Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Indoor growing Jerico lettuce

Yesterday I transplanted
a dozen Jerico lettuce seedlings into an ebb and flow system. Jerico, which was hybridized in Israel, is very tolerant of heat, tip burn and mildew. One of the seed companies states that Jerico is a good selection for indoor growing, which makes me wonder how many people actually grow lettuce indoors.

Even with two of my systems out of production I am harvesting more lettuce than we can possibly use, so I am going to start seeds for chard and beet greens. Also, I am casting around for something different in terms of oriental greens, just for some variety.

Currently the large cucumber plants in the greenhouse are producing nothing but male flowers, however, I believe that is because I neglected to prune them and allowed too much vegetative growth. Today I removed the ends of each side shoot after the second flower cluster. Going forward I will have to pay more attention to pruning the side shoots.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Leaf - the dual purpose cucumber

When I first read
the description for Little Leaf cucumbers I admit that I was skeptical. A cucumber that is parthenocarpic, disease resistant, grows either in the garden or under glass, and, can be used as a slicer or for pickles seemed too good to be true. I might add that this variety is open pollinated, and the seeds are plentiful and inexpensive. In other words, a real winner, so I am glad that I decided to grow them!

The greenhouse plants produced quite well, but they have run their course and were removed. New plants are in place and they are just beginning to produce male flowers. I expect, though, that it will be three or four weeks until I begin to see cucumbers forming. Fortunately, the plants in the garden are humming right along, so we have had a continuous harvest for several weeks now, and hopefully, will have until sometime in the fall.

Today, I picked nine fruit from the garden; using the smaller fruit for pickles, with the larger fruit to be used slicers.
As can be seen in the photo, the fruit gets blocky, or has more bulk, as it gets larger.

Ava and I continue to make small batches of pickles every few days, but it is getting harder to keep up with the demand. She gets here at about eight thirty in the morning, and she wants to have a pickle shortly after she arrives. Add two or three pickles with lunch, and the garlic smell on her breath, when her mother picks her up at three, is strong enough to wilt an oak tree. She really enjoys helping me make pickles, and she told the mother that it is so easy that even she, meaning her mother, could do it.