Pumpkins and pigweed

Pumpkin harvest

Today, the pumpkins came in, wrested from a jungle of pigweed gone wild. Every year, a few of the 40 50′x50′ sections that make up the 2.5 acre garden get a little overrun with one weed or another (usually, pigweed). This year’s pumpkin patch was a good example, with pigweed growing unchecked for a good six weeks—no time made to weed, not IMPORTANT enough a crop—until today, when Raechelle used the belly-mounted 52″ mower deck on the Kubota compact tractor to mow it down!

Mowing pigweed

Of course, this is exactly what you DON’T EVER DO in a garden: allow weeds to flourish and go to seed, then mow them down, broadcasting seed everywhere… Oh, well. The alternative, pulling the pigweed by hand, then carting it off, we also do when necessary—see the Pigweed Mountain—but once in a while, I go for the instant gratification of seeing a section clean and clear in an hour or two. The millions of pigweed seeds, ensuring healthy future generations for years to come, will be dealt with…later. (As long as we weed on time next time around, how bad can it get?! :) Anyhow, it’s all part of the grand experiment! Guest pumpkin photo by Lynn.

Raechelle and the Kubota compact tractor

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5 Responses to “Pumpkins and pigweed”

  1. There is something to be said about instant gratification and weeds.  I have been known to let the goats in so they can in a day do what it would take me many days.  Once in a while I will also let our giant thistles bloom because they are  just so darn pretty in flower…then when I see all those fluffy thistle seeds blowing in the wind I know I will have to pay the piper come spring!  Terrific blog I enjoy it daily!

  2. alan says:

    I’m with you on the “don’t ever allow this to happen in your garden” bandwagon.  Unfortunately, it seems to be the reality on most of the micro-farms I am aware of, including my own.  Thanks for showing it how it is!  Weeds happen to the best of us.  Next year will be better…?

  3. Joan says:

    golly that’s a cute tractor!

  4. gardeningwannabee says:

    Over at the Soil, Compost & Mulch forum at http://www.gardenweb.com, a link was posted to this paper on weeds as guardians of the soil.  Maybe an experiment is in order with some of that pigweed!

  5. Tamara says:

    Wondering if i could use one of your photos for a noxious weed presentation we are offering as part of our Forest Stewardship Program at WSU Extension, Snohomish County, Washington. The picture we are interested in is the picture of the woman mowing weeds. The meassage is the same and that is to discourage this method for weed removal. Any questions please email me at tneuffer@wsu.edu

    Thanks
    Tamara

  6. jess says:

    I was wondering if you can use corn gluten (a natrual, pre-emergent herbicide) to prevent the pig weed seeds from sprouting after mowing down the plants? I have used “Gardens Alive” products for this, in a home garden setting.

    Best Wishes,
    Jessie
    A P.A. gardener. BTW, I’m starting a pumpkin patch this year. Wish me luck!

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Please note: If you've posted a comment just to get a link to an unrelated sales site, like, for hair products or school essays or miracle fat loss cream, and the comment itself seems reasonably relevant, I'll leave the comment and remove the link. It's like...weeding! :)

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