I'm a novice at growing melons (Cucurbitaceae), it's a delightful experience to watch these veggies grow. Some are said to be ready to harvest in 50 days after sowing? This is a hand-on experience. I'll share my experience, and invite others with similar interest to join in for discussion.
Have you grown luffas and or calabash, cantaloupes? What are the positive/negatives pointers you'd have to give others? I hope you'll join in and talk about growing melons in the garden.
Currently I've 3 variety of these vines, 1. A couple Cantaloupes (seed from a sweet variety that I purchased at the grocery store, another from friend's garden harvested last year). 2. Luffas ( two distinct variety). 3. One calabash (or edible gourd).
Pictures shown are those of the Calabash which was sown in the latter part of June. The vine's bearing both male & female flowers. I'm so excited of the prospect of having these fruits in the backyard garden. You're invited to join the discussion. Come one, come all, let's talk. ^_^
It will be interesting to watch your progress. I myself have grown Cantaloupe type melons in the past but this year am growing Burpees Sugar Cube (cantaloupe) in two spots. One on a big pot on the driveway and one on a trellis in ground. My issue with trying to grow melons from years past was very poor production. This year I see that the Sugar Cube melons in the pot are loaded with melons while the in ground ones have almost nothing. Lesson learned. Next year more melons will go in pots on my sunny driveway.
Hi Rita, thanks for taking an interest in my attempt to grow some of these vines. In years past, I've had random lucks with pumpkins growing in the ground. But didn't fair well with them in containers. The reverse holds true for your experience with cantaloupes.
Last year, my pumpkins vines looked healthy, pest free, but didn't produce fruits. I learned then they needed some help with pollination. At the time, I didn't know there were male/female flowers on these type of plant. I couldn't differentiate the sexes of the flowers at that. Then I picked up some idea to burry some portion of the vines to help it along (?). I was scratching my head: Learning bit and pieces of the whole lesson was rather tough, no ones told me about adventitious roots on the vines then. So this time around. I've gained a little more understanding of these type of plants culture. That said, I'm still a novice at this project. When I noticed my gourd's vine sent out a bunch of male flowers near the base of the vine this time, and there were no female ones, I was curious. Then couple weeks later, the vine begun to send out female flowers. Next, a few of the female flowers turned yellow and fell off the vine; I then realized those female flowers were way up on the top of the 8-9 feet long vine, the embryos must not received adequate nutrients to sustain themselves to maturity? So I promptly rigged up some way to correct the problem of transporting nutrients to the way ward young female flowers. Here is what I did.
To the left is the large container the vines are growing within. On the right of the wooden post, I raised a smaller pot with potting soil in which I burried a segment of the vine with several adventitious roots, I weight the segment down with a river rock, watered the pot in and doused the pot with some liquid fertilizer as I gave the main vines some fertilizer a few days later.
I have never grown pumpkins or any types of vining winter squashes. I am thinking they might not be the best for pots due to the fact that the vines get really big. That is long. I tried watermelon in ground once, that thing went on forever. I couldn't imagine it in a pot.
But really trying different things to see what works best is how we learn.
I'm pondering now, whether I should hand-pollinate these two. Since this is my very first calabash that I've ever grew. First pix is the female flower and 2nd is the male. They're very close in their growth rate. I've observed that in early morning hours in the last couple of weeks, the male flower opens up early in the morning, then closed by noon. That means tomorrow morning I need to be out there and assure I've an opportunity to hand pollinate them. What say you?
I cant grow good watermelons and to a lesser extent good cantalope here in Pennsylvania for some reason in the ground. I just get small little fruits that never amount to much. When I lived in Texas I could no problem. I attributed it to the heat unit differences. I'm not sure if its the daytime or night time ambient temperatures that some of the cucurbits like melons need or what it is. I will have to try growing them in pots...
newyorkrita...if you have more success in pots it could be that the soil temperature is warmer in the pots vs the ones you have in the ground? Maybe a plastic mulch might help in the ground?
I can grow excellent pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash (mainly butternuts), and cucumbers in the ground without many problems other than powdery mildew and in some years downy mildew. On the insect side of things squash bugs are my main threat.
I have noticed with most of the vining cucurbits that the first few female flowers are not always successful. I think sometimes this is due to pollination or other times the plant is still putting energy into vine growth and isnt quite ready to shift energy to reproduction?
