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Vegetable Gardening: Growing various Melons 4 D Novices

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 24, 2013
5:54 AM

Post #9610361

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. ^_^

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

July 24, 2013
8:11 AM

Post #9610462

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.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 24, 2013
11:48 AM

Post #9610679

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.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

July 24, 2013
12:32 PM

Post #9610699

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.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 24, 2013
5:12 PM

Post #9610959

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?

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

July 24, 2013
5:14 PM

Post #9610960

Do it! Why take a chance on it not getting pollinated when you know what to do.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 24, 2013
5:16 PM

Post #9610963

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.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 24, 2013
5:57 PM

Post #9610993

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.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

July 26, 2013
9:23 AM

Post #9612389

Lots going on here but at least you can see my pot of Sugar Cube melons there in the front. In the big green pot.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 27, 2013
1:19 PM

Post #9613529

Rita, those are looking great. Please keep me posted how your Sugar Cube melons turns out.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 27, 2013
1:27 PM

Post #9613541

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.


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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

July 27, 2013
2:15 PM

Post #9613592

Looks good!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 27, 2013
2:35 PM

Post #9613616

Thanks Rita,
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.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

July 27, 2013
2:39 PM

Post #9613620

Those all look great also. Sorry no help from me for pickling peppers.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 27, 2013
5:31 PM

Post #9613773

Umm, I googled pickled peppers. The process is quite involved. I'll check with a friend of mine for her recipe when I visit her next time. Thanks Rita.

Oh I do have this question. From your own experience, did your newly formed cantaloupe looks a little oblong like my picture above? After all, they are quite round when mature. I'm just curious.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

July 27, 2013
5:58 PM

Post #9613806

There are some varieties that are more oblong shaped and some varieties that are round. Mone are of the rounder variety and the fruits stay round.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

July 27, 2013
6:15 PM

Post #9613828

Thanks Rita, come to think about it. The 'sweet melon' I sew was indeed an oblong-shape variety. It'll be interesting to see how my very first fruit turns out. Good night. :)

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 1, 2013
6:23 AM

Post #9618162

1. The oblong melon yesterday
2. The same Melon today.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 1, 2013
6:28 AM

Post #9618168

The calabash today, and the Luffas are taking off; making many fruits. Yeah!

1. The calabash fruit on day #7 after pollination
2. Luffa's male flowers; both male and females flowers are abundant at present.

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Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

August 1, 2013
6:47 AM

Post #9618189

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!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 1, 2013
7:05 AM

Post #9618212

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.

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cytf
Staten Island, NY

August 1, 2013
7:35 AM

Post #9618251

This is my first year planting Burpee mini sweet,I am getting lots of blooms and a few fruits are forming.I tried planting in the self watering buckets using the kitty buckets

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Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

August 1, 2013
2:54 PM

Post #9618662

Right now my melons are looking pretty good, the bog area they are growing in looks like a flood zone.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 1, 2013
3:21 PM

Post #9618703

Wow, wonderful!
cytf
Staten Island, NY

August 3, 2013
9:28 AM

Post #9620250

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.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 3, 2013
10:26 AM

Post #9620289

[quote="cytf"]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.[/quote]

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.

Happy gardening everyone,
Kim

Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

August 3, 2013
11:32 AM

Post #9620334

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!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 4, 2013
6:28 PM

Post #9621500

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.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 4, 2013
6:42 PM

Post #9621520

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.

This message was edited Aug 7, 2013 7:00 AM

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 5, 2013
7:55 AM

Post #9621990

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!!!

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NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 5, 2013
8:37 AM

Post #9622032

Pickleworm decimated my melon's this year, too. It's a real bummer when you go out to pick a ripe melon and there's a hole in it. I have gotten *two* melons this year, out of about 10.

But pickleworm seems to be tapering off, so hopefully the later melons will do better.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 6, 2013
3:15 PM

Post #9623372

I ordered melon seeds I picked out from Park Seeds.
Melemon Melon
Dove Hybrid Melon
French Orange Hybrid Melon
Lambkin Melon
Inspire Hybrid Cantaloupe.

They came today but I will be planting them in the spring. I really can't wait to try them all!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 6, 2013
3:21 PM

Post #9623377

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.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 6, 2013
3:23 PM

Post #9623379

Hi Rita, those list is long! How are your current melons doing in the garden now?

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 6, 2013
3:33 PM

Post #9623388

Oh, I am so sorry about the Pickleworms!

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.

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 6, 2013
4:18 PM

Post #9623426

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.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 6, 2013
6:26 PM

Post #9623528

Urgh! Apparently the pickleworm didn't spare my gourd. I think this is a tiny hole visible from the large gourd today.

