Chayote Progress Report
Of Time and Blooming Trees

Chayote Sprouting! Banana Blooming!

For the demonstration garden at City College, I have set 4 chayote squashes in cutting mix, in hopes of getting 2 sprouted plants for the arbor we have built. By the first week of February, 3 of the squashes have sEarly_mid_feb_08_024_copyprouted! Two of them looked like this one, just small sprouts, slightly curled as they emerge from the fruit. An innocent beginning for a huge plant. By this time, there will be quite a bit of root formed already, to find water and prepare to grow a shoot.

Early_mid_feb_08_022_copy And one of the fruits has unfurled its first leaves. You can see the tendrils starting to form, searching already for something to hang onto. You don't see any seed leaves (cotyledons), since they remain inside the chayote fruit, held together like the palms of two hands. We eat them when we eat the fruits. Being tropical, these fruits never form a hard shell for their seeds, and never go completely dormant. Well, I shall keep you posted. If this plant gets too long and rangy, I will have to trim it back before I plant it, but once it gets going, not much will stop it.

Meanwhile, in the City College garden, the January King cabbage formed its mature head right on schedule. It was ready at the end of January, all pink and blue-green, with the flat shiny top that indicates it is ready to eat. Early_mid_feb_08_006_copy And the chard is still doing well too. It is in its last months now, since I have decided to take it out this spring and have no chard in the garden until fall in an attempt to escape the predations of the leafminers by giving them nothing to eat one summer.

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Down at my dad's garden, in San Diego County, though he has passed away, his banana is looking really good this year. The recent rains gave everything a fresh, bright look. I love the vivid colors of the bracts that surround the young banana flowers.

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Container Gardening Tips

Great tips, Larry! I've grown stuff in all types of containers. I've used plastic trash cans, and those Rubbermaid storage boxes, too. Sometimes I just rip open a bag of potting soil on the side and plant some stuff right in the bag. That works for stuff like lettuce. It's surprising what all you can plant stuff in if you think about it. :)

Amy

Larry

Hi Pam

Something I found, it may not even be new but here it is.
I bought some Rubbermaid 18 gallon storage boxes from Home Depot on sale for $3.33 each. I drilled a series of holes in the bottom using a 3/4 inch paddle bit and a series very small holes about 1 inch from the bottom on all four sides. I filled up box with about 50% garden dirt and 50% Potting Soil. I planted two boxes with full size Imperator carrots on September 15! ( I read your book and maybe I was not playing with fire, but I knew my success would be based on the weather which even here a mile from the Ocean in Daly City has been mostly mild, the coldest was about just below 5C. Each box grew or is growing about forty full size carrots some near 12inches long others smaller and much smaller. I've had no lucky with carrots in the ground. I get baskets full of squash... and beautiful cabbage family crops,peas, but NO radishes or carrots. I've used garden boxes from the Garden Center and have good luck with 'Little Finger' and Thumblina, but you can not grow big carrots in a small box.
Someone who has poor soil or maybe only a patio with a small investment in boxes, soil and seeds can have fun of growing fresh carrots..radishes... Patio Tomatoes? and who knows what else in a box this size. You can not buy Atomic Red or Cosmic Purple carrots at any vegetable store!


Larry

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