I have noticed that many winter squash vines do have roots at the nodes and provide some nourishment as well as moisture and support. But I have also grown them on a trellis and didnt see much difference...in fact sometimes more fruiting on the trellis.
I have also seen some benefits of partial shading of mid day sun on pumpkins that seemed to increase size and quantity..at least the times I have planted them between rows or corn or under a fruit tree I have had alot of success.
Ah, now I've a green light. I'll carry out the task early in the morning. Thanks Rita for your input.
drobarr, like you, I've tried water melon before. They made fruits, but the taste? It was more like water without the 'melon' part. lol Needless to say, I haven't attempted a repeat failure since.
If you think that the heat unit differences between the two locales, I would lean toward that as well. If there is chill-hours unit, why not heat unit requirement for optimal growth in certain plants? Personally, I've noticed certain ornamental plants just refused to bloom if I planted them under too much shade. On the other hand, if Pumpkins thrive in partial shade, I'll definitely try my hand on growing them again in the future. Thank you for sharing the experience with me and others (who watch this thread). And if indeed, not all winter squash vines really rely on the additional soil contact along the vines, I'll stop worry about how am I going to rig up some "grow pouch" of supplemental soil/growing medium to support them. Like this container for instance, it would be a real challenge to bury some of the roots at some of the nodes of the vine that already grew vertically.
Okay, here is some update;
1. My very first female flower on calabash vine 2 days ago.
2. The same flower 2 days after pollination.
3. Bee is helping me pollinating the cantaloupe.
4. It isn't unusual for me to find two bees in a gourd's flower such as this.
5. One of the cantaloupe on a slender trellis.
1. Calabash vine is huge and continues to climb up the arbor.
2. & 3 Luffa vine begins to produce both male/female flowers but only the female flowers are mature, not so with the males. Guess I'll have to wait a while before the vine is ready to set fruits.
4. I've more peppers than I can eat. Any one has a good recipe for me to pickle them please.
I lost 90 per cent of my cucumbers and squash to disease and insects, lost the first bath of cantaloupe to disease, planted a second crop but don't have much hope for it, the rain just keeps coming day after day. I do still have water melons, but with all the rain I doubt if they have much "melon" taste I will try and get some pics, IT IS RAINING RIGHT NOW!
Seedfork, I 'hear' your pain. This is one unusual wet-year we're having. The RAIN must be moving your way, you must be catching the tail end of it from us. It rained cats and dogs here last night.
I'm catching on with the bugs and diseases on growing veggies. It isn't all fun and game as I thought it to be, lol. I can really see what too much rain does to our garden. My neighbors' community garden looks beaten up this summer. It seems only the okras are thriving, tomatoes and others greens, NOT so much. Good lucks with the second crop. Keep the faith, it's either rain versus drought. Mother nature is unpredictable at time.
One positive thing I've noticed; having grown veggie in container, the excess water doesn't have the same detrimental effects, for with the well drainage growing medium, the plants seem to prosper this moonsoon rain we've!
I'm looking forward to seeing your pics. Have a good day in the garden everyone.
cytf wrote:Hi Seedfork, yours look like little basketballs wow I hope my melons do that well , do they like very wet areas?NY is having a lots of rain for a few days now.
Welcome cytf to our thread, Seedfork can tell you that most plants can't tolerate 'wet feet' condition. They literally drown. Farmers in our SE region are suffering watermelons crops rots; a news I saw yesterday on the local news.
I'm going to spend a little time out in the garden today. More time with family the latter half of the weekend. I'll return for more update on Melons growing in the garden later.
My intentions when planting the melons in the bog area with raised beds was to have the roots grow deep and water the plants, that way I would not have to water them every day. Normally we are in drought conditions at this time of year, or at least that is the way it has been the past several years. Now even the raised bed part is getting soaked everyday, sometimes twice a day. No, the melons do not like it, I have already had to pull several off and am not sure any of them will actually make it too maturity. Even if they do I am afraid they will be far more "Water" than "melon". For a "normal" year I think my plan might have worked, just not this year!
Seedfork, I do remember our severe droughts. One year, my wonderful neighbor/fellow gardener friend whose bog garden went bone-dried; and he lost all his bog plants that very year. Indeed, if it's not feast it's famine for us.
