Thursday, April 16, 2015

I'm getting old *sigh*

I am so loving this Autumn - not only has the weather been perfect, but there is still no sign of the earth mites that always decimate seedlings at this time. It is good to get out and spend the day weeding, planting and digging and enjoying it.

Yesterday I noticed that some of last years oca seedlings are flowering so I thought I might try my hand at hand pollinating as the weather is good enough at the moment to allow them to set seed, as long as the frosts hold off a bit longer.
Well I got out my tweezers as is shown in a tutorial that I looked up and grabbed a flower - and I couldn't see the tiny flower parts. I know my eyesight has been getting worse, but it was a shock to actually realise that I just can't do all the things I have always been able to do easily.

I didn't have a magnifying glass so I just rubbed a few flowers together and hoped for the best, I know that sounded a bit rude and I hope they enjoyed it, lol. I think I will have to bite the bullet and finally get the reading glasses that I have been putting off.

It is hard to have to admit that you are getting old. I visited an optometrist a year or so ago when I started getting worried and she explained why our eyes start failing as you get older but that only made it worse - you just can't escape it.

On a brighter note. Those of you who have been reading posts on this blog for a long time might remember me mentioning a weird looking zucchini that grew a couple of years ago. I collected seeds from it and one of the offspring last year looked even weirder but only had two viable seeds inside it.
Unfortunately mice ate those two seeds last season, but I still had seed from the original plant.

The offspring from those seeds this year produced a huge range of zucchini plants with varying growth patterns as well as fruits in all shapes, sizes and colours.
One of these plants is pictured here. It has wonderful, frosted silver leaves and is still producing madly where all the other plants have died or are covered in mildew.

I know that seeds from it will still be very variable next year but it is looking so good that I am going to try and select for this type of plant. It is a bush that, unlike most other bush zucchini, has not started to vine as it aged.
I am quite excited by this plant and what the seeds will bring next year. It has given me an aim, and another project. Hmmm, so many projects, so little energy and time.

I am not sure that we need another zucchini (from someone who thinks that all zucchini tastes the same) but I think it will be fun to do some serious selecting next year.


  1. Ha! Just a couple years ago when I was doing my first oca pollinations, it was easy. Now I have to hold them at a distance in order to see the important bits. A tabletop magnifier helps a lot, but only if you are making crosses on cuttings. Speaking of which, it takes 3-4 weeks for seeds to mature, so if frosts are threatening, you might consider trying to take cuttings with flowers. It works very well. Congrats on getting your seedlings to flower.