Friday, June 26, 2020

The Spuredda Tarantino Part 1

From my experience with growing out the Striped Tarantino in 2018, I was pretty excited to grow out the Carosello Spuredda Tarantino in 2019. Of all the places I decided to grow this variety, I chose the fertile garden in order to ensure a good growout. This variety was sown in July and harvested for seed in October.

The Carosello Spuredda Tarantino

July 12th, 2019

Previous to planting out the crop, I presprouted the carosello into 2” compressed soil blocks. This enabled the seedlings to grow for a little longer while I prepared the beds. As part of the garden prep, I added four buckets of composted and sifted leaf mulch. As I live in a location with plenty of deciduous trees, and because I have found this to be an incredibly effective fertilizer leaf compost has become the amendment of choice.

When planting out my cucumber-melons, I have found it is vitally important to put some kind of collar around them. Cutworms are especially prevalent in the area of northern California where I live and the minimal effort needed to place collars in the soil around the plant to protect the stem is well worth the rewards.

July 19th

Critter Damage, possibly cutworms.

July 31st

Another thing I had to do in setting up my cucumber-melons this time around was to find an adapter between the thinner pvc pipe and the wider soaker hose. This took about 45 minutes at my local big-box hardware store (which was not Ace). Neither the employees or any of the customers in the outdoor water-system area were able to help me. So I ended up getting several pvc fittings that worked together to fit the need – or at least temporarily.

August 5th

August 7th.

By early August I discovered that some plants were growing fast while others were growing very slowly. The cause was discovered one morning when the watering system was on. It seems that one of the multiple joints in the system was not able to thread enough to keep a tight seal. Later, when I went to the hardware store I finally found the right isle and fitting. Finally, I changed out the multiple fittings with just one and, as my boys say, “all is well”.

Discovered a leak in the watering.

August 17th

One of the things that I have always appreciated about this carosello variety is that it is easy to tell, from an early stage in the female fruit growth, what the fruit will stripe pattern will look like. I know of very few other carosello that have such a distinct color pattern early on in their growth. Early color patterns are preferable for me only in that it allows me to better select for color – something that is important to select for, but definitely not the most important.

August 21st

August 22nd

So, what is the most important trait to select for in any vegetable? Taste. No matter how beautiful the vegetable is, if it isn’t palatable, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.

August 24th

August 31st

Another quality that I really enjoy about this variety is its productivity. Some carosello varieties produce moderately, while others produce abundantly. Abundant can be good. But as my experience with growing Chinese Long Beans (Asparagus Beans or Vigna unguiculata subsp. Sesquipedalis) demonstrated, there is a limit to how many beans that a gardener can deal with.

September 4th

This carosello variety also plumped up pretty quickly. Having tasted this variety both in the cylindrical and oval shape, I would have to say that they taste a lot better when they are larger and oval than when they are young and cylindrical. However, by that time the size is a little bit unwieldy. I much prefer a bite-sized cucumber over one that requires cutting in order to consume it.

Finally, if you haven't had an opportunity to see this, you can join me as I do a video walk & talk about the Spuredda Tarantino.