My various melons/calabash continue to thrive, the fruits are getting larger, and larger. The number of bugs and pest in the garden also grow. Bahumbugs!!! I think I spotted pickleworms damage on newly formed melons, as well as flowers damage/chewed by cucumber spotted/stripped beetles. There are only a few spotted ones, but a lot more of those stripped beetles. They seem to have a very high fondness of these flowers, after they indulged themselves with the fresh pollens; they proceeded to chew on those petals! Ughrrrrrgrrrrr!
1. Petal of melon's flower being chewed by cucumber beetles.
2. Tiny hole on the melon itself was invaded by pickleworm.
3. Close up of the damaged fruit.
4. I boiled the damaged fruit/flowers which revealed pickleworm exiting the fruit.
1. Oblong melon fruit
2. Calabash fruit; Day # 10 after pollination
3. Luffa, roughly 6-7" in length
4. and 5. These-- I suspect maybe a type of hybrid calabash in which the flowers are active at night. The flower petiole is reaching upward in search of night pollinators? Some of the petioles stems are as long as two feet! I haven't discovered the female flowers on this particular vine yet. Please stay tuned; I'll keep you posted of new development.
Good news, bad news; the good news is I was correct assuming the white calabash flowers to be a type of night-active flower as evident by (AEB) they all wilted early by sunrise. (pic. #1 #2)
Bad news is that I found multiple problem on the melons. A large number of fruits are infested with what appeared to be "pickleworms". Including my large size melons (pic. #3). I'm so blue this morning. Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!
Also a pending problem with cucumber beetles, they've chewed down a good number of tender leaf and flowers petals. I'm anticipating bacterial- wilt ( A disease caused by cucumber beettles) to be the next problem to occur!!!
Oh Nicole, who would ever dream how destructive these little insects can rack havoc in the garden. I grow only a few vines in containers. And how do they zero on in to the melons/cantaloupe only. For the past two days, I've trimmed off many segments of the 3 melon vines I've got. One good thing about their habit is that they attack the terminal/distal tips of the vine, so I hope trimming the affected segments of the vines will stimulate more growth?
I'm glad to learn that they're tapering off. So they're tropical and won't over-winter here in our zone?
Other pests that bugging me now, are cucumber beetles. I hand picked them about couple dozens a day. Hope with small planting, and my keeping watch on them will keep their infestation down a bit.
1. Small puncture holes made by these pickleworms on my oblong melon.
2. Wilted vine and evidence of pickleworms' frass on the deck below.
3. The real mccoy; Pickleworm .
4. Evidence of damaged vine above.
5. A leaf petiole and stem was disected to reveal the worm inside. One can see a hole on the stem where they made their grand entry. Grrrrrrr.
I ate my first cantalope from the garden this year today. It was one of the potted Sugar Cube Melons. I have those in two spots, in ground and in a pot. The ones in the pot have a lot more melons set than the in ground ones but the in ground ones are much bigger.
But it was very tasty and sweet, even if not very big. I knew it was ready becasue it is a variety that slips.
Yeah, they don't overwinter here. Just in south Florida and Texas. They come visit every year, though, some years worse than others. The old time solution was merely to get as much crop as you can early on and then call it a season with the pickleworm showed up.
I've never had them hit my vines like that, at least that I've noticed. But by now, the squash are usually so awful looking I don't investigate why. I just know the winter squash will ripen anyhow.
The SCM must be one of the resistance strands Rita? By far 100% of my melons/calabash are decimated by these bugger worms. Only the Luffas seem to be unaffected (?). I hand picked several dozens of those early instars yesterday. I also picked off some cucumber beetles. It seem I am gonna wave the surrender flag and concede defeated.
Nicole, in your case, at least you've 20% success. These bugs are really bad news indeed.
Thank you Rita, unlike NicoleC. My pickleworms arn't tapering down, but I think they're at their peak? I find them on every spent flowers on my melons/calabash. Plus, they dug holes into terminal vines and leaf stems. The spent flowers are safe haven for cucumber beetles, as well as those pesky worms. So I've to hand pick all of them off the vine to prevent further damage.
By far, only the Luffas are coming out of these unaffected. Did you know? These worms when disturbed they dropped from the infested sites and they have a silk-like string to hang on to as they drop to the ground? And those cucumber beetles, they drop to safety as appose to fly off from danger. Some defend mechanism they have!
The good thing is; I harvested my first two Luffas fruits today. ^_^
Are you eating your luffas? If not, I recommend letting them sit on the vine until the plant is totally dead, or at least until they are brown and crunchy. They make better sponges when totally ripe, and are easier to peel and seed, too.
