Monday, February 16, 2015

Mouse melons, corn and rosella

I have been chasing down a new block to transplant all my fruit trees to as the current block has some issues (that I won't go into here). I managed to find someone who is happy for me to uses their 2 acre empty horse paddock just down the road from me which is very handy.
There is a water problem with just a hose from the house to the edge of the paddock but I can do something with that and it will only be for the first summer to get them established.

When the autumn rains come I will start transplanting them. Some are getting quite large so I will have to cut them back so with that and the root pruning it will be another two years before they are fruiting *sigh*

My mouse melons are going gangbusters with fruit all over them.
These are a cute little melon relative that taste like lemony cucumbers. I think they would be great as pickles but I sell most of mine in punnets for fresh eating or to add crunch to salads.

If you decide to grow these cure little cucumbers (also known as cucamelons) you will need to be patient ans they germinate and grow VERY slowly in the first two months.

My rosella plants have their first flower buds about to open tomorrow. Well... one opened yesterday but apparantly they only open for one day and I missed it.

One thing I learned the other day is that the leaves are spicy and go great in stir-fries (what doesn't, lol)
I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted the leaves and I think I will sell them in punnets next year when I have more plants.
I will have to dry some also and see if they are any good dried.

Here is a good example of what you have to expect when you get very hot and dry weather when corn is flowering. It shows two problems, one - lack of filling as pollination is disrupted by the flowers drying out. Notice how few kernels are developing.

Second - the corn cob is growing out of the husk, or more precisely, the husk is not growing with the cob. This seems to be cause by hot weather during pollination. It is a problem because it leaves the kernels open to predation by birds and rodents.

I had the same problems last year. I wonder if either of these problems can be selected against?

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