Sunday, June 1, 2008

Funky Business and Mistakes Made

Something strange is happening in my garden. Maybe it's the weather--the fact that there hasn't been much sun recently, only overcast skies and high winds... Or it could be another reason. Maybe it's my fault. I don't know.

It seems that the squash and cucumbers in Box # 3 at Cam's house isn't doing too well. I don't know if you can tell in the photo below (of squash), but the stem of the plant seems to be split in two. It's as if someone has taken a knife and split the stem open.

The same strange occurrence has plagued the cucumber seedlings. Their stem (see below photo) is also split wide open. I think you can see the funky business much better in this photo.

I can't help but wonder-- is it my fault? I must have done something wrong in the transplantation of the cucumbers. I should have buried the stem deeper in the soil, like my father did. Well, lesson learned. I'm guessing that these cucumbers are a lost cause.

Anyone have any ideas how this could have happened to my plants? *sighs* I'd love some closure. I can possibly understand why the cucumbers seem to be dying, but why the squash in Box # 3?

If you saw Friday night's post about squash, you would have seen that the squash in SFG Box # 1 is thriving and growing really nicely. So the squash problem is puzzling me.

Here's an image of the wonderful and healthy squash from Box # 1. I snapped this today.

So remember the mushroom dilemma in the front vegetable bed? It has invaded the back yard square foot garden boxes. But I've figured out why they started appearing. I'm positive they have to do with the onions that I planted. I think that when I bought them from the store, they had mushroom spores on them.

It makes perfect sense because the mushrooms only appeared AFTER I had transplanted the onions to the front vegetable bed. So far, they haven't hurt anything, and the lettuce head that I harvested is delicious.

Now the mushrooms are appearing in my backyard SFG boxes in the areas where I've planted the onions.

Take a look below. If you look carefully, you can see tiny mushrooms starting to form.

Anyway, I am really annoyed. I don't know what to do. I would love a harvest of healthy onions, but I don't want any of these mushrooms spreading across the garden.

Any advice? Should I just pull out the onions and be done with it? Or do you think the damage has already been done.


tina said...

I don't think the mushrooms will hurt anything at all. What type of soil did you use? Lots of organic matter, this and the moisture are why you have mushrooms. They will go away. Not sure what is getting your squash plants.

Gail said...

So sorry, you work hard and some garden calamity happens....maybe some of the experienced vegetable growers will know!

Good luck.


Anonymous said...

Hello, DP,

Came across your blog by going from gardening blog to gardening blog.

You squash and cucumbers seem to have cankers, maybe caused by a virus, no way of knowing really. It's not uncommon and it's not necessarily fatal. Many mature cucumber vines are split near the ground with no ill effect.

Sometimes the canker will choke off the vine and it will stay green for weeks but not grow any more. Says I, if the vine continues to set on more leaves and grow larger, go with it. If after a week it has grown not at all, say a requiem over it send it to be with its ancestors.

Also this, for you SFG types, never neglect to consider the fourth dimension. Mel Bartholomew does a good job expounding on length an width of the bed and also the vertical space, but the bed or 'foot' also has the dimension of time. In our climate (I'm in Tennessee too) cucumbers have a tendency to go senile, probably due to viruses on their genes. A really healthy plant will make a flush or two of wonderful cukes, and then the vine will canker and split, leaves will yellow, and the cukes will be small, curled and shriveled.

Best to view a cucumber vine as a passing phenomenon and all during the growing season be planing more seeds. Always look at cukes and summer squash with critical and objective eye and be quick to say "Why encumbereth it the ground?" Hey, maybe that's why they call them cucumbers anyway?

Frances, said...

Hi DP, interesting comment from Eleutheros about the cukes and squash. Like Tina, I wouldn't worry about the mushrooms. Just scratch the soil up to expose them to the sun, when we get some. We can't complain about the rain, after the drought last year. I was going to suggest maybe the squash vine borer had attacked, but it seems too early for that yet. I have added soil to damaged stems with good results, causing more roots to grow. Also replanting seeds sounds like good advice.
Frances at Faire Garden

Aimee said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. I'm totally loving this SFG thing! And yes....that's good 'ole corn growing in my garden. Love that stuff! =)

DP Nguyen said...

Thank you for all the suggestions and comments! They've been very helpful!