I've never had anything on luffas except squash bugs, and the plant didn't seem to mind much.
Yes I'm going to cook the luffas, I saved the 1st fruit to maturity for sponge-making, also harvest the seeds for next year growing. Thanks Nicole, the deck is the only sunny location in the garden to support vegetables and other sun loving ornamentals. I wished we've more land.
The destruction of pickleworms/melonworms on my various melons this season. The upside to this whole experience is, family, neighbors & friends love to visit my garden-- not to look at the damaged fruits of course.
As of this morning, the pickleworms are still active in the garden, so are cucumber beetles Arghhh!!!!!
So far, the white-flower calabash (must be a winter melon) isn't susceptible to the worms. But in close inspection, there is damage evidence on the flower. I was so happy to have found out that the 1st flower made from this vine was hand pollinated, it took, and some how it escaped the worm.
1. A newly mature female flower on the elongated winter melon.
2. Day #5 after hand-pollination on the very first fruit from this vine. Thus far, it's roughly a foot- long fruit.
Yes, this melon is growing very, very fast. I can almost see the difference from morning until the day ends.
Urgggg! I am so upset, I found the monster bugs on my Luffa fruit! There was another one ready to harvest. I cut it down to see tiny little holes and some live worms on it. I cut the fruit open. Oddly enough, they only dug/chewed the green tough skin of the fruit, but didn't tunnel into the tender fruit under neath.
I cut off several more feet off of the new damages on those vines, and leave/stems. Every one segment I cut off there were pickleworm inside.
I have tried everything for getting rid of bugs, but I just don't know if anything can compete with summer bugs in the deep south. My garden store people say "two for the bugs, one for the humans" when it comes to plants this time of year.
"two for the bugs, one for the humans" ... Nola THAT it's!!! That shall be my motto for the garden from here on. LOL, there ought to be enough for every living thing. Under one condition. If ONLY they will spare this melon for ME. LOL All joke aside, this fruit will be interesting once mature; if I can save it from the bugs. It's nearly two feet long today. I'll try to remember to bring a measuring tape outdoor to measure its progress daily.
I thank you for the compliment, the view is pretty, unless the storm hits. Other time, flood is another problem here. Thankfully flood is a rare occurrence here, though this spring we had two (floods) back to back. It wasn't pretty then.
Nola, you're the second gardener friend from DG who suggested that. The 1st one was drthor from TX.
It's done! I went out to the garden this evening to measure the winter melon, then covered it with old hose. I ain't giving in, or giving up without a fair fight. lol Thank you for the suggestion. I did pick roughly half a dozen of the worms earlier during the day. The number of cucumber beetles also seems to dwindling down as well.
Oh, the melon is 19" at present. More flowers are being produced, quite a few are matured this evening.
Oh, question please, will the leaf-footed bug be harmful to our crops?
Yeah, that leaf-footed bug is a jerk, he eats flowers and fruit. The assassin bug looks kind've the same, but is a "good bug". I can only tell them apart as babies - the leaf-footed nymphs are "social" and hang out in a group, while assassin bugs...go undercover? ;)
I'm glad Drthor and I agree, her expertise is superior judging from her harvests! I've covered my plants up with tulle since reading DG. I have a store-bought "greenhouse" with soft sides that's supposed to do the same trick, but I caught more bugs inside it than anything else. Live and learn, homemade is better, as usual.
I've tried everything to zap the bugs in my garden, and so far the only thing that works on the regular is #1 consistently getting out there to see what's happening #2 while it's early enough to beat the bugs awake and #3 wearing gloves, even when it's hot out. I'm fortunate enough to have bees visiting my lemons & bananas right now, but I keep forgetting they're here (they seem to only be here twice a year) and have nearly picked a few up while cleaning up. Gave the neighbors quite the laugh yesterday when an angry bee zoomed right up my dress.
Veggie gardening also seems to bring out more bugs than I've ever seen! I don't even know what half of them are some days, but anything I catch chewing goes straight to bug heaven.
Oh, and a good no-nonsense book for us down here is "Southern Kitchen Garden" by Adams & Leroy. I also like "From Seed To Skillet", by Jimmy Williams, but more as a coffee-table book than a guide, as he seems to be able to grow or cook anything. Lucky duck, he's a Californian with plenty of sunshine and room to grow stuff.
