Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Garden Journal - Week 3 - How to Care for Your Squash Plant

Everything seems to growing well. We measured all out plants again and here are the results:
Tomatoes (there are several more flowers still blooming, but no buds yet. Jessica pinched off the suckers last week.):
Celebrity - 17" (up from 11" last week)
Beef Steak 1 - 20" (up from 18" last week)
Beef Steak 2 - 36" (up from 34" last week)
Beef Steak 3 - 24" (up from 19" last week)
Beef Steak 4 - 24" (up from 19" last week)
Green Beans (front 2 rows) - 11" (up from 6" last week). I decided to thin these a little. There were 3 plants that looked like they were struggling a little. So, I pulled those to allow the other 15 to thrive more.Bell Peppers (back row) - 12" (up from 8" last week). We did lose all but 2 out of the 9 of these. The 2 left still look good. I'm a little bummed, but good learning experience.

Cantaloupe - 7" (down from 8 1/2" last week - they still look great so I am not sure if last week was recorded correctly)Squash - 12" (up from 7 1/2" last week).I started researching more about how squash grows and here is what I found out:
Both of the above pictures show male and female blooms on squash (these are not from my garden - we are not that close yet). We do seem to have the beginnings of both the male and female. I don't think it will be long before we start to see some flower blooms.

The only way that squash will produce fruit is if bees transfer the pollen from the male flower to the female flower.

Male squash bees look like they’re sleeping in the open squash blossoms (and in the mid mornings when the flowers close they are), but they are actually waiting for the female bee to visit the flower so they can mate. If you want to know if you have squash bees in your garden, and don’t want to get up before dawn to see them, try pinching some of the closed squash flowers after mid morning. If you get a buzz from the flower that means a male squash bee is resting in the blossom, and then you’ll know that females are in your garden doing their job pollinating your squash. (from Urban Bee Gardens)

If your squash are not lacking the pollination transfer from bees, you can try to do it yourself. There is a great step-by-step here.

I found some great answers to questions about growing squash plants here.

We have noticed one of the squash plants appears to have tiny black ants crawling around the base of the plant. From what I have read, these are harmless. If I start to see any deterioration to the plant, I should try to get rid of them. So far, no harm.


amanda said...

Gosh Cassie - that was so interesting - please tell us more.

love amanda

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

Don't worry Amanda, I have a whole curriculum written just for YOU!!

Anonymous said...

I am cracking-up! When you said Jess "pinched off the suckers" I thought you meant the buds. I'm thinking, wow Jess wouldn't sabotage their own garden!?!?!

Then, I clicked on the link...

Jackie :)