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effective superstition

It's been pretty dry and hot here for a while. Today I ensured a little bit of rain by watering the garden extensively and leaving my car windows open. Absolutely did the trick. I've been experimenting once again with not doing any watering beyond what's necessary to keep the transplants alive: it's a combination of laziness and not wanting to water unevenly. Because, you know, if I don't do it at all it won't be uneven.

So far, though, things are doing really well. Sure, the peas might have kept producing a little longer had they not been so parched, but then again it could have been the heat that did them in. We're harvesting zucchini now, and they're growing as vigorously as we could ever wish; cucumbers also are coming along nicely. Cucumbers are a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine, and unless I'm very much mistaken it doesn't rain too much in the Middle East. Should be fine, right?

In all seriousness, I'm doing what I can to help the plants get by with minimal watering. They're mulched in some cases (though I'm using less mulching than last year, since I think that in some cases it slowed down ripening) and in others the leaf canopy itself keeps the ground shaded. And I'm keeping my eyes open for wilting: I watered the beans yesterday and most everything today. Of course, I did it very carefully, very low flow right at the roots. I made sure not to waste even one precious drop. Sure, rain less than an hour later kind of ruined the effect, but I'll take it. The cool air that came with it is nice too.


I'd love to see more pics of the garden. I wish we had zucchini. Ours just flowers for a day then wilts and falls off :(


As for the zucchini, is it that you don't have enough bees around? Squashes have male and female flowers, and only the female flowers produce fruit; the male are supposed to fall off after they've done their thing. But if the female flowers don't get pollinated they'll drop off too. When you look closely at the flowers you can tell them apart: the male ones have a thin stem and the female have a little bit of swelling where the stem meets the flower.

This site suggests that rainy weather or high humidity can also stop pollination. But as long as the plant itself is healthy it'll keep putting out flowers and some of them will work properly. If you want, you can even hand-pollinate like folks do for those champion pumpkins!

Thanks for the pics. Quite impressive! I've tried helping the zucchini mate but can't tell the boys from the girls, so it may have been a gay thing. I'll try looking for the swelling on the female.

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