23 July 2010

Cucumber travials continue

I rescued the last-standing cucumber vine from a fate similar to that of its peers with a timely spray  of neem soap solution -- spotted tiny black flies and dying leaves just in time. The plant seems to be thriving now and has lots of flowers. But some are dropping off. A quick check on the Net revealed that this may just be the male flowers dropping off after pollination. Or maybe not. The trick is to identify the female plants, which apparently already have a tiny cucumber at the start, and hand pollinate them if necessary. While I have seen bees buzzing around the plants on my balcony, I thought I'd try hand pollinating just in case. But the flowers that seemed to have a tiny cucumber are either already closed or are still buds. I will have to check on them several times today to find out. Didn't know cucumbers would  be such a trial to grow. Raj Panda and others seem to get marvellous results without any of these tribulations.

The pics below show the cucumber flowers against all the mess in my balcony. A carpenter doing some work in our house was supposed to make a mesh for me, which would have hidden some of the mess while giving the vines support. But he has disappeared after my husband told him off for some transgression. I'm not going to have much luck with any aspect of the cucumbers it appears. 

Meanwhile, the lack of sun has made my other vegetable plants so drab and listless that the least said about them the better. But to make up for it, some flowers in the garden are doing well even without much sun.

Impatiens on the patio with dancing lady begonia, pepperomia and philodendrons

Coral vine

Mandarin orange buds and fruit


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  2. Hang in there Jeanne, you sound as though your heart is full of determination and a love for gardening. That will see you through the hard times that always seem to be a part of gardening wherever we live. I enjoyed my walk through your garden.

  3. Thanks so much, Helen and Merdehuit, for the welcome and for the encouraging words. They give me fresh energy.