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!
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!