Friday, February 3, 2017

Open day, cucumbers, and zinnias

Well, everything is looking fine for my open weekend on the 11th and 12th. The coffee van I had booked pulled out so people will just have to be happy with cold drinks but except for all the empty beds I should have quite a bit to show people.

My hand pollinating has finished now as the plants have all the fruit on them they can handle and all new fruits are aborting. Some melons I have not been able to get any hand pollinated fruits on should make a new flush of flowers later so I will get another chance at them. I started getting quite a few hand pollinated fruits set but many of them suddenly died off so I obviously didn't get enough pollen onto them.

 I keep trying 'Little Potato' cucumber but every year they die off with a disease after only making a couple of fruits. I am hoping that if I keep persisting that I will get some harder plants surviving but it hasn't happened so far. I hope their genetic pool is not to narrow.

I grow these for something different even though they are nothing special in taste, nice but a bit too mild for my mother who is mycucumber taste tester.

As you know I have been growing a few flowers for seed and I am really liking growing zinnias. I don't know why they are not more popular. They come in a huge range of colours and are long lasting in vases without dropping pollen everywhere.
I think I have mentioned them in my blog on another post and I will grow some other varieties next spring.
Flowers will never be more than just a small interest but they are something pretty in among the veggies.

I planted a row of portulacas in my parents garden. Here is a few metres of them.
They are so pretty and love the heat but I won't be growing them for seed, it is so difficult to harvest. I think they will self seed nicely for next year though.

I think I will keep my flower growing to zinnias, bearded iris, gladiolus, nasturtiums and snapdragons.

I must also tell you that I was very excited to receive a few precious Mashua seeds (Tropaeolum tuberosum). This is a type of nasturtium that produces edible tubers.
Most people don't like the taste but I have been keen to try them anyway.

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