I had two pumpkin patches operating. Now I have one.
I made a simple error with the first, I didn’t remove the weeds before I planted the pumpkin seeds and my pumpkin seeds started pushing up daisies.
The garden is at the back of a rental property on the south coast of New South Wales, about 2 hours south of Sydney, Australia. The soil is generally fertile in a region famous for dairy farming and viticulture, although the garden had been stripped of much of its nutrients when I moved in, courtesy of the previous tenant’s neglect and a dry winter. The garden attracts quite a lot of sun, during very warm summer months and even during colder winter months in what is typically a temperate climate. The area is also famous for beaches and surfing, which is great after a day of hard yakka in the garden.
The weeds grew so quickly that they started to strangle the little pumpkin shoots. I should really thank the previous tenant for letting the weeds take over – thanks a lot. I tried to remove the individual weeds but it was hard to do without removing the pumpkin shoots themselves, so I rolled up the sleeves and dug up the whole garden bed. Nothin like a bit of hard yakka on a spring afternoon.
After sweating out my frustration, I went for a swim.
I knew this garden would teach me. In this case it reminded me of the importance of preparation and patience. I was too impatient to plant the pumpkin seeds, which I’d saved from pumpkins I bought from the local supermarket. I was also too excited once I saw the shoots breaking through the shallow trenches I had dug in the soil.
Fortunately, the second pumpkin patch is doing well. It was well weeded before planting and the second batch of saved pumpkin seeds are reaching eagerly for the sky. I placed thick layers of newspaper either side of the seed trenches in the hope that this would suppress any weeds and stop them from encroaching upon the plants.
I planted pumpkins because…I like pumpkins. Also, because they can form the substance of a meal and, after a hard day’s work in the garden, everyone needs a hearty meal. Who knows, if I can grow enough, maybe I can sell them next year to the neighbours with a newly acquired fascination for Halloween.
I left a lot of space between the two pumpkin beds and other garden beds, knowing that pumpkins need a lot of space to spread and grow. I’ll also need a lot of space for the plant I will soon put into the first garden bed.
What will be planted in the first pumpkin patch now that it is devoid of pumpkins? You’ll have to wait and see.