My Zucchini Plants Have Outgrown Their Mini Greenhouses

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Bob Bauer
May 12, 2019 (Last Updated: ) | Reading Time: 2 minutes

May 12, 2019

My zucchini plants have outgrown their mini greenhouses. If we get a frost now I'll have to cover them with a garbage can. The cucumbers and melons have their greenhouses removed completely during the day now because they need the breeze on their leaves to stay cool. Just removing the lids is not enough. The temperature has risen and the soil should be warm enough to plant your summer veggies. A trip to your local garden center for Mother's day could yield a bounty of fun plantings for both you and your wife. It's a "kill two birds with one stone" type of outing..

Hardening them off is important because the veggies have likely just come out of greenhouses where they were deprived of ultraviolet light that will burn their leaves if exposed to a full day of direct sunlight. Give them only morning sun for a week if you want to ensure their survival. They are not used to wind either so a semi sheltered spot is ideal. The cooler nights may be new to them also. You don't have to talk to them, but a consistent dose of healthy admiration not only benefits them, but also you..

May 13, 2019

The kale is covered in seed pods and the flowers are on the wane. I check them every day to see how many pollinators are still visiting, and their numbers are declining significantly. I'm ready to pull them up but am allowing the last vestiges of pollen to be harvested. They make terrible weed suppression mulch because they are all stems with tiny leaves. The filtered light that gets to the ground allows the tender young weed sprouts protection from the harsh ray's of the summer sun..

I can use them along the fence line to keep the puppy from going under it. The chard is bolting also, and only one plant is required for seed, so I'll be topping them soon. They make great weed suppression mulch and are welcome around the artichokes, squash, and on the berms. The melon mounds get straw because it keeps the bottom of them free from insect damage..

May 14, 2019

One of my artichoke plants is a breeding ground for ladybugs. There are a dozen of them in different stages of development. Little orange domes, gray ones, orange domes with black stripes, little gray alligator like bugs with orange stripes, and bright red lady beetles. I hesitate to overhead water them for fear of disrupting their cycle. There were two ladybugs on the kale that I removed, and they reminded me of why I shouldn't let it stand too long after the flowers are gone. Aphids multiply rapidly on it and their gray color camouflage them so they are unrecognizable as you just walk by..

You need to peer a bit. They multiply in the crotches and I had so many last year that I had to drag the plants down to the creek to get rid of them. One of my Brussels sprouts had a leaf full of aphid already this year so I'm glad to see the abundance of ladybugs. Let the battle begin..

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