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Can you give any inexpensive non-chemical options as we prepare a 2 acre site for a charity Pumpkin Patch? (It has been dormant for almost 9 years)

We have just received the delightful gift of the free use of a partner farmer's 2 acre field for this fundraising event. We plan to plant next weekend utilizing youth groups doing community service hours. Once the field is mowed & turned, the farmer has advised us that weeds will rapidly take over. We would prefer to avoid the use of chemical weed killers, but the farmer has always used Round-Up or Gly-4. With such a short time span and zero prep time available prior to planting...do you have any healthier suggestions for our dedicated, hard-working , but inexperienced team of new pumpkin growers? Question #2: Just in case our efforts (or Mother Nature!) result in less than excellent results...can you suggest an honorable, honest and charitably-minded Pumpkin Grower whom we might need to contact to possibly supply an 'emergency delivery' for our event if needed?
Last Updated: May 14, 2012  |  13 Views

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For a two acre plot, covering with mulch will be a big task however, a thick layer of mulch could be applied to the field.  This is much more labor intensive than spraying with an herbicide, but it certainly is better environmentally.  You could use straw, plastic sheeting (more expensive), thick newspapers or sometimes the townships have leaf collections which produce good mulch--they might even deliver if they know your cause.  After mulching, plant the seeds in rows and in openings in the mulch cover.  The only alternative would be to weed the worst and most offensive weeds as they appear.  The pumpkin plants themselves might squeeze out some of the weeds.

Answered by Aska GardenerBookmark and Share

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