Also, Lily, since you're growing mostly in containers (smart in flood prone places!), do you change out your potting soil ever? I always say I will, but procrastination.
In regarding the good and the bad bugs in the garden. It seems some of the 'good guys' (implying good bugs) can transmit disease to humans. I've gained a new respect for those assassin bugs, and leave them well alone for fear of mishandling them may contract illness. http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1327558/#top
In regard to changing out potting soil. For my ornamental, I seldomly repot them unless if there are signs of decline in their performance. With veggies, I understand the principle of rotating crops. So, I'll try to plant a different crop in these containers to avoid diseases/pests.
Dirt also transmits diseases and parasites to humans, some quite nasty. (All quite rare.) I would not get unduly worried about diseases from assassin bugs. Compared to ticks and mosquitoes, they aren't even on the radar.
NicoleC wrote:Dirt also transmits diseases and parasites to humans, some quite nasty. (All quite rare.) I would not get unduly worried about diseases from assassin bugs. Compared to ticks and mosquitoes, they aren't even on the radar.
Update; day #8 after hand-pollination on the white-flower winter melon. It's now exceeded 2 feet! Yah! 27" to be exact. lol
Thanks go out to Nola and drthor for the suggestion of covering the fruit. It's growing leaps and bounds. It must be one of those 'yard-long' variety. lol
The down side to it all, my yellow flower winter melon is beginning to show sign of fungal problem on the leaves. The vine appears to fizzle out, I can't find any new female flowers, and the last male flower fell off yesterday. :((
The assassin bugs will also leave a nasty bite/sting on you. I found this out the hard way.
Good for your white winter melon! I can't keep fungus out of my garden, but I have managed to curb it a little with a liquid copper fungicide. Of course, with all this rain, it's not staying on. No wonder the fungus is so happy.
Okay, Rita. Rub it in, rub it in some more won't you? LOL Congrats. That's fantastic! Great job. Thanks for sharing.
My crop appears to be a major loss. 80%-90% I dare say. No cantaloupes by far this go-round. The yellow flower winter melon is 100% failed. I was forced to cut them off the vine because those critters have "drilled" holes within the petioles connecting the fruits. Total ruin. sniff sniff*
As to the melons, my Sugar Cubes grown in a pot are much smaller than the ones in ground. But there are more melons on the potted vines. They are sweet though so very tasty.
Next year I want to grow a lot of melons. Well, A lot for me anyway. I have a nice raised square bed that I have tomatoes in this year. Planning on doing melons there next year. I figured out the layout I can use and will grow them vertically and can have 8 groupings. So can do 8 different types or do more than one grouping of a type if I want.
And I have another space next to the cucumber trellis. Am moving out a small grouping of daylilies and transplanting them. Then will have two vertical trellis sections of about 4 feet long each. Going to plant melons there also. So should have lots of melons if things go well next year.
I am really sorry about your crop failure, Lily Love. I would be pretty discuraged if I were you. So sorry!
Yes, I'm disappointed, but not discouraged yet! I'm gonna try them again, until I succeed. If I can learn to accept "Two for the bugs, 1 for the humans" I'll grow my garden again. Good night all. There will be a brighter day tomorrow for the garden.
Lily, the pattern of damage and the extent you are reporting is very strange. Holes in the fruits is normal, extensive vine damage from pickleworm is not. Are you *sure* you don't also have SVB?
My other thought is that you might be over-tending those infested vines. Unless that part of the plant is dead, I wouldn't cut it off. The leaves are still feeding the rest of the plant. Even when I had the SVB reign of terror last year, some plants rerooted themselves and forged on and eventually produced at least some crop.
Thanks Nicole for your thought. I need to study more about the pickleworm infestation. I saw two different looking caterpillars eating/tunneling into the leave stems and the vines. One with tiny dots, and the other are opaque to greenish looking bigger caterpillars. I'm unsure if these maybe the SVB cats.? Anyhow, as of now they seemed to be tapering down. I found one pupa and rid of it. No cucumber beetle found today. Yeah!!!
SVB is pretty brutal; their m.o. is tunneling inside stems. They are mostly white and fatter than pickleworm. Pickleworm start out white with tiny spots and typically turn greenish but may be other colors depending on what they are eating.
SVB *does* overwinter here, but they are strong flyers. Sanitation is good but no help f they fly n from somewhere else. The best defense is planting resistant species of squash like C. moschata and to a lesser extent, C. mixta.
