Fordhook Zucchini

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Grey Zucchini - Update

June 29, 2011 -

Three of the four seeds I planted sprouted up. I am going to wait a few more days on the fourth to pop up, but if it doesn't then it is not that big of a deal. I plan on planting these in the yard, so I will get to brave the hot sun this weekend and prepare the ground for them. They are supposed to be spaced 18" apart but I think based on the Fordhook's I am going to spread them out some more.

I will post pictures tonight of the little guys.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Grey Zucchini Update

June 28, 2011 -

I planted 4 Grey Zucchini seeds in the small peat pots I have. Three of the Grey Zucchini have poked their heads up. I am waiting on the fourth one. Hopefully it will show itself tomorrow. I plan on putting these out in the yard when they get a little height on them. I think I will put them next to the Bradley Tomatoes.

Danvers Carrots Update

June 28, 2011 -

Came home to find another carrot had poked its head up. That is three now that have surfaced. Hope the others come up soon.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grey Zucchini - New addition

June 23, 2011 -

Planted 4 Grey Zucchinis. This is so I can have a fall crop of zucchinis and to try a new variety. I have tried Fordhook and Black Beauty which are really good, but now I wanted to try another heirloom type. If these are successful, I will save some seeds from them as well. According to the package I should start to see seedlings in 7-10 days. That would be around July 3rd.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 20, 2011 - Lost a Zucchini

June 20, 2011 -

  Lost one of the Ford Hook Zucchini's tonight. A couple of bore worms have been working it over for a little bit. I suspected as much but could not find any evidence of it. Tonight though, I noticed the tale-tale signs of "baby poop" on the main stem. Pulled the plant and there were two worms working it over. I thought this was the case when the leaves were yellowing and dying, but I did not see anything until tonight. Pulled the entire plant, squashed the worms and threw it in the compost pile. It will work out OK though because this one had not produced any zucchini and it was being crowded by the Black Beauty Zucchini. This will now give some space for the Black Beauty to spread out.

June 21, 2011 -

Since I lost the one zucchini, Abby helped me to clear out the remaining leaves that I suspected of being infested with the larvae of the Seslid moths in the zucchinis this afternoon. The larvae hatch from their eggs that are in the "V" point of the zucchini leaves. Once hatched the larvae eat their way down through the stem and make their way to main stem. If you notice the leaves start to turn yellow but the rest of the plant does not, it is best to check for the bore worms starting to make their way down to the main stem.

You can check for them by looking at the stem. If you see trails of brownish color (kind of like baby poop) going in the stem, you have a vine borer. These little guys start off very small but as they make their way down the stem, consuming it as they go, they grow rather fat. My daughter, Abby, was very impressed with these guys and really liked the "catepillars" but I had to tell her these were very bad. So we had fun squishing them.

It is possible to control these guys with insecticide but I prefer not to do this for two reasons. (1) I have small children that like to play in the dirt around the plants and (2) I have so few bees that are coming to the zucchini that I would not want to discourage the ones that do with poisoned pollen and nectar. At this point, my zucchini can fully survive missing a few leaves. So my method it to catch it early and prevent it from happening any more. If it happens to your plants and you think all is lost, you can try to revive the zucchini but covering the main stem with more soil which will force it to root and the affected area can be safely removed after that.

If I happen to catch these guys again I will update with pictures, but hopefully that will not happen.

June 27, 2011 -

Decided to upload some pictures of the vine worm to show what the little devils look like.

This is what the affected Zucchini will look like at the base of the leaf. Notice the "baby poop" inside the stem. This is the droppings of the worm.

This is what the little booger looks like. These guys can destroy a zucchini plant rather quickly. It is best to watch out for these guys and catch them early.

Danvers Half Long Carrots

June 27, 2011 - The first 2 seedlings poked their heads up today. This is very exciting since it has been a long time since I have grown carrots. I will be checking the progress on these guys the rest of the week. Hopefully, they will all be up by Friday. You will have to look really close in the picture below but you can see the little green shoot popping up. I plan on planting another row in about two weeks.

Danvers #126 Poking through

June 20, 2011 - Sowed one row of Danver's #126 Carrots. Planted one row of these to try. Andy helped on these. Dug a thin line about 3/16" deep and laid out 15 seeds spaced 2" apart. Lightly covered with soil and applied then spray of water of them to keep them moist for germination. Package says germination should happen in 8-12 days. So I should see some by July 2nd.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June 12, 2011 Update

Hello Everyone out there.

