Blog posts from September 2013

Let your melons go to seed…and see what you get!

Sep 25, 2013

You may or may not know that when you plant a hybrid cultivar, and you allow that cultivar to go to seed, that those seeds will end up growing into progeny that may look nothing like the parent plant. Heirloom, open pollinated varieties will come "true from seed", however. 'Green Zebra' tomato for example is an open pollinated tomato variety. When you save seed from the fruit and replant them next season, you'll get 'Green Zebra' tomatoes. Not so if you save seed from 'Celebrity' tomato, an F1 hybrid. Your resulting seedlings from 'Celebrity' seeds will exhibit charactaristics from the parents of 'Celebrity', but may look nothing like 'Celebrity'. Such is the case with my rogue melon seedlings, which planted themsleves all over my garden from last years dwarf hybrid 'Faerie' watermelon.

Tiny melon

These super cute teeny tiny watermelons have been producing in my garden all summer long. They came up anywhere and everywhere, all over my front garden. The vines only reach about 3' to 4' long, an the melons are palm-sized. The flesh is yellow when mature with pink flesh. Now these little buggers have a lot of seeds, but the flavor is great. Hmmm...wonder what will come of their seeds next year? I call it 'Too Cute'. LOL

Chili Tepin is rockin’ it…

Sep 24, 2013

Now that night temperatures have dropped and it's starting to feel like fall, many summer veggie plants in the garden have started kicking back into gear for fall harvest. Peppers especially move back into high gear right about now, along with summer squash, zucchini and others.

There aren't many perennial veggies we can grow, but the Chili Tepin (and Chile Pequin, which looks very similar)  is one that returns reliably for me in zone 8a. It does go dormant in the winter, then re-emerges in late spring after soils warm. It will even tolerate some shade while still producing prolifically. Plants are also referred to as Chilitepin, Chili Tepin or Bird's Eye Pepper.  Love it!

Chili pequin

It’s Decorative Gourd Time!

Sep 23, 2013

Oh yeah, it's decorative gourd time! And yes, I even color coordinate my gourds to my house, pots, dogs, car...you name it. So I have a color coordination compusion...at least I admit it!

Gourds

Evergreen Wisteria

Sep 11, 2013

Never heard of evergreen wisteria? You're not alone! Many gardeners have never seen or grown this vine and I consider it a very underused ornamental. Millettia reticulata, while commonly referred to as evergreen wisteria, is not actually related to true Wisteria. This vine does have a similar appearance to true Wisteria, but instead produces gorgeous deep purple to magenta pea-like blooms at the tips of stems. The color is almost irridescent!

Millettia

This is a photo of my evergreen wisteria in bloom. The vine grows to approximately 15’ tall and 3-6’ wide, with dark glossy green foliage. Plants are winter hardy in USDA zones 8-11, but you'll find in Zone 8 plants may only be partially evergreen over the winter or may even drop all their leaves in a colder than average season. If they do defoliate, new growth will re-emerge from the dormant vines the following spring.

Evergreen wisteria needs a sunny location in order to bloom well, but can take soem late-afternoon shade. Make sure to provide this vine with good support like a sturdy arbor or fence. Bonus: The blooms are fragrant!

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