Friday, June 29, 2012

Passion Fruit Vines Both Red and Purple

Some of you may remember the story I posted back in April, when Dot Dot gave us Passion Fruit Vines.
Well, I had to pull all of my Scarlet Runner plants. Between the 15 inches of rain and the winds we received during Tropical Storm Debby, they were toast. They just looked terrible.

In a way, I was sad to see them go, because they attracted hummingbirds, but they really looked too sloppy for the front yard.

With the Scarlet Runners out, you can see the Passion Fruit Vines pretty clearly. I am pretty excited about it, because the two taller vines are red flowered Passion Fruit Vines. The center one that you can see in the second picture is purple. And all of them are really healthy looking. Dot Dot even told me that they look as if they will flower soon! Yay! (I'll take pictures of their beautiful flowers, if I get any.)

The vining plants to the back of the picture are Red Flowered
Passion Fruit Vines to the left and Purple Flowered Passion Fruit
Vines to the right. They have different types of leaves. The purple
ones have three pronged leaves. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Saving Seed From Cucumbers

Last week when we got so much rain,  I missed a cucumber in the garden. It turned yellow and swollen before I saw it. I had not planned on saving seeds from my cucumbers, but I only planted one variety, and the cucumber was at the stage needed to save seed. I decided to go ahead and save seeds from it. I thought you might like to see how to save seed from cucumbers.

Cucumbers are pollinated by bees, so you can only save pure seed if you only plant one variety. Otherwise, the likelihood of crossing is high.

This is what a cucumber looks like when ready to save seed.

Cut the cucumber in half and scoop the seeds from the 2 halves. 

Put the pulp in a bowl.

Add water, and pull off as much of the pulpy stuff as possible with your fingers. Leave
the water in the bowl, and the seeds in the bowl.
You will probably want to do this next part in the garage; it
stinks. Leave this water and seed and pulp mixture in the bowl
for 3 days, stirring once a day to separate the seeds from the pulp.

After three days, add a lot of water to this mixture and carefully pour off the lighter stuff. The good seeds sink to the bottom. Repeat this process several times with a full bowl of water each time, until your water runs clear.

Carefully pour off the last of the water.

The cleaned seeds will look like this.
Dry your seeds on a brown paper bag, or a piece of cardboard for several days until thoroughly dry. Place in a paper envelope and label.

I think it is kind of exciting to learn to save seeds from different plants. I have really enjoyed these cucumbers this year, and now I can really enjoy them next year, too. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mississippi Cream Peas

I love the beautiful double flowers on these peas. They open
downward. Before the buds open, they are yellow. They open to
these double white flowers. 

The first of the Mississippi Cream peas. I cannot wait to eat them. 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Garden Profile --Garden of a 12 Year Old Boy

I have a friend who homeschools. She has a 12 year old boy who has befriended an elderly man they call "Mr. Ben." Mr. Ben has a huge garden and his garden got this 12 year old interested in gardening.

It is the 12 year old's garden. It isn't the garden of the mother. It isn't the garden of the father. It is his. He decides what to put in the garden. He borrows the rototiller from Mr. Ben. He plants okra, cucumbers, cantaloupe, watermelons, and tomatoes.

I asked him what his favorite plant is. He said, "Okra, by far, okra."

Very cool.

And kudos to the parents for allowing him space to follow his interests.