Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cool as a Cucumber - Week 7

 Since this is my first garden I am quickly learning by trial and error, and next year I will know better than to plant everything so close together.  I have finally trained my melons and my cucumber vines to grow in the opposite direction of everything else.  So far they are listening to me.

This week we pruned the tomato plants, and tied a few of them up to prevent them from laying on the ground, which I have read will spoil the fruit. 

This was my harvest this week.  The strawberries never last long.  I basically eat them as soon as I clean them.  We shared broccoli with our neighbors.

I steamed broccoli for dinner. After steaming I found that we had broccoli caterpillars...nothing like having to tell your neighbors..."oh, by the way there may be bugs in your broccoli...enjoy!"  I looked it up, and apparently this is normal. We have not sprayed for insects.  Kyle put sevindust on once and I about flipped out.  I want my garden to be as organic as possible.  The way I see it is  that the worms won't kill you..protein right?  I guess you'll only get your protein if you actually eat the worms, which I wouldn't recommend, but that's just me.  Anyway, if you soak your vegetables in salt water the worms will die and float to the top, or you can do like I did and steam 'em to death.

My cucumber blooms turned into actual cucumbers this week.

I had no idea that they grew from the vines this way.  The male blooms appear first. The female flowers appear within a week or two.  The females are the blooms that appear with the cucumber shaped swelling at the base.  This is what will become the cucumber.  The male blooms fall off leaving only the female flowers to produce the vegetables. 

This is the largest cucumber I have.

I love to see how the vines intertwine...

This picture is actually two is much higher growing downward, while one is from a vine on the ground that grew upward.  They met in the middle and knotted themselves together.

This is my first week with Bradley tomatoes

I picked these strawberries today.  
Making a total of 7 berries harvested this week.  
This was actually my dinner tonight...with a glass of wine.

I only have three strawberry plants, and they seem to continue to produce fruit.

I read a helpful tip this week about growing strawberries.  If you have or have had strawberry plants you know that you plant one central plant.  As it grows it produces runners.  In this picture I am holding a runner.  They generally are long, straight stems running from your plant and are often reddish in color, or green.  The runners create baby strawberry plants which suck the nutrients from the centralized plant preventing it from producing fruit.  Finding and removing the runners is simple..the runner is always longer, generally flat on the ground and running from the base of the central plant.  Find the runner and follow it all the way to the base and pinch it off right there at the base of the plant. This week I pinched all of my runners.  I'm anxious to see if it makes a difference.

Why try explaining miracles to your kids 
when you can just have them plant a garden - Robert Brault

Thanks for stopping by!


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