And a request for advice.
We planted our first garden this year, taking a run at putting what the charts show was once farmland (into the early 20th Century, I believe) back into productive use.
We acquired books on the subject, interrogated wise mentors, borrowed a rototiller to break ground (just once--rototilling every year kills off essential worms, fungi and other creepy things living in your soil you're probably better off not knowing too much about) and planted the seeds.
Dale3 planted pumpkins, Maddie and Rachel greenbeans, and Heather tomatoes.
Me? I'm the organic weedkiller. Me and Mr. Fiskars, the weed world's equivalent of an axe-murderer.
Mine's different, and cheaper, but does just dandy. Especially after being frustrated by efforts to remove them by hand. There's something immensely satisfying about tearing them out with a tempered steel claw.
I am also the custodian of the flowerboxes. I planted our Joseph's Coat rosebush seedling, trimmed our healthy yellow rose bush, weed amongst the peonies, Black-eyed Susans and the new royalty of the flowerbox: the volunteer sunflower plants, of which we have seven in various levels of height from dinky to snowline.
It's all going pretty well for all of the above.
In one case, much too well. Specifically, Trip's pumpkins, which have spread like the British Empire, unintentionally but inexorably, to cover 25% of the garden's surface.
None of the other plants are threatened for the moment (perhaps a vegetative modus vivendi?), but I need to trim it back a bit to start forcing pumpkin growth and to prevent the krynoid from deciding it must eliminate all of the fauna to create a world that is silent, green and beautiful.
But I want to do it without mortally wounding the plant or something vital. I nearly snuffed three of the sunflowers when I replanted them, so I'd like to avoid a reprise of that.
Anyone have any experience with pruning pumpkin vines and raising the rapacious gourds? Your input would be much appreciated.
And we all know the Brigadier's laser is worthless, so let's check that one off the list.