Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another episode of Alison asks...

Your Japanese cuke... has that been going all summer?
nope, i got it from a friend as a seedling about a month ago. but... it's very vigorous and has climbed a 6 foot string and is getting ready to run over the top of the trellis.
My organic plant protection book says that pickleworms can be fought by trellising because they only feed at ground level.
BULL! you could grow it in a locked safe and the (*%$(*^&%$ PICKLEWORM would find it... Hah. hah.
Since you grow everything up, you'd know! I found a Japanese Long cucumber, but it said nothing about pickleworm resistance.
so, i saw the first signs of the (*&DF(*& pickleworm on the plant... that means that the cukes are likely getting eaten up inside... but 1) it took them a LONG TIME to find them and 2) the cukes are fast growing. so, i plan on using newspaper and paper bags to deal with the worm.
Right now I've done 3 plantings of a pickling cucumber and everything has gotten completely eaten. There appear to be eggs all over it, black eggs laid in clumps.
are you sure they're not aphids? aphids are REALLY bad now. they look like eggs... only they're tiny little bugs. check again. the other active bug right now is the stinkbug. their eggs are pretty iridescent globs.
No fruit to eat, but the foliage is all but gone. Would those be pickleworms?
I couldn't find a description of their eggs anywhere.
I've had luffa in all summer and they have shown no interest in that. They've also stayed away from my watermelons which were planted at the same time as the first round of cukes. I'm baffled. About to rip them out and give up on fall cukes... what do you think?
rip 'em out. here's the info for the cukes that have done so well for me now: Japanese Cucumber Hybrid Tasty Queen.
Your yardlong beans... when did you get them in the ground?
hmmm.. maybe a month ago? not long ago.
We've had great success with red-seeded asparagus beans, but I've never tried a second planting in late spring/early summer.
if you got the space and seeds, why not try? they make good green compost material in any case, and don't need any inputs... just sun and rainwater.
They just pooped out with the corn. I'm wondering if the same variety will keep us in beans all summer if I just planted a second round. We got pretty tired of okra this summer. :->
i don't understand the combination "tired of" and "okra."
What do you do to cure your sweet potatoes? The research I've done suggests rather putsy temperature keeping that would frankly be impossible. I'm wondering if keeping them in a basket on the porch where there's no direct sun but still heat and humidity would be enough.
i keep mine all fall/winter long on the gazebo, on my wooden slat table. they can be kept for months with good airflow. i wouldn't keep them in a basket--that might reduce the airflow & risk rotting.
We're also not planning on harvesting all of them until December- would you suggest picking them earlier so we still have a fair amount of heat for the curing process?
keep them in the ground as long as you can... i harvested mine only b/c i needed the space. you can pick 'em and eat 'em right away... but if you want to keep them for a period, you do need to "cure" them... which means, essentially, dry them out a bit, which sweetens them and heals the skin blemishes from harvest, lowering their disposition to rot. curing them supposedly increases the sugar content, too, by reducing the amount of water in their cells. but, really, i eat them whenever. the keys are to NOT RINSE THEM, keep them dry, out of the sun. leave the sand clinging. when you're ready to eat, then wash them.

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