SVB destroyed my yellow flower calabash. But the White flower calabash (winter melon) continues to get bigger and bigger. I'm waiting for the temp. to cool down before I go out to the garden and take down the destroyed vine. Two other melons seedlings were also killed by the bugs.
I shall make a note to be certain to plant these type of melons earlier in the spring next year.
Rita, those melons/cantaloupes look so good. I'm glad you've had success. My cantaloupe vines are still growing, but there aren't many flowers being produced. I guess they are too on the decline.
There is no evidence of melonworms on the vines today, there were no cucumber beetles either. But I did find at least a half dozen SVB caterpillars today. Some of which have tunneled inside young fruits, whatever that's left on the vines. Grrrrrr!!!!
They're something else! Vile creatures is a good description lol they're competing with us for food sources! If only they take two and leave me one I would hold a kinder opinion about their vile nature. lol
I see smaller melons set in my in ground melon section. I look carefully and they sure don't look like cantaloupes. So maybe that means the Sweet Sakura melons have finally set. There were a few vines planted between the cantaloupes but all summer I saw no fruit set other than cantaloupe so figured maybe those vines died out or something.
I'm looking forward to see your SS melons development. Better late than never. I sewn several winter melons seeds couple of weeks ago. I went off on vac. and returned to find the 2 seedlings were killed off by SVB. Luckily one La-Kwa vine is growing strong. Today I hand pollinated the first fruit. There is another nearly mature female flower, I'll see about pollinate it tomorrow. Also, the Luffa vine continue to send out many flowers. I hand pollinated one while I was working on the La-Kwa. So hopefully I'll have more Luffa fruits to cook again soon.
The yellow-flower winter melon is def. on its way out. The white-flower winter melon ceases to make any more flowers. The oblong melon is showing glimpse of hope, new growth and flowers. I so hope to get at least one edible cantaloupe. At the mean time, Publix is enjoying my patronage for their fresh produces. lol
Rita, what does a Sweet Sakura melon look like? I'm curious.
Oh my! Just before sundown this evening. I believe I came face to face with the SVB moths. I counted a dozen of them flying. They're-- to my surprise, smaller than I thought. Roughly bigger than a mosquito, and equivalent to a housefly, or maybe a tad smaller? Black wings, and orange bodies beneath the wings. I tried to take some picture, but the camera didn't cooperate. What say you?
The SVB moths are not big moths but I think bigger than a fly or maybe you have large flies! They kinda remind me of a wasp but orange body with black wings sounds correct. Sorry I can't say from your pictures.
Thank you Rita for the links. Even with those pictures from google, they really have 'beautified' the vile critters. lol I'm pretty sure, those are Squash Vine Borers that I've seen. I'm ecstatic that I've found the lake is acting as an eco-balancing system. I just saw dozens of these bugs floating on the water surface. Apparently some yellow reflection from trees/shrubs nearby have attracted those bugs into the water!
Oh I've discovered that these moths are not discriminating; they even try to deposit eggs on other ornamental plants such plumeria and angel trumpet. I found a trumpet flower with holes drilled trough, I cut open the affected flower and found 1 of those tunneling caterpillar inside. As far as the plumeria? I think the tree's bark is too tough, the bug couldn't penetrate the sebum layer to deposit the eggs. But, I'll find out eventually if there will be evidence of borers infestation during the growing season.
The Sakata sweet melon looks very attractive. Thank you for sharing the link.
Thank you Rita, hope y'all are enjoying the nice safe holidays. In my corner of the garden. New developments. 1) Those numerous bugs I saw were not SVBs, those are actually sciarid fly as identified by DG member. 2) My La-Kwa vine is taking off; the fruits are growing at a fast pace, especially after a soaking rain that we had last night. Pictures are those of the mentioned La-Kwa vine, its flowers and fruit. The vine is trained on a horizontal rope.
The growing season has wound down to harvesting time. I'd like to close out this thread with these pics. Thanks each and everyone that followed my adventure with growing vegetable vines in the garden 2013.
1. Two Luffas, the large one is ripe for sponge; all I need to do is peel the dried skin to reveal the sponge within. Oh, don't forget about hundred of seeds inside that large ripe fruit. The smaller one is ready for cooking and I took the vine off the arbor.
2. The mentioned arbor back to its original free standing -- 'til early spring next year, it will be adorn with more of these edible/ornamental fruits.