I have done my share of trellising projects in my garden over the last few years. Today I would like to share with you one good reason NOT to trellis the bigger vines of melon, pumpkin, squash and gourds.
In the photo above, I have circled in yellow the area where my vines left their raised beds. If you look closely you will see that in each case the original vine has died. Perhaps due to lack of enough rain, and perhaps due to a vine boring insect (I have no idea which) all of these vines have died off in the original spot where I planted the seeds.
But look again and you will see that, indeed, they live!
These types of vines will sprout new roots anywhere they come into contact with moist soil. Given enough time, the new roots will grow large enough to support at least a portion of the vine. In this case the new roots are keeping my vines alive and growing, even through their parent plant is dead and gone.
If these were trellised, I would have lost the whole vines when the one and only set of roots died back.
I am adding two new 4 ft x 8 ft garden beds this year, so I decided to let my kids each plant one. I’ll also let our wonderful friend and neighbor, M., plant one of my existing 4×8’s. These children are 8, 6 and 6 years old, so I made them up a planning guide that you see above (and in color below).
I helped them cut out the plant rectangles that are sized to cover 1, 2 or 4 square feet in the bed, and then let them arrange them any way they pleased. So far, two of the three are finished:
Kids' 4 x 8 foot garden plans
Feel free to take this idea and run with it, but make your own. Absolutely all of the pictures in mine were “lifted” gently from Google searches, so I have no permission to use them.
The jackolantern pumpkin we grew got ripe late in July. How long can I leave it on the vine before it just rots right there in the garden? The stem is still quite green as is the vine attached…
We don’t plan on eating this (maybe the seeds) so if we could get it to last until at least September (fall decoration!) that would be great. Anybody with experience care to enlighten me? It’s several inches larger than a basketball, so putting it in a refrigerator is out of the question.
Here I am tonight at my seed table. I’m sitting down about a foot under the ceiling of our crawl space.
The tomatoes below were planted March 5th. I’ve been able to keep most of them down to between 8 and 9 inches high by keeping the lights close to them.
I have three double-40-watt-bulb fixtures over the seedling table. The fixture on the right side of the photo below is hanging higher on one end in order to provide a height gradient to match the growth rates of all sorts of different plants.
A tray of all the seeds I’m trying in 2008.
Starting the last few seeds…zuchinni. Also in the photo below are jalapeño and green pepper, cantaloupe and the cups of the tomatoes.
My son has one of his mini-pumpkin gourd plants started and seems very proud.
As I said in another blog post, my broccoli and cauliflower plants were all already transplanted outdoors. It’s 42 degrees outside tonight and forecast to reach 30 by morning. I’ve taken steps to keep them a bit warmer!