Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Update

It has been a while since I updated, but the garden is coming along nicely. I have a few new learnings to document.

First, the wind in my area has been pretty strong this spring, and two different times I went out to find one of my broccoli plants snapped off and laying in the yard. Broccoli tend to be very top heavy early in their growth. Eventually, the stem becomes very thick and difficult to break, but it is probably a good idea to pile up dirt around the stems until the stem thickens. Had I done this, I wouldn't have lost those two plants.

Second, I have been harvesting snow peas, but I made a big mistake by planting them so close together. I followed the guidelines for intensive planting and put them 3 inches apart. What I have now is a virtual jungle of peas, and it is very difficult to find peas to harvest. In the future, I probably need to space them 6 inches apart. I plan to try another crop in the fall.

I have been occasionally pulling up a carrot to see how big they are. The first couple of times, the root still looked like a thick hair. This time, the top of the carrot was about as big as my pinkie. So, it won't be long before I can start pulling a few to eat.

Finally, the crookneck squash are showing some tendencies that I have often encountered with my squash. The tiny squash look perfect until the bloom falls off. Then, after a few days the squash starts to rot from the tip. I have heard that this happens when the female flower does not get fertilized, but I am not certain. I have also been advised by a couple of people that I should be harvesting and eating the male flowers - but that seems like it would make the rotting problem even worse by preventing fertilization.


  1. The problem you are having with your squash is called blossom end rot. It's a common problem, though it's not one we have had beyond isolated incidents.

    The claim is that it's due to a calcium deficiency, which could be the result of a soil deficiency or of too much/irregular watering. If you google that phrase, you'll get all of the ten billion contradictory explanations :).

    Beware of recommendations to correct a nutrient deficiency by foliar feeding. Foliar feeding is fine in general (as long as you don't use a too-strong solution and burn the plants) but squash is very mildew prone, so make sure you do it early in the morning on a day that is going to be warm, so that the leaves don't stay wet for too long.

  2. I still haven't managed to get any squash to produce. Every one is rotting as soon as the bloom falls off. The bugs are also demolishing my broccoli.