Friday, August 13, 2010

The hot weather returns..

Today the weather is suppose to push back up into the low 90's, which will be quite a change after almost two weeks of cloudy mornings and sunny afternoons that only reached the high 70's. This is particularly good news for the heat lovers in my garden - the squash and the tomatoes. The four "Delicata" winter squash plants have spent the past two weeks growing like mad and sending out runners.

It has now reached the point where many are pushing outside the protective fencing. I learned from last year's experience that the deer will leave these alone..for a while! Then one morning I will wake up to find every leaf eaten off. So I am working hard to try to corral these vines back into the safety of the garden, sometimes easier said then done!

The "Delicata" are just starting to open their first male blossoms. Their blooms are smaller than the "Butternut", not as deep, and are a star shape. Very unique and pretty I think.

For comparison, here is a female "Buttercup" bloom. I had 2 female blooms open today and decided to hand pollinate both of them. At this point I can only find two fruits total on my four "Buttercup" plants - not an impressive total. Fortunately I found these female blooms in the morning and had a freshly opened male bloom to use as a pollinator. I should know by next week if I was successful.

Here is one of my two "Butternut" squash. Sadly, it looks much more impressive in this photo than it does in real life. Right now it is only about 8 inch long. It has a lot of growing still left to do I hope.


Heather said...

Lexa, will you eat any of the blossoms? I have a ton of them but have never prepared them myself... just had them at restaurants. Great idea with the board and squash.

Dan@retrooregon,com said...

Wow. I never know there male and female blossoms. No wonder there are so few fruit, when it seems there should be more. think I'll try the board idea on the pumpkins. Thanks, Dan