28 June 2012

Pumpkin patch

The plants in the experimental pumpkin patch we've carved out of the hayfield seem to be doing well. We've been lucky with the weather - there has been just enough rain to keep things going up there, although there were two frustrating nights when we watched storms pass closely to the north of us without dropping any rain. More storms are possible tonight. Fingers crossed.

The point of this bed was to avoid the squash bugs which destroyed all the cucurbits in the barnyard and greenhouse last year. I've sown cucumbers, melons, zucchini/courgettes and a variety of pumpkins and squash up there. As a control, I sowed two zucchini plants in the barnyard. They haven't been bothered by squash bugs yet, but there are loads of cucumber beetles on them which have turned the leaves into lacework in places. In contrast, the two zucchini plants in the hayfield are completely undamaged and much bigger than their barnyard cousins.

The only problem with the hayfield plants is their distance from the house (I know I shouldn't complain about this). If we get a good crop of zucchini and cucumbers it's going to be hard work carrying them back indoors!

On the way back from the pumpkin patch last night I had to do a double-take when I saw these flowers. For a moment I thought they were asters but then realised it was much too early in the summer. They're actually thistles; the flowers are much smaller than Canada thistles and so far I haven't been able to positively identify them. I don't think I've ever noticed them before.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Thistles are pretty things, aren't they? Here in Texas they have to keep the cows from eating them because they make them sick.