The Pumpkin Patch and My Girls

For a number of years I have been thinking about growing pumpkins. I use a lot of them in the Fall to decorate, and they are also very good to eat. They store well and they are fun. But the idea of digging a big garden has put me off. Pumpkins like to sprawl out and they need lots of space. Even with permaculture it would be a lot off cardboard, etc. So I have never done it.

Then this year I started thinking about my girls. I had always intended that they would be free range chickens. But swooping hawks and other predators have given me second thoughts. I also have gardens everywhere and fencing each of them to protect them from scratching hens would be a lot of work and I don’t want caged gardens. My girls have a run and a coop (Cluckingham Palace) but they don’t have access to grass or worms. And they get bored. I would need a moveable fence, so I could let them scratch away at the grass for a while and them move them to a new place and let the grass recover. Unless I WANTED the grass cleared…for a pumpkin patch perhaps…wait a minute. I am starting to get an idea!

The girls would be more than happy to remove the grass from the pumpkin patch, and they would fertilize it as they went! Yes!

So I staked out an area.

Got some poles and wire fencing.

And got some help. Bill agreed to help put it all together.
We used wooden stakes left over from another project for the corners, and metal poles in between.

It went up quickly.

I put in some water and a nesting box and we put bird netting over the top. Clothespins held it in place. We left a bit of a gate with the overlapping wire.

I went up to get the girls. They were a bit suspicious.

But they LOVED it! They were very happy girls…doing what chickens do.

It is still a few weeks before pumpkins can go in….plenty of time. I will start the pumpkins in bottomless pots (an idea from Bealtaine Cottage) and when the girls are finished, I will put down some compost and use the pots instead of hills. Put some straw down around the pots and I have my pumpkin patch!

Thanks girls!


About patti

I am a retired kindergarten teacher, tending a new kind of garden now, raising chickens and exploring permaculture. I live with my husband, Bill, my beloved dog, Fergus and my cat, Mighty Merlin. We have a small cottage and a tiny bit of land called Brookwood Shire. It is our sanctuary.
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7 Responses to The Pumpkin Patch and My Girls

  1. CLEVER!! They do look happy!

  2. wspines says:

    Great job, they will clear that for you in no time. See you Tuesday night,

  3. pattigail says:

    I think they will. Such clever and useful girls! See you Tuesday. Patti

  4. Oh happy days – they can scratch and nibble to their hearts content. Well done.

  5. Pingback: Spring to Summer..too fast! | Life at Brookwood Shire

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