I'm declaring war on these species! LOL

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 7, 2013
10:52 AM

Post #9624051

Sugar Cube Melons on the vine.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 8, 2013
4:57 AM

Post #9624826

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.

I'm back to ornamental gardening... I think.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 8, 2013
8:50 AM

Post #9624991

It is resistant to fingal deseases. Not sure about anything else. It does taste wonderful.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 8, 2013
6:17 PM

Post #9625417

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. ^_^

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 8, 2013
6:23 PM

Post #9625433

Luffas look good.

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 8, 2013
6:26 PM

Post #9625435

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.

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 8, 2013
6:27 PM

Post #9625438

P.s. your deck/dock is gorgeous!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 8, 2013
6:35 PM

Post #9625445

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.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 9, 2013
9:45 AM

Post #9625822

Sugar Cube. Yummy!

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 9, 2013
5:45 PM

Post #9626199

That's yummy! Ahhhh, I'm jealous, lol

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 10, 2013
5:25 AM

Post #9626444

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!!!!!

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 10, 2013
9:01 AM

Post #9626623

Ugg! How aweful.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 10, 2013
5:58 PM

Post #9627008

1. From Sunrise ...
2. To nearly sunset ...
3. Beyond the ruins ...
4. One can see the beauty in the garden ... still.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 11, 2013
2:56 PM

Post #9627744

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.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 11, 2013
3:38 PM

Post #9627770

Wow, they grow fast.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 11, 2013
5:44 PM

Post #9627870

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.

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Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

August 12, 2013
7:59 AM

Post #9628295

Bahumbugs, indeed. But your view is spectacular!

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.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 12, 2013
12:37 PM

Post #9628584

"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.

Photos taken just as sunrises this morning.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 12, 2013
12:43 PM

Post #9628595

I sure looks pretty in those pictures.

Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

August 12, 2013
3:15 PM

Post #9628766

[quote="Lily_love"]the view is pretty, unless the storm hits.. [/quote]

Talk about a motto! Hoping it's a calm season for all of us.

And you could try to put the melon under tulle, or somesuch. I'm terribly bug-ridden, so I don't know! Lost all but 2 tomato plants to the bugs, so just trying to stay positive. :)

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 12, 2013
6:28 PM

Post #9628968

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?

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 12, 2013
6:33 PM

Post #9628973

The bug in question. Urgh!

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 12, 2013
6:35 PM

Post #9628975

Here is to our wish for a calm and peaceful season for us all. Good night everyone, 'til we meet again. Happy gardening.

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Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

August 13, 2013
3:05 AM

Post #9629220

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.

Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

August 13, 2013
3:19 AM

Post #9629222

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.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 13, 2013
5:51 AM

Post #9629333

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.

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NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 13, 2013
6:31 AM

Post #9629362

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.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 14, 2013
8:20 AM

Post #9630430

[quote="NicoleC"]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.[/quote]

Hah, point well taken. Thanks Nicle.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 14, 2013
8:39 AM

Post #9630453

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. :((

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Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

August 14, 2013
10:30 AM

Post #9630528

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.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 14, 2013
2:48 PM

Post #9630723

Two melons this morning. The little one is the size I have been harvesting from my melons growing in a pot. The big one is the same variety (Sugar Cube) grown in ground.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 15, 2013
9:30 AM

Post #9631447

Ate some melons this morning.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 15, 2013
1:44 PM

Post #9631682

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*

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 15, 2013
1:58 PM

Post #9631690

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!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 15, 2013
6:28 PM

Post #9631903

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.

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NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 15, 2013
7:00 PM

Post #9631928

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.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 16, 2013
6:50 PM

Post #9632909

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!!!

NicoleC

NicoleC
Madison, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 17, 2013
4:24 AM

Post #9633126

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.

C. pepo is apparently their favorite meal.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 17, 2013
5:42 AM

Post #9633156

That sure is an important lesson. Nicole, I think I've both pickleworm and the dreaded SVB worms as well. Yike.

It's drizzling out there this morning, I was delighted to find another of this 'yard long' melon on the vine.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 17, 2013
1:46 PM

Post #9633492

Ate this melon at lunch.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 19, 2013
2:30 PM

Post #9635409

I picked two larger melons today. In fact that large one is the largest I have gotten so far this year. I am sure they will be tasty as they already smell wonderful.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 20, 2013
12:32 PM

Post #9636343

Yummy!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 24, 2013
1:06 PM

Post #9640177

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.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 24, 2013
1:09 PM

Post #9640179

The Luffas withstood the damage. Two of the fruits will be saved for seeds and sponges making.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 24, 2013
1:30 PM

Post #9640199

Winter melon sure is a longgggggggg melon. :-))

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 24, 2013
2:07 PM

Post #9640223

It's an odd looking one! LOL But it's so much fun to watch it grows.

