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Post  markqz on 9/13/2019, 8:26 pm

Day #27

Obviously the squash-type plants (and cucumbers) have taken over. This may be an every-day sort of thing for the rest of you, but it seems like a small miracle to me.

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Post  countrynaturals on 9/13/2019, 8:35 pm

Beautiful, Mark. Not every-day to me. I marvel at every exuberant plant -- even the weeds! Rolling Eyes
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Post  OhioGardener on 9/13/2019, 8:58 pm

I have been gardening/farming for over 6 decades, Mark, and I still marvel at nature at work. I drop a tiny tomato seed in the soil, and the plant grows to over 10' tall while producing a bushel of tomatoes. I push a few cucumber seeds in the soil at the base of the trellis, and end up with so many cucumbers that we have to give a lot of them to neighbors. I throw a bunch of vegetable scraps in the compost tumbler, and I take out a beautiful black gold compost full of microbial life that will feed the next generation of plants. I look through the microscope at a compost tea sample and see more microbes then can be counted, and ponder them in the Soil Food Web.  Nope, not every-day to me. As Albert Einstein said, "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
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Post  sanderson on 9/14/2019, 2:22 am

Mark, When I look at my summer garden I am amazed that a small handful of seeds could grow all of the big plants. For the winter garden, it's just a small spoonful of seeds as they are tiny.

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Post  markqz on 9/16/2019, 12:19 pm

Day 30. At this point you can barely see the soil, except in the front where the carrots and are and where the spinach isn't. I've started trimming some squash leaves to allow smaller plants a chance. I've harvested 3 radishes and one arugula leaf. Vining is starting to happen in the back and to the right (bamboo trellis, unseen). The squash (cell B2) is starting to show flowers/fruit. The corn needed to be stabilized so it would grow straight up. Otherwise it wants to lean out, which won't do it any good.

The days have gotten hot (high 80s, high humidity). A mid-day picture would show all the squash wilting. I'm hoping the squash will provide some shade for the peas, which will then come into their own about the time the temperatures drop. If they drop.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/16/2019, 6:02 pm

No, I think you are in the presence of people who don’t consider the wonder of nature an everyday thing!  Lovely!
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Post  markqz on 9/17/2019, 10:33 am

Three flowers on summer squash this morning.

Even on Mars, I'm no botanist. But I think they're all female. So ... they probably won't produce much?

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Post  markqz on 9/18/2019, 3:55 pm

Peas flowering. Alas, some inspects have started discovering the peas and other plants. These are really buried in the middle, so can't really train them to reach the trellis.

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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/18/2019, 8:08 pm

@markqz wrote:Three flowers on summer squash this morning.

Even on Mars, I'm no botanist. But I think they're all female. So ... they probably won't produce much?

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Mark, the one that I can see in profile is a female, which means if pollinated properly, it will result in a squash!!!  See that little swelling at the base of the one flower?  On the left?  I cant see at the bases of the other flowers.  But hey!  You are in business!  Do you have bees?
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Post  markqz on 9/18/2019, 11:26 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:Mark, the one that I can see in profile is a female, which means if pollinated properly, it will result in a squash!!!  See that little swelling at the base of the one flower?  On the left?  I cant see at the bases of the other flowers.  But hey!  You are in business!  Do you have bees?
The problem is, I don't think there are any males. Like it's doing the opposite of cucumber and generating only females.
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Post  markqz on 9/20/2019, 8:22 pm

To me, the "harvest by" days on the back of seed packets were always just a particularly cruel form of marketing, taunting me with something that would never happen. But this seems to be on track for harvest in 10 more days ...

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Post  OhioGardener on 9/20/2019, 8:50 pm

The Day to Maturity is a highly variable number.  In general, if the seed is direct sown, it is the number of days from when the seed germinates until it is ready for harvest; but, if it is started indoors and transplanted, it is the number of days from when it was transplanted until it is ready for harvest.  However, those number of days depend on when the seed was planted.  If the seed is started in the fall, for example, the days are shorter and it takes longer for the plant to mature so it is necessary to add about 14 days to the Days to Maturity the seed packet has on it. If it is a plant that requires warm/hot weather to mature, such as peppers or tomatoes, and they are planted too early in spring when it is still too cool, they will be temporarily stunted and it will take extra time for them to mature. So, the Days to Maturity is "It all depends..."
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Post  Scorpio Rising on 9/21/2019, 3:23 pm

So, any updates?
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Post  markqz on 9/21/2019, 5:37 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:So, any updates?

The summer squash seems to be coming along ...

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Post  markqz on 9/21/2019, 8:05 pm

My dad always said that to train a dog you had to be smarter than the dog.

Here I am, trying to train cucumbers. Question is, am I smarter than a cucumber?

Maybe a better question is, can I use pickling cucumbers for something besides ... pickling?

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Post  sanderson on 9/22/2019, 3:14 am

The squash and cucumbers are looking good. I grow Pickler cucumber (and soft-skinned, smooth Muncher) and eat them peeled of their prickly skin.

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Post  markqz on 9/22/2019, 8:18 pm

@sanderson wrote: I grow Pickler cucumber (and soft-skinned, smooth Muncher) and eat them peeled of their prickly skin.  

That is good to know. These pickles would not have been my first choice, but they were what I had.

Thanks!
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Post  markqz on 9/22/2019, 8:24 pm

First "fruit" harvest (e.g. not a leaf or root). 8 days earlier than projected 44 days on seed packet.

I was trying to get the ruler in the shot to show it was harvestable length, and not (just) that I'm impatient. Unfortunately, reflective surfaces are surprisingly hard to photo.

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Post  sanderson on 9/23/2019, 3:20 am

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Post  markqz on 9/24/2019, 11:01 pm

I didn't think bees were pollinating the plants -- hadn't seen many around. But this AM it was 60F outside and this critter was already working away. Unfortunately it's hiding a bit behind the stamen (or is it 'pistol'?), but you can see its little antennae peeking out.

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Post  yolos on 9/25/2019, 12:25 am

I see the bee.  Don't forget Mark that you can hand pollinate these squash so you do not have to have pollinators.  But of course you need a male and a female to do this.  I grow Parthenocarpic Zucchini because I keep mine covered with Tulle because of the dreaded Squash Vine Borer.
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Post  sanderson on 9/25/2019, 4:59 pm

Mark, I'm living my first year SFG through you!! I love you Everything was so wondrous.

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Post  sanderson on 9/25/2019, 5:02 pm

A photo of how Yolos covers her parthenocarpic zucchini squash. Mark's first SFG Bridal11

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Post  markqz on 9/25/2019, 7:02 pm

@sanderson wrote:A photo of how Yolos covers her parthenocarpic zucchini squash. Mark's first SFG Bridal11

Good night -- it's like the Fort Knox of zucchini!
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Post  markqz on 9/25/2019, 7:13 pm

@yolos wrote:I see the bee.  Don't forget Mark that you can hand pollinate these squash so you do not have to have pollinators.  But of course you need a male and a female to do this.  I grow Parthenocarpic Zucchini because I keep mine covered with Tulle because of the dreaded Squash Vine Borer.

The summer squash seemed to pollinate themselves even when they were all female. I wonder how that works?

I figured there must be multiple pollinators around, since the Native Americans were growing squash long before the European honey bee was brought over.

I'm wondering more about the cucumbers. Not sure if they're setting. Could I use a q-tip for pollinating?

Thanks!
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