Thursday, December 30, 2010

Garden Favourites in Summer

Happy New Year!

A couple of old favourites have bobbed up again this week. By chance Kerry proudly showed me a couple of Tomato plants I had taken home. I delivered these "spotty" plants and said I was keen to see if we could out grow the bacterial spec once the plants were in the ground. The Boss has done the rest very successfully and very simply. Cleaned off the infected foliage and top dressed around the plants with about a shovel per plant of Chook litter (litter, not raw poo). They are growing vigorously now, about 1m tall each. That's it! I'd prefer this wasn't an issue but I'm still getting questions about spots on Tomato leaves so it's nice to be able to say there is a practical solution.

The other favourite is

I was just wondering if you have any idea why I rarely ever get any female flowers on my pumpkins?  Is there a particular nutrient that produces female flowers?  I get plenty of male, but they're not that useful without the females!
Warmest regards

I checked with Dangerous Don who confirmed this is a common and inconsistent problem and recommended we just wait. I also checked back on my previous Newsletters and discovered I have written about it previously! Any way I had delayed answering Sherilee about a week and by the time I had suggested "pruning" the Pumpkin tentacles, 6 female flowers had appeared of their own accord. My theory is Pumpkins and other Cucurbits wait for a check to their growth before deciding it's time to reproduce. That could be the weather getting hot or someone amputating a few limbs.

Best wishes for a safe, prosperous and Happy New Year.


  1. My pumpkins usually have a run of male flowers before any female. I reckon it is in the cause of efficient pollination. The boy flowers get the bees coming and when they are regular visitors it gives them some girls to get to work on. This has always been the way with my zucchinis too...until his year. They have put up male and female flowers together and early. Tiny zucks have resulted but they didn't grow. I think the wonderful weather we have had in Victoria made them think they could go early...but it doesn't really work.

  2. Brilliant! Thanks Hazel. I love how clever this whole system is yet it is still thrown out by a wetter than usual season.

  3. Thanks for the advice same issue here with our cucs zuchs and pumpks.. :)

    Andre and Susan


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