Here is a quick update from the garden. We got three zucchinis out of the garden today. I will have to slice them up and freeze them tomorrow so they won't go bad. So far we have gotten 9 out of the garden (I think my count was right).

I sowed the herbs for the herb bed today. I planted the following:

4 oregano - I did 4 because I planted 2 with some seeds from 2007 and 2 with some seeds from this year.
4 cilantro / coriander - I did 4 for the same reason as the oregano
3 basil - this is the sweet basil variety
3 dill - hopefully I will use this with the cucumbers when they start coming in
3 chives - these will go on and on as long as I don't kill them since they are a perennial

I am doing something different with these guys to see how it works. I really like the peat pots and the cardboard egg cartons because they simple add to the dirt when they decompose. Something we also generate here at the house that can decompose like that is toilet paper rolls. I saved up enough from our usage to use them as the plant tube for the herbs. When they are ready I will simply plant the entire thing in the ground and allow it to create some more dirt.

The Bradley tomatoes seems to be doing well from transplanting yesterday. I will have to remember to water them when I do the rest since they are on the other side of the yard.

I also planted the garlic today, but I later found that I made a mistake. Garlic is one of those things you plant in the fall/winter and let over winter and then it sprouts up in the spring. I screwed up on that one so I will have to remember to do it again when the fall gets here. Rumor has it that the best time to plant garlic is on the shortest day of the year.

Joe Delk

June 11, 2011 - Update

Hello Everyone out there. Here is an update from today.

I finished the herb bed for the garden last night. I have some herbs picked out that I plan on seeding tomorrow. I plan on growing basil, dill, cilantro (coriander), oregano, and some garlic. The garlic should be a little tricky because I am trying something with it. This experiment will go more into the buying stuff at the supermarket and growing it at home. There is a Food Lion close to my house and they had garlic gloves on sale. Because of the way that garlic reproduces, this is something easy to do. If you want fresh garlic for a dish it normally calls for 1 to 2 gloves of garlic. If you buy it fresh at the store, you can unwrap it. Pick the gloves you want for your recipe and then take the remaining gloves, divide them and plant them about 1" deep in soil. The gloves will grow and create their own bulbs underground. When they have grown and the stems have turned and dried, you can dig up the garlic gloves and now you have multiplied what you bought at the store. You can dry these and save them and then plant more to repeat the cycle, until you have enough garlic that your heart is healthy and there will be no vampires within a mile of you (sorry Twilight fans).

I also planted Isaac's tomatoes that he bought last weekend. I moved these to the back of the yard to keep them from cross pollinating with the Better Boys I have in the garden area. Since we have really poor soil at my house, I dug three holes for the plants and then filled them with water. I then filled each hole up with compost and mixed in some of the bad dirt to give it some consistency. I then mixed it all up (with help from Abby and her shovel) and then waited for the water to drain. Once drained I planted the three tomato plants and then put a scoop of composted manure on top. I will have to see how this does in relation to looking ahead to next year as the garden is planned to be expanded some. Jocelyn got a kick out of the tomatoes name and said I should have planted them all the same type. They are called Bradley tomatoes. It is an Heirloom cultivar that was first introduced in 1961 by the University of Arkansas. Supposedly, they are pretty good pink variety. If my compost recipe works, we should know something by the end of July.

Joe Delk

Friday, June 10, 2011

Harvesting Update (Updated w/ Pics)

Hello everyone out there. Just thought I would give you guys a quick update on what we have harvested from the garden.

So far we have gotten 5 zucchinis from the garden, we will probably get one more tonight Which we did!) and then another on Sunday or Monday. I have three more that are in process and will probably be ready by the end of next week.

Another crop is coming on. Jocelyn has given me plenty of grief about the tomatoes. Well we have 6 small tomatoes that are forming off the Better Boy Tomato plants. I will have to see how fast these come off. We have plenty of blossoms and I finally witnessed several Bumble Bees doing the pollinating, so hopefully no hand pollinating the tomatoes.

We also have two Cayenne Peppers that are growing. I will have to check on their progress as well.

I also included 1 picture of the Zinnia flowers. They are really starting to attract a "buzz."


