Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Eggplants, tomatoes, and an UGLY cucumber

Ate the first eggplant two days ago with the second tomato. The eggplant was great, the tomato OK, but not as good as hoped. I'm trying to leave the tomatoes on the vine longer to see if that helps. The cherry tomatoes (sweet 100's) are quite good. The basil is all flowering and must be harvested soon. I did kill one mint and one is struggling but the ones in the small pots are doing well since they are well watered from above with tiny sprinkler on the end of drip lines. The fig is suffering and I have added extra water with a hose which helped. The irrigation is still questionable, especially in the middle bed. I think the 'soil' is too raw, coarse and lean and I think the in-line drip is too deep. The water is not wicking up. For the plants (like tomatoes) that are planted deep, that works OK. The fine material that was added on top does not seem to be helping yet, in fact it almost seems waterproof!

Found a huge (9") ugly and very prickly cucumber hiding under the prickly cucumber leaves. Actually I think it was an overgrown gerkin that should have been picked small. It was turning yellow and tasted bitter though it smelled like a cucumber. Straight to the compost for that. I don't know much about cucumbers, having never grown any before. I planted three different varieties fairly close together and I cannot tell them apart. I guess I should have put in tomato cages for them to climb but I did not know they were vines! One actually said it was a bush cucumber but now I think it just means shorter vines! Apparently they stop producing cucumbers when you leave one on the vine to get ripe (yellow). We'll see. There are tiny 1 inch ones but nothing larger.

The summer pattypan type squashes are still producing nice flowers but are not very productive. I'm wondering if the bee shortage is causing problems. We do have zucchini. The melon plants are getting very large but still no evident fruits setting.

No rain for over two months and none expected until mid-July. It's starting to get hot finally. We did have an unusually long cool spring.

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