by A.J. Coltrane
Things have changed a lot in two years. The cucumbers and peppers are much larger this year than in 2013. I think a big part of that is because we spread the cucumbers out more — the EarthBox instructions call for four in a row along one side of the box. This year we put two on each side with the fertilizer strip down the middle. There is only one “Calypso” — it’s not competing with anything else, and it’s growing faster than every other cucumber we have. It has blooms! Progress!
(In theory the right answer is to prune out the weakest zucchini and cucumbers and leave only one per hole. I’m hesitant to do that though, because if something happens to the solo plant we’re starting over from scratch. This year we pruned the cucumbers back to two per hole, mostly. However, if the “Calypso” continues to beat the bejeezus out of the other cucumbers then we maybe we’ll need to take a deep breath and go with one per hole in the future… Ultimately the final yield will tell use what to do — two plants at 60% production create more food than one plant at 100%… we’ll see how it shakes out.)
Clockwise from front right on a very bright day: “Calypso” cucumber, Lemon cucumber (2), National Pickling cucumber(2), Lemon cucumber (2) –
For comparison, here are the 2013 Marketmore cucumbers. (This year’s Marketmores are similar to the picture above):
The photo below is facing north. It’s a direction I don’t usually use to take pictures-
Left side, front to back – basil, peppers, tomato
Center – Marketmore cucumbers, pretty container, tomatoes
3rd row – cucumbers, tomatillo, tomato
Far back right – Tromboncino zucchini
A more conventional view. Tomatoes and zucchini on the left. Peppers in the front. The basil (front right) is still floppy, but it’s now growing upwards:
A closeup of the Tromboncino zucchini. The four plants have been trained to their own “space”. One plant on one half of each side of the A-frame trellis. Note the complete absence of powdery mildew.. so far the 1/3 milk spray is working. Or it’s just early yet:
The tomatillos. “De Mipa” on the left. “Mexican Strain” on the right. The “De Mipa” is doing it’s usual flopping thing, and “Mexican Strain” is catching up:
Next week I’ll try to get pictures in the early morning before the direct sun kicks in. I think that makes for much better photos. Today that wasn’t a possibility. Hopefully by next week we’ll have a lot more little veggies to look at.