How the cucumbers do it

Plus a primer on the leaf miner

The Cucurbitaceae family, generally vines with big yellow flowers including cucumbers, squash, zucchini, melon, set their male flowers first to attract pollinators to the plant. Once the plant matures, it will produce female flowers – identifiable by a miniature fruit between the flower and the vine.

If the female flowers appear, but then dry up and fall off, it means that you do not have enough insect activity and will have to pollinate by hand.

It seems like a lot of the Swiss chard and beet leaf damage is due to leaf miners. (Boo) Leaf miners are small hunched-back flies that lay eggs on the underside of leaves. The larva then tunnel inside the leaf creating the leaf damage. Control is simply removing damaged leaves, and watering well to help the plant out grow the damage. Yellow sticky traps can help to to trap adult insects.

Keep harvesting Kale, Swiss chard, beet leaves and snow peas. If the peas are not enjoyable anymore, because they are fat and tough – please remove the vines to make room for the tomatoes, and attach tomatoes to the trellis by wrapping the growing end around the net.

If your beet roots have gotten to a nice size you can start harvesting them as you need them. My favourite way to use beets fresh from the garden, is to grate them raw into a salad. Delicious! Onions and carrots will be ready soon too. We will be back to replant around the last 2 weeks of August, so you have about a month left to harvest all the beets, onions, garlic and carrots.

Posted in Uncategorized