Vines are improving

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

There is just something about rain water that plants like. I could water with the hose every day, and not see improvements like this. We've actually gotten rain for about 20 minutes a pop 3-4 times in the last week, and the gourd vines are taking off!

This pic is of the spinner gourd seedlings I planted in the pot just about 2 weeks ago - the leaves are HUGE!

Thumbnail by Syrumani
Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Out of desperation, I planted 6 short handle dipper seeds in this pot last weekend . . . even though I'm not sure there is enough time in the season . . . maybe I'll get lucky.

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

The Apple gourd vines are starting to turn green and branch out . . .

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

But not as much as the Bushel Basket gourds!

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Here's a closeup of where a side branch is going . . .

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

The Swan gourd vines in the front yard are doing a bit better, too . . . I'll take a picture of them tonite after work. I'm still in my pajamas, and don't want to go out front covered in penguins . . .

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Ain't it the truth, Syrumani! Yours look very hopeful. Rain is not only not full of the chemicals we treat our drinking water with, but lightening releases nitrogen. Glad you're getting rain. It rained all around me over the weekend, but I didn't get a single drop. (Pout pout pout.)

Crossville, TN

Bridg...I join you in the pout...I have had some rain...but normally it can pour over at my DD's 2 miles away and sprinkle here...I only have a Swan Gourd planted this year...nothing has set yet though...have had some male flowers. Jo

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Hmm. Now why would this be a particularly bad year for gourds? I wonder if the folks at Amish Gourds are having a problem. I could be remembering badly, but it seems to me I had a lot better going on this time last year.

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Is it possible we are being too impatient? I'll have to check my pix at home for dates from last year. Seems to me that alot of the bigger gourds didn't start developing until end of summer for a few in this forum. But still . . .

Now, I AM sure that there is something wrong with the soil (clay) in my yard, so that is part of it. Another part is the lack of rain up to this point . . . we are way behind for the year.

Clinton, IL(Zone 6a)

Brigidlily, Syrumani:

I, too, have been having an extremely "bad year" with my gourds' progress. And THIS, having started them INDOORS (in peat pots) 6 weeks ahead of in-the-ground planting this past first week of MAY...

I DID look at my pics from last summer: by the 4th of July I had actual (some 7 to 10 inches tall already!) GOURDS going, not just a couple potential (and subsequently FAILED) female blossoms/gourdlets by the 10th!!!
My garden plot was LUSH and thick with vines and blossoms that had me hand-pollinating EVERY NIGHT and THAT was in late JUNE last year....
We're going into the middle of JULY, here in Central Illinois, and I have YET to see ONE potential baby gourd... ;-(

I'll post a couple pics tomorrow of the "last year/this year" thing I'm dealing with, to help illustrate...
I would also be interested, as the two of you, to know if this is a NATIONAL problem, or just a few areas...?

jip

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Well, we haven't had rain since last week, and we won't be getting rain for at least another week. So, I hope things continue to go well . . .

Remember the bushel vines that had a branch going up and around the bakers rack? Well, not ony were there two more vines growing up, but another vine was attaching itself to the screen on the window! I had been chatting with my sister online - told her I was going outside for a few minutes, and it was over an hour later when I came back in!

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Here's the new front view of the bakers rack.

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Couldn't leave out a pic of the window . . .

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

All 6 seeds of the short handle dippers have sprouted . . .

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

The longest of the apple vines have gotten to about 10' . . .

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

In just a week, look at the spinner gourd vines!!!

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Tell me that this looks like a female flower in the making! I have got to grow these next year, too! They're growing fast!

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

It's got more flowers on the way . . . hopefully some males! It's weird that I got a female first . . .

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

This is my first attempt at hand pollinating - on the bushel gourds . . . not sure if it worked . . . pretty sure all the pollen when flying when I peeled the petals. In the 2 nights since I tried, there's only been male flowers out there!

I'm wondering if it isn't time to trim the longest vines, to encourage side branches. They're only about 10', the longest ones. I'm thinking if I don't, would there be enough time in the season for any gourds that do grow to get to full size?

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Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

I'd snip the vines for sure. Yes, that's a female flower! They really are weird this year.

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

I went ahead and snipped the longest vines the other day . . .

Here is a picture of the above bushel gourd I attempted to hand pollinate, just a few days ago . . . there is one next to it in this pic that I didn't see the other day . . .

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Here is a picture of it this morning! I'm going to start taking a pic of it each week, just to monitor its progress! The one next to it is starting to get icky looking.