Monday, June 6, 2011

Hand Pollinating Zucchini

Hello Everyone out there. I have talked about it and now here it is. Your how-to on hand pollinating zucchini.

I am having to do this because we are not having much in the way of bee activity in the garden, which kinda of makes me sad because there are plenty of things to pollinate. Well a note to self, next year plant plenty of flowers to get the bees coming.

First thing when your zucchini begins to flower is being able to tell the difference between male and female flowers. Zucchini produces both, usually the male first.

The male zucchini flower has a large bloom and a small stem.

Male Zucchini Flower - Stem

The female zucchini flower has an ovary, or fruit, behind the bloom.

Female Flower - Small Zucchini

Remove the male flower from the plant.

Male Flower Removed

Pull off the petals. In some Asian cuisine the blossoms are delicacy that can be served as tempura. I have not tried this yet.

Once you have pulled off the petals it should look like this.

Using the male blossom stem as a paint brush, paint the inside of the female flower, thoroughly. Make sure every part of it is covered.

Using paint brush strokes, cover the entire inside

Once pollinated, the blossom will close on its own within a few hours. Then the process of making a zucchini begins. Within a few days, you will have a zucchini much like this one.

Hand Pollinated Zucchini

This is the Black Beauty Zucchini I harvested on Sunday.

Hope that was informative.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Update - June 5, 2011

Hello everyone out there. Today was not much for the garden. Here is a quick update.

Harvested my first Black Beauty Zucchini today. It was a good sized one. Should have about 4 more this week. So far I have lost 2 due to lack of pollination. I did take pictures today to show the how-to to hand pollinate a zucchini. I hand pollinated one this morning.

Added some grass clippings to the Cherry Tomato. It was looking a little yellow.

An update on the experiment: We had a pretty good wind storm today from some thunderstorms that were happening south of us. It blew off the 5 Styrofoam cups I had. However, in cleaning up the mess, I noticed the beans in the dirt had sprouted. So, it works. I put some more beans in a small container of water today and I will try to replant tomorrow.

The Better Boy Tomatoes are still flowering like crazy, but I did not notice any action on them except a small corn bee going around.

Well, did not get the herb bed built because Isaac was sick today. Maybe I will get to do it tomorrow.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Great Experiment - and an update

Well not much to update on tonight with the garden. Picked up the last of the dirt (hopefully) for the last bed, which will be an herb garden. Plan on putting basil, cilantro, dill and chives in it to start, along with some other some other seeds I have but can't remember while I am sitting at my computer. Isaac picked out some more tomatoes he wanted. (I will have to post that on our other blog) and I am going to have to find a spot for them.

Thinned the okra out to one plant from the small bunches that were growing.

Removed the Packman Broccoli from the small 4' x 4' bed. It had finished its course. We will, Lord willing, have some more at the end of July for a fall harvest.

I started an experiment tonight. In coming up with a list of all the vegetables we typically use in our household, I wanted to be able to say that I attempted to grow all of them in our small patch in the backyard. If you look at the "What We Are Growing" page you will see that there is quite a bit. There were a few beans that I could not find the seeds for: Black, Pinto, Great Northern, and Kidney. We like a lot of Chili in our house and we go through quite a bit of these. I looked for these seeds and looked. I read on a handful of websites that you could purchase off the shelf of a grocery store the dry beans that come in 1 lb bags or larger and use these for seeds if you soak them. Tonight, I planted 10 black bean seeds, 2 to a Styrofoam cup. I will have to keep you guys posted on how this goes.


Friday, June 3, 2011

1st Harvest!

Hello everyone out there. We have exciting news from the garden. We have had our first harvest from the garden. Tuesday night we had fresh zucchini cut straight from the garden and sauteed by Jocelyn.
This is the one I hand pollinated
This the one I showed you a picture of earlier

It was pretty exciting to get something from the garden. These two zukes were of the Fordhook variety. We also have some Black Beauty Zucchini's that are coming along and should be ready by Monday.
We only ate one. We are going to save the other for later
I am especially proud of one of these because it was one that I hand pollinated. I have hand pollinated all the others so far as well. Unfortunately, we have not had much bee activity in the garden to help out in the essentials of nature. I will probably post a how to on this when I finally get some pictures. I am hoping some pollinating insects will visit the tomato soon as they are blooming profusely.

Well hope everyone enjoyed this little achievement from the garden.