Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lesbian Squash and Other Gardening Issues

I knew that title would get your attention. The neighbors' squash plants have a proliferation of blooms. But, we turned over all the leaves to examine them, and all the blossoms are female. Not a male among them. And this does not bode well for squash production, because you need at least one male flower in there to pollinate the female flowers. Without that all important male flower, you can't even practice forced flower sex with a Q-tip or paint brush. My husband, a gardening rookie was shocked to find that this was a concern. Ahhhh, the complicated and stressful life of a gardener. My squash plants are not to the point of flowering yet, so that is one worry I can put off.

But production has started. I have a half grown Ichiban eggplant.

A quarter sized Barlow Jap tomato.

Quite a few Sweet Pickle peppers.

And a bell pepper the size of a marble.

The Undead Tomato has been transplanted to a BIG pot, and has taken up residence in the garden. It's mate (which I snapped off during transplanting) is doing just as well and has set a teeny tiny tomato.

Of course there's lots more stuff growing in the garden. I just got my bean poles sanded and painted (thanks Honey, I would have gotten to it) and back up. These will support the Painted Lady pole beans from beans I saved for two years. I have red clover planted in the bed, and an artichoke in the center.

My own squash beds are doing fine, and the Borage I planted between them is just about ready to bloom and draw all sorts of beneficial pollinators to my wide expanse of gravel.

The cucumber and bush bean bed is lush and thriving.

And construction has progressed with the completion of the pergolas over the gates.

We even have benches to sit on which is really a necessity since we all end up congregating in the garden on evenings and weekends. We've looked at a lot of benches over the past two weeks, and settled on these for three reasons. They were very inexpensive, can be painted if they need a freshening up, and fold completely flat for winter storage. I plan to either get or make cushions for them, but right now, they are nice for setting down a wine glass.

Tim is working on attaching tight woven rabbit proof fence along the bottom 2 feet of the perimeter, and I have taken to worrying about early blight and bacterial speck. No sign of them yet, nor is there any powdery mildew. I've been pruning the tomato plants religiously, and got up early this morning to spray everything with a dilution of baking soda, oil, and castile soap.

I'm going completely organic this year. I've used some bone meal around the maters to ward off blossom end rot, and I've fertilized once with a fish and sea weed fertilizer. My next project it to run some compost through the sifter and dress the beds where digging has brought the bare soil to the top allowing weeds to grow. All in all, the weeds are still in check.

1 comment:

  1. Well, the good news is if you end up with a male squash or two, you can offer shipped stamen!
    I crack myself up. Really, I'll try to control myself.