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Here is the apple gourd I hand pollinated the other day. May as well keep an eye on it, too!

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Crossville, TN

I have about 4 wee Swan Gourds forming up on one vine...but I haven't seen any male flowers for a while...so I doubt they are going to make it...unless the any hill near by has found a way to help Ma Nature out a little. I love Apple Gourds...I hope all yours make it. I'm getting ready to send your Big Gourd seeds. Jo

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

I'll get the $$ in the mail to you tomorrow! Unless I can send paypal?

Crossville, TN

It's only $2.00 for the seeds and maybe a $1.00 for postage...just stick $3.00 in a card...also...he gave me 5/$1.00...so you'll get 10 seeds for the $2.00. Jo

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Well, I have some activity as well. Here is a little bench I stuck out of the way for a minute and it became a fairy garden --

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Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

-- and the vine that volunteered behind it:

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Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

A banana that decided to grow:

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Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

And this baby growing up the back fence:

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Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Here is the vine up the back fence. I noticed it was growing over the fence and peeked back there -- there is a HUGE length of this vine growing around the base of my back neighbors' tree! I need to go over there and introduce myself and explain what it is and (I guess) offer to get it out of their back yard if they want me to. Who knows? They might like it.

Edited to say that's a melon vine growing in the foreground.

This message was edited Jul 24, 2008 2:51 PM

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Oh, my, brigidlily! They are looking fantastic! The baby growing on the back fence, though, looks like it will get pretty heavy . . . do you have a system ready to support heavy gourds? You could go over and introduce yourself . . . or you could cut the vine at the top of your fence to encourage side vines . . . I really need to look into those cattle panels . . .

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Every time I look at that nice big one I realize I need to go in and sacrifice a pair of pantyhose to make a hammock for it before it damages its own stem. Nothing I like better than getting rid of pantyhose!

I hate to just cut the vine because 1) they might like it there and 2) they would then have a dead vine, which I would feel obliged to go clean up. So I think I'll mosey on over and explain who I am and what it is. They're an older couple so I doubt they'll shoot on sight. ;}

The cattle panels are great -- last year I had them in a big arch and they were GREAT for growing gourds and luffas. It was like having a little magical room outdoors; very cool and humming with bees in the morning. (I like bees, and I'm not allergic to them so of course I don't get stung... knock on wood...)

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/701125/

That's a link to a thread with a picture of the cattle panel arch before much had grown on it. It's about 3/4 of the way down the thread.

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

I remember seeing that thread last year! Could be that was one reason I went to McCoy's to find some . . . that thread, and there was one other . . . oh, well.

At least we're starting to see some action this year!

Lumberton, TX(Zone 8b)

Yes, I've run short of patience this year! Need to grow some...

Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

Yes, even the swan vines are improving enough to actually have the gourd I hand pollinated like 2 weeks ago to appear to actually be a bit bigger!

I must now remove those cactus (cactii?) that it is growing over . . . they are called Agave lopantha . . . pretty enough to look at, but they will hurt! They've got leaf edges that will catch and poke, and the point on the tip . . . oi! I poked the back of my hand on one last year, and no kidding . . . when I pulled my hand away, it was a gyser! Took 5 minutes of real good pressure to stop the bleeding . . . and the bruise was there for aLONG time! Anyway . . .

It just took me 20 minutes to pull about 8-9 tiny (ok, 8" or so) plants away from the base of the big ones - in that clump. I'll tackle the big ones tomorrow (thank goodness for the atlas glove coop a few months ago - the pokes could have been alot worse!). I must risk pokage, in order to save my gourd!

I tried to sell the agave lopantha on craigslist . . . got a few inquiries, but no takers (I wonder if it's because I said they'd have to dig them up themselves? . . . I did say I'd supply the shovel!).

I'm not one to use the word hate much . . . but I would be a happy person if these things never crossed my line of vision ever again!!! They are like weeds, here! They've got tap(?) roots that go for feet underground . . . and send up little ones that grow their own long roots . . . please, please - if ANYONE grows these THINGS, please keep them contained!! At least the nimrod that planted the first one kept them enclosed between the house and the sidewalk . . .

Ok, don't want to hijack my own thread with the rant on these horrid plants . . . I'll post pictures tomorrow of some of the darned roots . . .

This message was edited Jul 26, 2008 9:45 PM

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

I think that for only being planted from seed just 5 weeks ago, to have a full size gourd already is pretty good!

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Whitsett, NC(Zone 8a)

There are also a few that are half size . . .

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