Sunday, February 27, 2011

not just butterflies and bumblebees


I spent a lot of time penning a witty little explanation of the pictures above but I have been wrestling with the computer tonight and it seems to have disappeared. I can't be bothered trying to recreate it sorry, so long story short. I thought the pretty little white moths were the culprits but after most of the damage had been done I found the perfectly camouflaged caterpillars. They now live in the park across the road. Needless to say I'm not planning on making cauliflower soup any time soon.

Kurtis and I were very excited. I thought this flower was a good sign but never having grown any food (except herbs) before I didn't know if this was a good sign or not. I thought I had heard of things "going to seed" or "going to flower" before and I thought this may happen after the plant had fruited.  I made a note to myself to ask someone without sounding like a complete fool. Anyway before I had a chance to do that Kurtis and I were out surveying the progress in the garden a day or two later and I said to Kurtis "I hope we get some zucchinis" to which he replied "They're here mum" as he pointed to the fat green stem behind the flower. I must say it looks a lot like a zucchini and I'm rather inclined to trust him. What do you think? 
And I cannot believe how quickly they grow, they would have to be three times bigger than everything else we planted at the same time.

Our first strawberry.

Luckily I took this photo for you as proof because when we went to check on it today,  it was gone!
When I asked Kurty where it was he just said, with a very serious face "someone must have eaten it". Someone indeed.


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  2. Ah, that child is adorable!
    The white butterflies are responsible for the green caterpillars. So you're mostly right. They lay their eggs under the leaves, so go take a peek and give em a squishing!

    The zucchini will give you two types of flowers. The one photographed above is a female (it bears the fruit!). The other type will be atop a long stem (quite phallic looking). And their stamens look different too - take a peek and you'll see what I mean *smile*.

    The pollen from the male flower's stamen must reach the stamen of the female flower, in order for the fruit to continue growing. Bees do a pretty good job at this, but I do know of some gardeners that pluck the male flower, relieve it of its petals and give the female flower a wee stroking, just to be sure.

    The female flower is only open for a short time - a day or two, before she closes up and the window is lost. If the end of the fruit starts to yellow and wither, fertilization did not occur :o(.

    Once you've got your fruit growing, fertilize with crushed egg shells. The leached calcium will prevent your ends from withering. Oh, and watch them - it only takes a day or two for a zucchini to grow into a marrow!!

  3. Yes, eat them while they are nice and small - large, woody marrows are great soup fodder for the depression but no fun to eat... you can eat the flowers too, like in those trendy salads that people in Brighton eat :)