Melons!

My heart beats faster when I see flowers on our squashes and melons. Today our first melons in the melon and squash bed began to flower!

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These were the first melons that we planted in the bed, and are still the only ones on their side of the row.  They are from seeds given to me by my friend Sheila, and are Kazakh Melons.  We’re excited to see them grow and are cheering for them!

In the eggplant lasagna bed next to it, the crookneck squash is flowering and the zucchini has a few flowers open.  We finally have a female flower coming!

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Notice on the right you can see a little zucchini under the bud.  Today when David and I went to the farmers market, we eyed the Safari zucchini’s  as that is what we have coming!  Having a cage over the zucchini seems to be helping keep the leaves from taking up so much space.  We’re optimistic that it will work and we’re hoping that we don’t have hungry bugs lurking in the yard.

We also have a tomato cage over the two acorn squash, and it’s been impressive to watch them climb.

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It’s been a long time since either of us has had space to grow winter squashes in our gardens. While looking at the acorn squash, David and I observed that in the crook of each leaf axis there are flowers.  Hopefully that will translate to lots of acorn squash.  We could research more, and are curious about the male to female ration for these, but it’s more fun to watch them grow each day than to read about them online.

Practically underneath the acorn squash, is the fenugreek.  This week I noticed a flower and a seed pod thingy sticking straight out (9 o’clock position).

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We have two other tiny fenugreek plants that were direct seeded next to this transplant. I know it doesn’t like to be transplanted, and it’s supposed to get about two feet tall.  This little flowering specimen is about six inches tall!  I’ve read that this legume can be harvested for their leaves as a microgreen, but my plan was to see how it grows and try to get seeds for the maple like flavor.  Time will tell.

Our garden has ants.  They are everywhere. They existed in the soil before we planted, and are common problems in California.  They don’t really bite, and they don’t seem to be doing much other than looking for water.  Hopefully we can co-exist.  Our lemon tree has ants and aphids working together as a team.  It’s not that great for the lemon tree, but it’s cool to watch and we still get fruit.

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You will notice ants in many of our pictures.  They walk over everything.  I followed their path back to the fence, and they seem to going into the neighbor’s yard. David and I are conscious of them when we water, or walk around barefoot.  And again, hopefully they won’t be a problem.

We’ve been paying close attention to holes in leaves and bugs that we see.

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I spotted this little guy on a marigold.  Also notice that someone’s been eating the leaf below it and leaving it’s maze-like trail.  I must read up on bugs in the garden this summer and would love advice and suggestions.

We have a few more tomatoes, peppers and tomatillos to plant. We need to buy a couple bags of soil and figure out where the pots can live for the summer.  I’d like to get it done this weekend, but it will probably be next week. The plants are still small, so there’s no hurry.

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The tomatoes in the backyard are flowering now!  The plants are strong and we’re pulling suckers.  The side yard tomatoes are growing bigger, with the largest one being purple and half dollar size (for those of you who know how big that is).  We have one more tomato to plant in the side yard, but we must pull out our remaining chard plant to put in the tomato.  David and I aren’t sure we want to eat that much chard this week, so we’ve been stalling.

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And lastly, our peppers are flowering furiously. It’s time to start buying canning jars, and I hope David likes pickled peppers!

Speaking of pickling, today David and I stopped at Penzys Spices and bought some pickling spice.  We’d never been to the store and were quite excited to see (and smell) the selection. He’s already planning how he can use some of the exotic spices with the food that we’re growing.

Time to get back out into the garden!

 

Hop

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5 thoughts on “Melons!

  1. Pingback: Siamese twin flowers, using the Roo and first pesto! | Life In Our Little LA Garden

  2. How do you tell the difference between male and female flowers on the zucchini plants? Seems I’d know by now, after all these years of a backyard garden … but I don’t!!

  3. That makes perfect sense. Thanks!! Now … is there a way to coax female flowers from the plant? I have a friend who gets gorgeous flowers on her zucchinis, but no fruit. I’m thinking she has all male flowers!

    • That’s a good question! I know some people pinch the male flowers (and eat them- yum!). Digging around on gardenweb.com, I found that sometimes it’s due to soil nutrients. However :”…there aren’t many ways to increase female production. Usually the more you harvest, the more females are produced. Sometimes that even shuts down the formation of male blossoms. Should that happen, you can sometimes trigger male production by allowing female(s) to continue to grow beyond the typical small-harvest-size. In a small planting, one or two of these fruits left on longer may give you enough males for continued pollen production.”

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