Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Gardening 101

One of these days, I'll graduate to Gardening 201. For now, though, I'm stuck learning very basic gardening lessons. :)

Lesson 1: harvest basil before it flowers. I didn't think to look up when to harvest basil until after it started flowering. Oops. I did harvest some leaves, but I haven't been doing it consistently. In order to keep the plant growing and the leaves tasting right, the top leaves are supposed to be pinched off as they grow. This encourages the growth of new stems and keeps the plant from flowering. Luckily, I did start some other basil from seed. So, I have a second chance.

Lesson 2: If there are no insects to pollinate, you probably won't get any squash, cucumber, or cantaloupe. My squash plants are big and beautiful, but nearly 50 days into growing I still have no veggies to show for it, only small squash on the female flower that end up dying off. It turns out, if the insects aren't doing their jobs, you can try and do it for them. I've started going out in the early mornings, picking the male flowers and trying to get some of the pollen into the female flowers, in hopes that it will help.

Lesson 3: I have much to learn about tomatoes! I hope I learn what I need to know before my plants get eaten by bugs, a disease, or the fruit eaten by birds. :)

This morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had TINY cantaloupe and TINY cucumbers, finally. I hope that they grow!! I'll take pics later today to record any potential progress. Meanwhile, we are praying for a great harvest!!

No comments: