Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Melons Have Arrived!

The fruits of my labor have finally arrived! The over abundance of yellow flowers from the watermelon and cantaloupe plants have given birth to baby melons. It’s so refreshing to see them. And they are growing so fast. The melons seem to be getting larger each day.

Below: The baby watermelons

There are five baby watermelons in total. They are growing at different rates, but you can already see the stripped markings on its skin. They are going to get so HUGE. I don't remember what variety the watermelons are (the tag has been blown away by the wind), but I do know that this variety is not seedless and can grow up to 60 pounds. It might be a hybrid of some kind.

I hope the vine can accompany its growth. I had thought about the trellis/fence idea for these melons, but after seeing this fruit, I’m going to leave the melons alone. I’m afraid that if I do anything, it may strain the plants and hurt my chances of getting ripe and juicy watermelon.

Below: Baby cantaloupe

One of the cantaloupe flowers has given birth a rather nice size baby cantaloupe. Its skin is rather fuzzy right now, and I’m guessing that it becomes smoother as the cantaloupe grows in size. In another month, I shall be feasting on some delicious homegrown fruit!

Maybe the watermelon and cantaloupe will grow at different rates, so I can harvest them at convenient times. Ha! I doubt this, but one can always hope.

For now, I’m excited to see this growth!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Vegetable and Fruit Flowers

ANNOUNCEMENT! I am finishing up a big project, so I won't be able to blog as much as I have been. Plus, next week, I'm off on vacation with my sister to Ocean City, New Jersey. I will blog as much as I can because I enjoy doing this so much. But if I lag behind, you know the reason why! :-) But do come and visit often! I love knowing that people actually read what I have to say. LoL!

On to gardening business....

I must say that I am girlie-girl and I absolutely love flowers. Of all kinds, especially pink and other bright colors. Just walking around in my garden, I've noticed that my fruits and vegetables have the most delightful flowers. Not only are these flowers pretty to look at, they give me hope of delicious harvests! Most of them are yellow in color, and occasionally I will find a white flower.

Enjoy the beauty of my flowers. I love these because they are best of both worlds. Lovely to enjoy, and they are the sign of hope to come!

Below: The beautiful eggplant flower that has bloomed and now is giving birth to a tiny, purple veggie

The watermelon flowers are numerous, and though the plant has wrecked havoc in terms of space, its flower reminds me of how simple life can be.

And finally, the male flowers on my cucumber plants....

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Attack of the melons

When I decided to grow watermelon in the raised bed, my father said to me "this is not going to work. It's going to take up too much space." I ignored him and was adamant that I would have watermelon by the end of the summer. Oh how naive I was!

I planted three small watermelon seedlings from Lowe's. They were so cute, and I didn't think they would take over like they did... But man, they are growing and taking over everything!

Below: Take a look!

These watermelon plans share a bed with some roses (mostly dead now because the season has passed), corn, and edible elephant ears. I think the official term is "called taro, but its a variety of the elephant ear decoration plants that many Southern gardeners plant. My family plants the edible variety. We plant them for food. My mom makes a spicy tomato and bean sprout soup with it.

Below: Edible elephant ears

We planted the watermelon 13 inches away from each other, and you would think that would be enough. But it's not! They are growing and starting to intersect with each other. It's like one big line of watermelon leaves. Crazy!

Does anyone have any advice on how I can control its growth? I wouldn't think allowing the vine to grow upwards would work. The watermelons would be too heavy for the vine to support it. Do I just live with this problem with no solution in sight?

Maybe the watermelon fruit at the end of the summer will be my reward.

Below: The watermelon flowers. All male...

The watermelon isn't the only melon that is spreading and taking over! The cantaloupe has grown and is really taking over too! It has a dozen or so yellow flowers.

Below: The cantaloupe (In the middle of the bed)

One good thing about the cantaloupe is that there is a tiny baby cantaloupe that is going to be formed! It's fuzzy right now, but so very adorable!

Below: The baby cantaloupe and its momma flower

So I pose the question again: how do I control these melons from going wild and taking over?

Monday, June 30, 2008

What's up with my corn?

I just want to thank Skeeter for pointing out that adding lime to the soil actually means adding mineral lime... and not the fruit that you make juice out of. I'm still laughing at how silly that must have sounded to you seasoned gardeners!

Cam won't stop laughing at me. He keeps shaking his head at me. I guess he knew what everyone meant. I truly thought you added an actual lime to the soil and let it deteriorate. LoL.

I really needed that laugh after being stuck at a doctor's office for 3 hours!!! Grr, aggravating day.

Anyway... I took a look at the corn plants at Cam's and noticed something unusual. Some of the corn plants are yellowing around their edges, and they haven't grown any taller for several weeks. I had decided to give up on these plants (hence the reason I planted two rows of corn at my parents' house. That corn is thriving!)

Below: What exactly is happening to the corn?

Does this mean the corn plants are about to die? Cam and I have no idea what it is. I don't think it could be an actual ear growing... Anyone know?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Zucchini Surprise and A Solution to the Drought

Well I had a surprise waiting for me when I arrived at Cam's house today. I've been so preoccupied with the garden at my parents' house, and the past week has been especially busy for me, full of birthday parties and a big project I've been working on. I neglected to check on my SFG... To my shock, I found a nice size zucchini had grown out from one of the flowers!

It's not a full size one, but it's a good start. This zucchini had grown from a flower that seemed to never bloom. Each time I checked on it, the flower was closed up. It never opened. I was distraught and thought it was a male flower. But tada.... I was wrong!

Below: First zucchini of the year!

This zucchini plant is the largest in the garden. It was the first one to be planted and has been growing much better than the others. It's located in SFG Box #1 near the tomatoes and carrots. Unlike the other zucchinis, this one never succumbed to horrible disease (the splitting of the stems). I'm so excited... Just think, in a few weeks, I'll be able to harvest this squash and taste it!

Below: Let's not forget Luka, who enjoys hiding in the foliage near the zucchini! She's getting so big. *sighs* Soon she'll no longer be a kitten.

From the looks of the carrots (next to the zucchini), they should be ready to be picked in a month or so. They are just filling up that square. They are growing so slowly though. This might be due to a watering problem--or lack of water--that I've encountered.

Although Cam and I will most likely get married next year, I'm still living in Nashville. So I don't get to come over to visit my SFG as much as I would like. Cam is the one responsible for watering my plants each morning and afternoon. (He is also the financer of my garden project.) Unfortunately, his work has been taking him away and my poor plants have not been getting the amount of water they need to thrive.

But we have solved the watering problem. Becuase the weather isn't cooperating. There was a little bit of rain last night, but light showers. It's been incredibly hot in middle Tennessee... lots of sun and very little rain.

Cam and I have set up a sprinker to water our plants in the mornings and afternoons. It's small, but it does water back and forth and all of the SFG boxes are getting covered with water. I think this will help with the drought problem that my plants are experiencing. Now, they will get their 1 inch of rain a week. Hopefully more.

Below: The new sprinker