It was not a nice day to work in the garden today. 87F, dew points in the 60s, and a Code Orange Air Quality Alert. I made it about two hours and called it quits.
Today, I bit the bullet and pulled all the tomatoes in my tomato bed. They've all been replaced with different varieties, except for three I started at the beginning of last month when I suspected the worst. The youngest, Garden Gem, is only about a month old, as I'd misfiled the seeds in my "filing system." It sure looks bare in there! Not for long, I hope, as all were tucked in with a scoop of worm castings, some extended release fertilizer, and watered in the some Dyna-Gro.
Here's a mystery. When I pulled the old plants, I also pulled the painted garden labels for each plant. Check out the three labels for the plants that were on the east side of the bed! All the plants were originally put in the same day, in the same way, with the same amendments. Whatever it is, is coating the stake. It's white, white, sort of chalky and, when scraped off, which it does easily, the paint underneath looks fine. Any ideas on what's going on here?
While I was taking a break in the shelter of my sun umbrella, a visitor came to enjoy the pool!
And, after I'd taken that photo, it occurred to me I hadn't shared the cucumber house yet, so here it is. There are four plants in an 8 foot enclosure. All are gynoecious or parthenocarpic, or both and all are from Johnny's Seeds. No sign of cucumber beetles yet! Fingers crossed!
1, their earliest, most productive slicer, at 48 days, also the most vigorous plant of the four. "This hybrid produces very dark green, uniform, 7-8" slicing cucumbers despite cool weather or heat. Small seed cavity. Skin is thick enough to endure harvesting and handling, but thinner than the average slicing cucumber. Remarkable vigor in both the field and greenhouse. Gynoecious and parthenocarpic. Intermediate resistance to cucumber mosaic virus, cucumber vein yellowing virus, and powdery mildew."
"Especially flavorful when harvested small. Diva produces distinctly tender, crisp, sweet, bitter-free, and seedless cukes. Adapted to open-field production and protected cropping. Harvest at 5-7". Gynoecious and parthenocarpic. High resistance to scab; and intermediate resistance to cucumber vein yellow virus, downy mildew and powdery mildew."
Iznik. The only one of the group I've grown in the past, and one of my favorites! "Mini cocktail cukes for the field or hoophouse. Iznik produces good yields of 3 1/2-4" spineless, seedless, dark green snack cucumbers. Multiple fruits per node. Excellent flavor. Pick daily for best quality. Gynoecious and parthenocarpic. High resistance to powdery mildew and scab." Perfect size for a Hendrick's, tonic and cucumber.
Finally, comes Tasty Jade, the only one not gynoecious, so I'll have to help it along with some manual pollination. "Delicious long Asian cucumbers. Vigorous, high-yielding plants produce glossy, thin-skinned, 11-12" long fruit with small seed cavities and bitter-free fruit. No peeling required. Sweeter and more crisp than any other long Japanese cucumbers we have trialed. Also, Tasty Jade is among the few parthenocarpic varieties of this type available today. Suitable for outdoor or greenhouse culture. Trellis for straight fruit. Parthenocarpic. Intermediate resistance to downy mildew and powdery mildew."
Phew! That's it for today. No rain in sight for the next 4 or 5 days, so that water tank will get a workout.