Friday, June 25, 2010

Just another day on the balcony

My hot wax peppers are coming along well. Just need them to plump up a bit and ripen. I planted some chocolate peppers a while back and I thought they were bell peppers but they seem to be coming out quite long. Nothing like a bell pepper. Maybe I had the wrong seeds. I cut one open and had a taste and it wasn't hot. Just have to let them ripen and see what I get.

hot wax

I've been spraying the odd spot of mildew I find on the pumpkin leaves with neem oil and it appears to be keeping it under control. So far so good. The one female pumpkin flower I attempted to pollinate didn't take but I see another higher up that is getting ready to open.

powdery mildew

The neem oil seems to be working well against the aphids on the eggplants also. Or at least I think it is. I guess there could be other reasons for their decline. I still see some aphids on the new growth but nothing like I would expect to see. I've been spraying the new growth on the pepper plants also - aphids everywhere. I've got too many peppers anyways and I don't know why I decided to grow eggplant again. I should have used the space for more beans and peas. A watermelon would have been nice.

And it's time to say good-bye to the snap peas. They've come to the end of their season. No new flowers or growth. I've been snacking on them for the past couple weeks and have a few more to go. I think I'll be planting some more in August for some fall snacking.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pumpkin Pollination

The first female flower on my sugar pumpkin opened in the night and lucky for us, a single male flower was open too. I clipped off the male flower to get good access to the pollen. Then with a small artists brush I delicately transferred all the pollen I could collect from the male flower evenly over the stigma in the female flower. A few days from now I should know if it worked or not.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Trellis for the Pumpkin

With a quarter sheet of plywood and a few 8' 1x2's I was able to assemble this trellis for my one and only sugar pumpkin. When it reaches the top I'll train it around and back down the trellis and by then I should have another side vine growing up somplace. The first female flower on this plant is ready to open. Perhaps tomorrow. There is a male lower down on the vine that also looks like it will open soon. Maybe too soon. That's the problem with only growing one plant.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Progress with Peppers

I planted a pair each of California Wonder, Chocolate Bell, Hungarian Hot Wax and Klari Baby Cheese. The wonders and the chocolate bells are flowering and trying to fruit but the plants look kind of ragged after being wind blasted over the last couple of days. But the hot wax and klari peppers are doing great with lots of peppers coming out.

I sprayed my eggplants with a a diluted Neem oil solution in an attempt to combat the aphids. The recommended dose was 0.5% Neem to water and a bit of detergent. Too early to tell if it's working. There are a few dead aphids on the leaves though. Don't really know if they're dead but they don't seem to be crawling around or doing anything. Might just be the result of the detergent in the spray. I've read that Neem is also good against powdery mildew which I've spotted on one of my pumpkin vines so I gave it a blast of Neem here and there also.

Speaking of pumpkins, I constructed a proper trellis for my plant. Just need to get it set up. With the trellis I will be able to maintain the vines vertically which should allow the leaves to collect more sunlight given that all of my sunlight pours in from the west and not overhead.

Friday, June 11, 2010


So early in the season and I already see problems starting. I found a spot of mildew on a leaf of one of my pumpkin plants. Not a problem yet but I've seen what happens when it gets out of hand. On the other pumpkin, the new leaf growth is coming out a lighter shade of green with a few tiny dark spots - doesn't look good. The bambino eggplants are officially aphid infested. I'm trying to keep them away from everything else for now and squish out what I find when I find them. And most of the beans I planted that have come up are rotting - too much water. What was I thinking.

On the positive side though, the snap peas are doing well and producing lots of flowers. The broad beans are up and looking healthy. And I'm getting lots of blossoms on my pepper plants.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

First Pumpkin Flower

Temperatures have been a bit cooler this past week. Bad news for the peppers and tomatoes, good news for the peas. And everything is trying real hard to flower. I noticed a single flower open on my Sugar Pumpkin this morning and the vine is barely two feet long. I don't even have a trellis up for it yet.