Friday, June 12, 2009

Our First Real Crop?

Finally...I think we're going to have an edible crop of something! These purple hulls have exceeded our hopes and have survived our gardening ignorance. And now they're trying to swallow the garden chair alive...woo!

Here's a before pic (below). The Bermuda grass is obvious. Next to the purple hulls were planted Blue Lake bush snap beans. Both were off to a great start. But in the later stages, with the same care, watering, intermittent drought and constant heat, the snaps couldn't hack it. I'm glad we did a test plot to compare these...the ability of the cowpeas to handle the vagaries of our climate at this time of year really stand out.

Here's the After's a small patch. The cowpeas managed to compete with the Bermuda enough to stand on their own ...
These will be ready to pick before too long...yay!!

Here's the baby calabaza we planted a few weeks ago. The other one is mature and has very long vines going all over the place. This one is so small it barely shows in the picture. This is the Before shot, below... Jack placed freshly-cut willow branches over it, mainly to keep our neighbor, who dumps horse stall manure on the lot, from accidentally running it over.

Here it is as of a few days ago. Calabaza, in reading more about it, is a crop that can be grown as far north as the New England states, if started in plenty of time.

A few of the calabazas never finish developing past the baby stage...they yellow and simply fall off. Some do make it, and we have several on the first plant that will hopefully make it to the harvest stage before long. Here's a pic of one, below...

and another smaller one. We've placed spare plastic lids under some of them when we thought the failure of some of the small fruits might have been due to insect damage from below. We're not sure there's any advantage to placing the lids beneath them, but have just kept them there because they seem to be doing fine in the meantime. We may have about 7 or 8 mature calabazas developing at this time, and several other very small ones that might or might not make it to maturity.

That's the update for now. We've officially entered hurricane season, which is supposed to be wet and rainy, but for us the spring has had very little rain and recently quite intense heat. I sure hope we have some more rain. The few showers that came a couple weeks ago reallyyyyy helped all the growing things!


Carolyn said...

Looks good! That technique for the peas is so cool! I am posting an update on my bucket garden soon!

Mr. H said...

How exciting to see your cowpeas doing so well. We are growing them for the first time this year and did not know what to expect. Yours look great.

Good luck with the weather,


D. S. Foxx said...

Gardening in the ground, how I miss it! -G-

Re: squash-drop, there are a couple of more common reasons to check first. You mentioned seeing more pollinators around, which is great, so probably not that. Next on the list are water and heat--did you ever try the clay pot irrigation? Works in the ground as well as in pots, and makes sure the plants have enough water at setting, which reduces dropping.


still in bucketville, but with lots more compost--made a bucket at a time!

Kathie said...

It looks awesome!

JoyceAnn said...

Hi Robbyn ,
The peas look great , looks like you'll have a wonderful harvest.
What are calabazas , I've never heard tell of them. Are they in the melon or squash family ?

~ Blessings ~