Monday, July 27, 2009

Male vs. Female

I finally have some male flowers on my cucumbers- yippee! So you know what that means- cucumbers! For those who don't know much about cucumbers, they require pollination (at least this type does). Therefore, you must have both male and female flowers. I have mostly female, but I have recently seen 2-3 male flowers show up. So as long as you've got both genders and insects or bees to do the pollinating, you're in business. Of course you want to have mostly females, since males can pollinate more than one female, and the more female flowers you have, the more potential cucumbers you have! Now I've got cukes almost big enough to eat on the vines! Yay! Soon I'll be trying to give them away as I've done with my sugar snap peas and am now starting to approach with my haricot verts.

Here is a drawing of what male vs. female cucumber flowers look like. Note the teeny tiny undeveloped cucumber-shaped stem that the female flower has. This is what eventually turns into the part you eat. So now you know a little more about cucumbers. Cheers!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Newest Addition

We added a new plant to the garden last weekend- a St. Croix Grape. This vine is planted on the trellace where one of the Japanese Honeysuckle did not come back from last year.

St. Croix Grape is a blue-fruited, hardy variety that was developed here in Minnesota. It produces clusters of medium sized grapes that ripen in early to mid-september. This variety is good for wine, as a fresh-eating table grape, as well as for making preserves.
I am excited to give them a try! Who knows, maybe I'll be doing this next year! ;) Cheers!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Aphid Wars

I discovered some aphids hanging out on the undersides of my soybean leaves a few days ago. . . and while they're not causing any major problems right now, I want them gone before they do. So, I've been chasing after them with soapy water in a spray bottle- but that hasn't been working very well. So today I got them good with my garden hose- I put it on one of the higher pressure spray settings and blasted those buggers. I think I got most of them off, but it's hard to tell- those things lurk around every corner! After the water blast, I applied another layer of soapy water. We shall see. . . . as long as they don't touch my tomatoes. ;)

The rest of the garden is doing great- I've got about 15 female cucumber flowers, but not a single male. . . I just need one. . . I think I remember having this problem 2 years ago with these cukes too.

Golf ball sized tomatoes on most of my plants, and so far no bacterial speck.

The leaf lettuce is still kicking.

Sugar snap peas are going gangbusters. I need to find some recipes to use them up.

Haricot verts- oooh, they're coming along. . . we will have tasty green beans on the table in a few days. yum!

Peppers and eggplant are starting to flower, and the Chilly Chili's have a few peppers even.

Carrots- wonderful greens, but nothing under the earth yet.

Marigolds- I love the jaguars, they look awesome.

Amber kiss and other violas are blooming too.

Giant Cactus zinnias are blooming and lots more buds coming! State Fair zinnias have buds

It's coming along! Can't wait 'til tomato season!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Garden Progress

Well, it has been 2 weeks since the last update, thus it is time for a new set of photos from the garden. Things have been growing nicely with the heat wave we just had, and now with the milder temps back in the area, the lettuce and peas are loving it. A few pictures are worth a few thousand words. . .

Here is Bed C- Giant Syrian, Todd County Amish, Big Beef, and Lemon Boy tomatoes in the back. Carrots, chives, snaps, marigolds, and chilly chili peppers in the front. The bell pepper is hiding behind the chives- see if you can find it.

Bed E- mostly haricot verts. Eggplant in the middle, one renegade blooming onion from last year, along with a zinnia, a few snaps, some marigolds, and a dahlia in the front.Bed L- lettuce in front (note one variety is missing- went to seed). Cukes on the trellace, peas going like gangbusters in the background. Zinnia in the back, leeks on the left, marigolds, snaps, and peppers on the right. Bed T- Cherokee Purple, Earl's Faux, Brandywine, and Kellogg's Breakfast tomato varieties in the back. Parsnips on the left, zinnias on the right, Edamame scattered throughout. Chilly chili peppers and snaps in the front. Next, on to the individual photos:

Peas- going crazy right now. Finally.

Haricot verts- flowering means french beans on the dinner table will be right around the corner!
Cukes climbing their teepee trellace I made them.

My first tomato of the year, about the size of a small marble on my Big Beef plant:

Carrots. . . I love how delicate their greenery is.

And last but not least, Z is for zinnia. One of my favorite flowers in the garden budding. . .