwanted growth is a bad thing in your garden and should be avoided like the plague.  BUGS!!!!!!!  It’s a great cover for bugs, which as we all know is way more unwanted than weeds.

Between the powdery mildew, the overabundance of weeds, and the bugs, let’s just say we won’t be getting too many pumpkins out of that patch.  You know it’s okay, that’s how things go sometimes on a farm, it’ll all work itself out in the end.

A few weeks back Paw paw mosied on over to the Tractor Supply close to Longview to pick up one of the last remaining rototillers of the season.  As they were loading it up on the trailer he and the salesman began to talk.  Wouldn’t you know it, the guy has a 3 acre pumpkin patch, and it’s doing very well!  So of course the burning question came up as to how in the heck did he keep his patch clear of weeds?  He very calmly replied, “Man, I have 5 kids for that.”


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