May 15, 2013

A Mid May Vegetable Garden Update

Bitter melon has an interesting seedling, very similar to beans. The inner seed becomes the first cotyledon leaves, and when the seedling pushes out of the soil it already has it's first set of true leaves. I love the bright green chartreuse color of the plant, which is the exact same chartreuse color of young bitter melon fruit.
The beginnings of a luffa plant, they always grow so slowly at the beginning. I think a luffa seedling looks very similar to a winter squash right before it vines and goes crazy. I'm hoping to train both the luffa and bitter melon up the bamboo poles.
Beauregard sweet potato slips are the only variety they offer around here, they grow really fast once they start vining and put down potatoes everywhere the vine happens to root. The birds have been menacing the sweet potato slips and nipping off their leaves. You can see the leaf victim in the bottom right corner.
The okra seeds have taken forever to germinate. After being in the ground for 3 weeks the Stewart's Zeebest okra have finally decided to germinate now that we have had some consistently warm temperatures in the 80's (28˚ Celsius). None of the Cowhorn okra have come up so I went ahead and replanted that row with Philippine Lady Finger okra. And I also filled in the gaps in the Stewart's Zeebest row.
The reseeded bush bean bed has sprouted. In about 30 days there will be green beans! I planted 4 varieties this year: Romano, Blue Lake 274, Royal Burgundy, and Tendergreen Improved spaced in rows 18 inches apart. I never thin out the bush bean bed, they seem happy enough at 2 to 4 inches apart in their rows.
A Royal Burgundy bush bean seedling. The stems are a pretty purple color.

I started the bitter melon and luffa seeds in pots because the seeds were very old and I didn't have very many to begin with. There was 100% germination and 3 bitter melon seedlings and 6 luffa seedlings got planted next to their bamboo pole supports a couple days ago on May 13th. Last year I tried growing them on the ground but they really seemed to hate it and the plants stayed very small, and a couple years before that I trained them to climb okra but they never managed to fruit.

It's pretty early in the morning yet about 8:45, and I need to get out in the garden today and plant the summer squash, zucchini, winter squash and melons.

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