Nola_Nigella

Nola_Nigella
New Orleans, LA
(Zone 9b)

August 25, 2013
9:12 AM

Post #9640885

Looking great! I'm so curious to know how it tastes.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 25, 2013
10:18 AM

Post #9640914

The two melons pictured are the last from the vines in the pot. Those vines were just about dead, I was waiting on the melons to slip. So today they did and I pulled out all the potted melon vines.

The ones in ground are still growing well. I have some melons coming on them.

The melons were so successful this year that I am planning on growing lots more next year. Have already picked out a spot.

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2013
10:38 AM

Post #9640934

[quote="Nola_Nigella"]Looking great! I'm so curious to know how it tastes.[/quote]

Hi Nola, they usually being used in Asian cooking ... In my case, I grow this as ornamental purpose as a result I'm very pleased with this variety.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2013
10:51 AM

Post #9640942

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!!!!

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 25, 2013
1:28 PM

Post #9641062

I hate those SVB. Vile creatures!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2013
3:05 PM

Post #9641139

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

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 25, 2013
6:35 PM

Post #9641316

The 'yard-long melon' this evening.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 26, 2013
12:34 PM

Post #9641976

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.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 26, 2013
6:12 PM

Post #9642305

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

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 27, 2013
12:29 PM

Post #9642999

I hope I get some from Sweet Sakura. Then I would know if I should grow them again next year or not.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 27, 2013
6:01 PM

Post #9643298

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?

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 28, 2013
6:01 AM

Post #9643642

Finally I captured a few pictures of the culprits. I.D. verification is needed please. SVB? These moths were trapped by spider webs.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 28, 2013
9:35 AM

Post #9643899

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.

Here is a closeup picture-
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www1.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-vine-borers/img/squash-vine-borers-1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www1.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/squash-vine-borers/&h=432&w=650&sz=85&tbnid=A_BY3y_uhLfxdM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=135&zoom=1&usg=__jJ5VYrb9D4WMSNEqXKhTXi3YHeM=&docid=8FTob97qwkkFmM&sa=X&ei=kCQeUvfdOLSrsATNq4G4CA&ved=0CDMQ9QEwAQ&dur=4432

and another
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.whatsthatbug.com/wp-content/uploads/


Sakata Sweet melon-
http://www.rareseeds.com/sakatas-sweet-melon/?F_All=Y

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 28, 2013
10:17 AM

Post #9643938

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.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 28, 2013
1:34 PM

Post #9644092

I have to see if I get melons on those Sakata Sweets or not. I mean if they get ripe. Then to decide if I want to try again next year. Not sure now but I have plenty of time to decide.

My Sugar Cube (a melon from Burpee seeds) did really well so I am going to grow them again next year. Sweet and tasty. In fact I ate one with lunch today.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 28, 2013
1:42 PM

Post #9644101

Planning for melons next year.

I found this at Johhnys and thought at first I would want to grow it. But reseach on the net showed it got very poor reveiews as in almost impossible to get a ripe melon.

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/showproduct.aspx?ProductID=6695&SEName=savor-f1
It is a Charentais called Savor.

So intead I found two types that are a Charentais cross.

French Orange.
http://www.harrisseeds.com/storefront/p-390-melon-french-orange.aspx

Sivan CHARENTAIS with reliable fruit set (so they say).
http://www.highmowingseeds.com/organic-seeds-sivan-f1-hybrid-melon.html

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

August 29, 2013
6:03 PM

Post #9645240

I'm interested in that melon Sakata, do let me know how it turns out please. Here is my winter melon. As of yesterday, it measured 42 inches in length.

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

August 29, 2013
6:33 PM

Post #9645322

One long melon! Will report on the Sakata Sweets.

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 2, 2013
12:55 PM

Post #9648721

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.

This message was edited Sep 2, 2013 7:31 PM

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newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

September 3, 2013
5:46 PM

Post #9650037

OH my. You sure do grow the most unusual vines!

Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 3, 2013
6:10 PM

Post #9650059

These vines are unusual, and grow very rapidly during the summer months. Here, Luffa and La-kwa mingled/suspended on the same supportive rope. They're fun!

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Lily_love

Lily_love
Central, AL
(Zone 7b)

October 13, 2013
1:22 PM

Post #9685029

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.

Happy Harvesting everyone. ^_^

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