I have cukes!!

chickencoupeJuly 21, 2014

Hairy little buggers, aren't they? I forget which kind. Probably Marketmore 76. But WOW. They're tiny and hairy and icky-looking!!

And I have tiny two-tone gourds!!
And my pumpkin plant is still alive and blooming. (The rain helped. I'm really lousy at watering.)
And my "secret" squash plant is getting really big. I might get squash, yet!!
And I have beans growing! Forget what they are....

bon

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Keep an eye on the cukes, Bon, cause they can go from too small to too big almost overnight. It sounds like the rain helped revive some plants. That's good. Now hope for more rain so the plants will benefit from it and will continue growing well.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 2:26PM
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chickencoupe

Oh! Will do, then.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 3:44PM
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AmyinOwasso/zone 6b

LOL, they hide, especially close to the ground. I think, "Where did THAT come from." Found one today, eye level on the trellis that was way too big. I should have seen it, considering where it was.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 6:18PM
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chickencoupe

You're right. That's what I was thinking when I found it. Even more confusing is that I thought the plant was dead.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:25AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Amy, I have had that happen too. My pickling cucumbers are trellised and I pick them every morning and every night, being vigilant to try and find them all since letting them get too big can cause the plant to shut down production. Well, no matter what I do I still occasionally find a huge cuke that apparently was hiding in plain sight all along. It amazes me every time. It works out well for the deer, though. When I find a pickling cuke that is too big to use for pickles, I slice it up or chop it up and put it on the ground, in plain sight, right beside the compost pile. The deer all but fight over those monster cukes.

Bon, Why did you think the plant was dead? Had everything turned brown? If so, maybe it got exceptionally dry and was about to die, and then the rain revived it. If it still was green but was wilting badly, that is fairly common on hot summer days in our climate. Squash, pumpkins, gourds and okra (really, it can happen pretty easily with almost any big-leaved plants) also can wilt like that in excessive heat. As long as the wilted plants are just wilting because of excessive heat and not because they are excessively dry, they usually bounce back overnight. That might be what you're observing. If they wilt like that on a hot day and haven't bounced back in the morning, they need some water ASAP. A failure to bounce back during the cooler overnight hours means the wilting also is related to dry soil (and, oddly, it can happen when the soil is excessively waterlogged too).

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 8:19AM
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chickencoupe

It was looking pretty pathetic. It looked like some newb gardener planted it. haha Brown and dying leaves from disease, hard compacted soil beneath and over dry. Half the plant is still dead. I've been busy working and moving soil around. And that, itself, is going pretty slow. Funny being new to gardening. But I told myself I was gonna plant even if it all simply died. At least I can see its growing pattern and decide what kind of trellis I'll use next time.

I've decided to limit my actual garden space (imagine that!) and continue to broadcast cover crops on the expanded area until I get the hugels and swales in on contour and the subsequent beds.

Bill and I both remodeled the rabbit cages and changed the rabbit hutch into a type of green house which isn't working too well, but it's handy for me. This is, actually, an old storage shed. He ripped off the worn panels and replaced them with light panels. I've been building composts and, mainly, digging. Was totally awesome to see my huge compost pile steaming after lifting a section. Meanwhile, I'm growing stuff and I keep changing things in an attempt to make it easier. Even a leak developed in one of the stock tanks depleting my rain water supply. And we've had so much rain!. Hopefully, by next fall I'll be able to kick back a bit more and tickle the plants better with care. For now, my focus is on SVG and SB and the two vining plants in a hugel bed and some brassicae in the previously worked potato bed and some tomato seedlings.

I don't even think next spring will be sufficient time for most of the garden where my main goal is to have the major swales in for some winter and spring rain capture. I've had to rework the old hugel bed planter and also the soil in the monster raised bed. I'm extremely blessed. I've been all over this garden area, by now. I have CLAY LOAM everywhere ranging from 4" up to 10" deep. Only ONE amendment is needed to get it ready. Originally, I was thinking of a second plow but, now, I think that is a seriously bad idea. It's healthy and beautiful. Just needs more water and a few amendments.

