Garden update

My four rain barrels have come in handy this summer.  I keep saying that I know, but its so true.  Our water bill would be SO HIGHER this summer without them.  I’m planning on how to add 4 more.  It won’t happen this year, or likely next year unless I’m lucky, but it will happen.

My mystery squash plant is thriving:

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I originally assume the vine was cantaloupe, but it clearly isn’t.  The giant leaves look like zucchini leaves, but the zucchini variety I grow doesn’t vine like this clearly is.  The squash itself is marked much like the baby pumpkins (well, the Long Pie Pumpkins I grow anyway), and that would explain the vining habit.  But the insanely quick growth (it was still a baby with bloom attached when I took a picture on the 26th, and is now a good foot long) is more zucchini style.  The Long Pie Pumpkins grow quickly, but not THAT quickly.  So do I treat it like a zucchini?  Or like a pumpkin?  I’m kinda tempted to let it keep growing and see what happens……

For comparison, a zucchini (which I’ll be picking this week, its a good size for it):

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And a baby pumpkin:

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Anyway, the rest of the garden.

The Melon Pears are THRIVING.  And to think I was worried about them.  There’re even baby fruit forming!  And yes, another mystery squash, this one looks straight forward Long Pie Pumpkin though.

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Tomatoes: it turns out the Black Icicle Tomatoes may have had a magnesium deficiency.  They’ve been awfully pale and droopy in comparison to the rest of the tomatoes.   I had a couple people try to assure me that paste tomatoes are always “kinda droopy”, but they just didn’t look right.  After doing some digging around the internet I mixed up a couple gallons of water with some epsom salts and sprayed down the leaves and drenched the soil with it.  About a week and a half later the plants are much more normally colored and far less droopy.  In addition, I was worried that they had blight, they had almost all the symptoms (and so do several other tomato plants), and now almost all those symptoms (on the Black Icicles) are gone.  I’m still going to treat the entire garden with Actinovate, just to be safe (cause I don’t have the space to do proper rotations and I refuse to stop growing tomatoes), but I’m also going to treat all the tomato tires with epsom salts too (and seriously considering doing the entire garden).  A magnesium deficiency wouldn’t be a huge surprise in retrospect.  I’ll have to see if I can arrange some soil testing either this fall or next spring.

Black Icicle tomatoes before epsom salt treatments (and one a few days after treatment):

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And yesterday:

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The difference in color is NOT a trick of the light, I promise!  In addition the tallest plants are pushing 6ft tall now!

All of the tomato plants have baby fruit on them, well, except for the volunteer plants that appeared in two tires, but thats not a surprise since they didn’t get the headstart the rest did.  For that matter, pretty much everything has baby fruit on it!  Possible exception is the habaneros, but they do that to me every year, get thinking I’m not going to get anything and then POOF, hot peppers!

I’ve picked enough cucumbers to do up a good sized batch of refrigerator pickles.  Putting them on a trellis DOES make a difference in how easy it is to find and pick fruit.  But I swear the plants are VERY HAPPY being allowed to sprawl on the ground:

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Or maybe its just the insane summer weather this year, donno…..

 

2 Comments

  1. Comment by bogie:

    I would treat that first mystery plant as a zuke. I’ve had both vining and bushy zukes or perhaps it is a cuke/zuke cross.

    Nice detective work on the black ice tomatoes – they look really happy since you sprayed them!

    • Comment by Ruth:

      I’m starting to think its a long pie pumpkin/zuke cross. The cucumbers I grow are tiny things! I theory I suppose they could be a cross with something from someone else’s garden, but last year none of my immediate neighbors gardened either! Now this year the new folks across the road are gardening, but nothing last year. I’ve decided that since I have both zukes and pumpkins growing too I’m just going to let this go and see what it does. Its not like I need the fruit!

      I can’t believe the difference in those tomatoes! I’m not going to swear there isn’t a blight problem, but certainly most of the issue was a magnesium problem. I went around and treated all the tomato tires with epsom salts, even though most of the rest weren’t looking droopy. Gonna wait to treat the rest of the garden so I can have the soil tested.