Aphids, flowers and squash, oh my!

I have found, through years of practice, that people garden in order to make
something grow; to interact with nature; to share, to find sanctuary, to heal,
to honor the earth, to leave a mark. Through gardening, we feel whole
as we make our personal work of art upon our land…..Julie Moir Messervy

 

Yesterday I was transplanting seedlings from their communal pot to individual pots and I got my cockscomb and Black Eyed Susan done and decided to take a look around at some plants that I had sprayed with Neem about a week or so earlier for Aphids. I have a very mild case of them (I think). They really seem to like Zinnia. I have about 6 different varieties and they are on them all to some degree, noting too bad. They are also on my Kale, and Bok Choy, so everything once again got a spray of neem. I will continue to keep an eye on these plants, and today I will be inspecting everything in the greenhouse for signs of them. I have been looking into getting some ladybugs to help control them in the garden or some lacewings. The only problem is keeping them in MY garden. I think I am going to wait a bit until I have some flowers growing to keep them interested in staying put. I have been removing several plants out of the cold greenhouse to make room for other plants once they are acclimated. Ran out of potting soil – again! gosh I go through that so fast. I have a lot of seedlings I need to repot, so another trip to the store for more dirt.

Funny thing happened….I have been trying to grow Eustoma-Lisianthus, they are very beautiful flowers used by florists in flower arrangements. They are very long lasting for cut flowers.

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I got some seeds to germinate, so I was so proud because they are rather fussy to grow. I posted pictures and information on the website “all things plants”.

These are the pictures I posted

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As you can see from the tag – this is a blue Eustoma, I was so proud, it’s growing so nice. Well as it turns out, from getting some responses from my post that this is indeed a tomato plant! I must have gotten some tomato seed in my soil bin when I was planting. You see nothing is perfect in my garden! I am happy though to have such a healthy looking tomato. Can’t wait to see what type it is – hahaha.

These are the actual Eustoma seedlings. They are so tiny, and from what I understand they grow very slow (I planted these in Feb). I will just have to keep an eye on them, hopefully they won’t turn into tomatoes! To be on the safe side, I ordered about 5-6 different plants because I really want these in my garden this season.

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Our 10 day forecast here in Charleston is showing temps to be daytime 71-81 and nights 53-60, so I think by next week I can start to plant out my squash, and some other things. I have been bringing them out everyday, so they should be good to go. I don’t want to get ahead of myself but according to the Old Farmers Almanac, I should be ok (keeping fingers crossed).

http://www.almanac.com/content/frost-chart-united-states

My squash really need to get into the ground, and I can not wait to have them growing on the cattle panel trellis. This one is growing like a weed. The female flower has a small embryonic fruit between the stem and the blossom that will fall off if it isn’t pollinated. The male has no little fruit; the flower joins the stem; and it has the pollen. Both must be blooming at the same time for the insects (bees or other little winged pollinators) to carry the pollen from the male to the female. Very often one type will bloom before the other, so if it is early in the plant’s life, patience is the key! If there are no flying insects to do the pollination, you can hand-pollinate in the early morning after the dew has dried but before it gets too hot, either by picking off the male flower and kissing the female flower with it, or by using a small watercolor type paintbrush and dabbing pollen from male to female flower.

What fun!

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Male on left, female on right

7-Male and female squash flowers

Here is an example of how it’s done. Gosh I hope I get some male flowers blooming at the same time, gotta go look at that plant or it’s going to be too late to save the fruit.

8-Hand pollinating squash blossoms

Lots to do….spring has finally sprung – super!

 

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