We had been raising 15 healthy pumpkin vines in pots in anticipation of planting them when they got big enough. They finally got to a healthy size, so we planted them in a patch of our field that we had been preparing for a few weeks now.
This patch in particular had a lot of weeds. So rather than try to pull them out or rototil, I put a tarp over it for an extended period of time to deny the plants of sun and water. What developed under that tarp was a very unique eco-system, that consisted of a snake, a baby bunny, an unidentified animal (looked like a cross between a rat and a groundhog), hoards of toads, and many insect varieties.
When the pumpkin vines were big enough, we removed the tarp and planted each of them. The next morning, there were only 6 remaining. Our guess was that the baby bunny has a special craving for young pumpkin leaves. The 9 that had disappeared were completely devoured. Not even a little bit of stem was left.
In an attempt to save the surviving plants, I built these make shift ‘pumpkin cages’ that will remain over each pumpkin vine until they run out of space. These have been in effect for over a week now, and the plants are doing great.
Come Fall Harvest, it will be pumpkin pie for us all!!