Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Last "summer" crops

With April arrived hot and humid weather. Today's high was a record 93F. All the "summer" vegetables, squash, water melon, tomatoes and pumpkin plants have succumbed to the heat. The cool season veggies are all long gone, there are a few Swiss chard and carrot plants hanging on for dear life. The arugula is bolting and looking like a wildflower patch. Will probably have to make sure I take it out before I have millions of volunteer seedlings next fall.

I will be harvesting the last butternut squash. One of the three fruits seem to be a hybrid, its green in colour and larger than the others. I wonder what its going to look like on the inside and taste like.

I have one more golden Hubbard squash on the last remaining vine, the sugar baby water melons need a few more weeks to mature - just hope the vines make it. I had high hopes for the Tuscan melons, but only 3 managed to form and they are little larger than oranges. I am starting to wonder of the hours spent watering, fertilizing and caring for the squash,cucumber,melons are really worth it if they're going to produce such meagre crops. The delicata squash was a disappointment too, 2 hills with 3 vines each produced only 4 small squash - they are very tasty though, sort of a mixture between pumpkin and butternut squash. They seem to be very susceptible to mildew and other fungus.

I'd better look into Seminole pumpkin (supposedly indigenous to South Florida) which is supposed to have a better flavour and similar texture than butternut squash - and butternut squash is our family's favourite. I'm also looking at everglades tomatoes, supposedly indigenous to the everglades and bears even through our hot muggy summer months when no other tomato can survive.


  1. Well, your crops look healthy and happy. It will be interesting to see if indigenous edibles will fare well during the hot season.

  2. The crops do look healthy and they taste yummy, but I am sure they are capable of producing much more - the limiting factors are probably :

    1. soil - sand is not the best growth medium
    2. fertilzer - maybe I should have fertilized more often
    3. water - I watered the plants at least once a day with the garden hose, maybe a sprinkler system or drip irrigation qould have helped
    4. bugs - I didn't spray for insects, and before I knew it, the plants wilted and died
    5. fungus - the plants also succumbed to powdery mildew, maybe if I sprayed a fungicide more often they would have fared better.