Viewing the Vertical Garden

With all the heat, our vine crops are having a ball and growing like crazy. I took some pictures earlier in the week of the different plants to gauge where they are at in starting to produce. Mostly I was looking for the presence of flowers, and if flowers were present, then I was looking to see if the flowers were male (for pollen) or female (fruit producing). We need both male and female flowers to get anything off of a particular variety. Female flowers have a swollen area behind the flower that often looks like a miniature version of whatever the fruit is supposed to be.

The ‘Salt & Pepper’ cucumber is blooming, but I only saw male flowers. No cucumbers on this vine yet!

The ‘Rocky’ cucumber is much farther along. A check of the label says 45 days to maturity, which would explain the early fruiting! These are little 3-4″ long snack cucumbers. We’ve harvested 4 of these cucumbers just this week .

The ‘Cucino’ cucumber is not far behind, with lots and lots of female flowers setting cucumbers. They will be producing like crazy by early next week.

I did find this one lonely female flower on the ‘Sweet Success’ cucumber plant. It is a little bit later and produces 14″ fruit, so I’m not surprised.

The ‘Suhyo Cross’ cucumbers, another long, slicing type, are also lagging behind. I didn’t see very many flowers at all, and certainly no female flowers.

The ‘Kazakh’ melon has lots of flowers, but they are mostly male flowers. I did manage to find one or two female flowers, and those seem to be increasing toward the end of the week.

The ‘Honey Orange’ honeydew melon is in much the same state. There are lots of male flowers, although if you look close at this picture, I think you can find 2 female flowers.

This is the ‘Pinnacle’ spaghetti squash. Again, mostly male flowers, but I did find this female flower. From checking this morning, it looks like it was successfully pollinated.

This is ‘Lil’ Pump-ke-mon’ ornamental pumpkin. you can see that it had some male blooms earlier that have died and now has some female blooms. I couldn’t tell for sure when I checked this morning if any of them have actually been pollinated.

On the other hand, the ‘Sunshine’ Kabocha squash hasn’t had tons of flowers, but I’m pretty sure that this squash is successfully pollinated and growing. We’ll be sure to keep and eye on it. This type of Kabocha squash is supposed to be a bright scarlet at maturity.

That’s what’s going on in the Vertical Garden this week. There are some other vine crops throughout the garden, but I’ll cover them in the context of “whole garden” overviews in the next couple of weeks.

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on June 28, 2012, in Around the Garden, PhotoEssays and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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