Friday, August 17, 2007

Mendel Lives

I have my own little genetics-studying monk here.

David noticed that some of the cucumbers low on the vines were morphing into different shapes. Well, really one new shape: a crook-neck squash shape. These cucumbers happened to be next to the crook-neck squash, and they seemed to be cross-pollinating! They stayed green but got stripes on their plump bottoms. Interbreeding!

I checked online and oops! Garderners' tip: don't plant cucumbers next to squash because they will form hybrids that ruin the flavor of the vegetables. We haven't eaten our "squa-cumbers" yet, but they sure are neat!

We will change their location next year anyway, because the squash just needs more room than we are willing to give with the raised beds. Our patty pan squash plants have dominated the onions and cow beans. Right now we have pumpkins and gourds growing in the lower-40 field, so we'll just extend that and grow more varieties there. (I figure we have six years before we need that lower lot for David's football games with Virginia and Kids #2 [and #3?].)

We'll probably plant potatoes there as well -- unless we discover a new gardeners' tip suggesting otherwise. [Two minutes later: Yup, squash and potatoes can't go together; just found a website about companion planting. Dill and radishes are supposed to be good for squash.]

-- Camille

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