But it has become clear: soil erosion and rain water/storm water management are top priority! I destroyed some of the soil by working it too much. In some areas I've made a mess of the grading. Learned a ton! In the meantime, I have stuff growing and it's hard to maintain. Therefore, I was totally shocked to see cukes growing! And all these in their pathetic forms are telling me so much about the soil and about garden hygiene.

Neat stuff!

My excitement is back to an all-time high again because BILL GOT A JOB!! It's still early, but the boss is so happy with him he's giving him over time and even sending him home with blue prints to work on for additional pay. Bill's smart, he just needed to get in with some mature bosses and co-workers. So, they're tickled about not having to "baby-sit" him. Just what they needed.

Since it's for food, Bill is extremely supportive. So, I'll be able to get micro irrigation, some floating row covers and all that. I'm SO excited! Now... to get the garden beds in...

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 12:36PM
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luvncannin

Congrats Bon on Bills job! That is awesome and congrats on the cukes I got a bunch today and I didn't even realize they were there. watch em close they are very sneaky.
kim

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:35PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Bon, I am so thrilled for you and Bill. Tell Bill I said CONGRATULATIONS (yes, I shouted it!), lol, on the new job. All he needed was a chance to show someone what he can do----and now he has that chance. Yay, yay, yay. I'm smiling from ear to ear thinking how much better things will be for y'all now.

Erosion is a constant issue, since often when we finally do get rain, it just pours down. That's one reason I mulch so much.

Erosion is helping me to get sandier soil by constantly washing soil down from higher ground to our south onto our property. Of course, it is deceptive. Rain runoff washes sand down and that sand sits on the surface and makes it look like we have good sandy soil, but then you dig into it and the very thin layer of sand is on top of dense clay that goes down several feet. Still, we'll take whatever amount of sand we can get.

Kim, Those cukes sure are sneaky. That's why I pick twice a day. Often, I'll find some in the late afternoon/early evening light that I missed in the morning light. And, every so often, I'll find a cuke that is so big that I must have missed it for several days. I like to grow white, yellow and brown cucumber varieties occasionally just because they're so much easier to spot for harvesting.

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 2:00PM
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chickencoupe

Thanks ya'll. He said "Thanks.", too. This job isn't killing him like the last one.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 4:49PM
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Lisa_H(7)

Bon, the cuke news was good....but the job news is fantastic!!! I am so happy for Bill!! (and you too!)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 5:51PM
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luvncannin

Bon, I am especially glad he got an easier one. As I get older I find it harder and harder to be on my feet on concrete 8-10 hours a day. Even with the best shoes. I just do so much better in soil !
Dawn that must be true about the lighting cuz I thought I looked really good last night but no I found 14 ready this morning and one giant. I told my neighbor he needs to quit runnin off I need him home once in a awhile, haha.
I planted 6 or more varieties and all are blooming like crazy. The volunteers are producing the best.my lemon cukes are covered in blooms and hope they produce fruit. its really hot here so don't know but I did mulch really thick this year.
kim

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 6:25PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Kim, I agree that as we get older, our bodies object more to us being on our feet all day---or at least mine do.

Cucumbers are funny that way. Somehow they will blend in well with the leaves and then when you finally find them you wonder how in the world you didn't see them before. It makes me crazy. I pick often so I can catch them at the perfect size for pickling, but when they get huge and overgrown because I missed them, I feed them to the deer. The deer, of course, love that part of it. When I got home from the fire station about an hour ago, I had a deer standing just over the barbed wire fence in the neighbor's pasture near our compost pile. Hmmm. Wonder what she was looking for. She won't eat compost, but she'll eat anything she can find that isn't compost yet.

Dawn

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:01PM
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chickencoupe

Okay. I went and checked on the cukes. They're pretty scrawny. But I found this. Man, this plant is going crazy. And how lovely!

12" deep hugel bed. No amendments!

And we found tiny pumpkin fruits.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:14PM
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