Friday, March 1, 2024

The Unknown Carosello

One of the things I like doing when gardening is giving cucumber varieties a second chance. Back in 2018 I grew an unknown carosello cucumber variety. It was oval and ranged from being very dark to quite light. I didn’t know what to think of it then, but I do remember it tasting pretty good. With all that in mind, I decided to give the variety another try at a new plot that I had set up in a 1-yard grape bin.

























The grape bin setup worked beautifully. I filled it up with some professional soil mix, set up the soaker hoses and timers, then added the transplants. I had to start over though – due to the unseasonably cool weather that we had this year. I had to plant both in early and late May. My late May planting was just sprouted seeds, as I didn’t want to bother with transplants just to have them killed by the cold again.
























The vines grew quicky and well – without any problems. When the fruit was old enough to taste, I tried some out and was not impressed with the flavor as I had been before. Was the flavor better in 2018 or was I only comparing it to the Spuredda Taratino, which has one of the worst flavors and textures of any cucumber-melon that I have tasted? I cannot exactly say, but with a sub-par flavor, an unknown name and large variations in color and flavor, I decided that I would not continue growing this variety. Out of obligations previously agreed-upon by myself and the household owner, I saved seeds from the oldest fruit and took out everything else. Then I replanted the next crop.





























Despite this crop not working out as I would have preferred, I am glad that I tried and found out what I did. For me, much of gardening is unknown. While I can guess on what could be the likely outcome of any course of action, there is so much uncertainty - unless I can control all the variables. Attempting to remove all the variables often leads to unintended negative consequences. Similar to life, it is much better to spend my energy doing what I can and then stand back and appreciate the weather and conditions, come what may.

Friday, February 23, 2024

The Girl’s Garden in 2023

I have given my younger daughter plenty of choices concerning what to grow in the girl’s garden plot. We usually grow tomatoes and potatoes as well as some sweet potatoes. She likes sweet peppers, so we almost always include some of those. Additionally, we generally try to do something new each year. This year we tried some butterfly attractants, such as Milkweed and Pipevine. 


























My girl grew peas earlier in the season and, with effort, we got some Milkweed and Pipevine. Unfortunately, not much did really well this year in the girl’s garden. I don’t know if it was due to some overcrowding or if it was just that we didn’t manage it very well. She is the type of gardener who enjoys just sowing seeds and forgetting it. But my daughter did help me with the sweet potato harvest later in the season. 















What didn’t do well in our garden was the new native plants. Perhaps they need a section just for themselves or perhaps we are not providing them the right conditions? The tomatoes, potatoes and sweet potatoes did alright, but the peppers were a little overcrowded by the sweet potato vines. With my  teenage daughter getting older, I only have a few more years before she is no longer around. I’ll definitely have to get more of her input concerning what she would like in her garden plot this year.