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Old 11-18-2011, 12:19 PM   #201
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I think the only challenge will be pollination. With the absence of insects, a friend suggested putting a small fan near them when the flowers open to let wind power do the w*rk. Or even a feather or small paintbrush to use as a manual pollinator tool.

I'll do some research at the Cornell University site to see what they recommend for manually pollinating fruiting veggies.

Any suggestions "from the floor" are welcome.
Manually pollinating cucumbers is easy - did that this summer with quite a bit of success. Use a small makeup brush or some such. Lots of good tutorials online. With tomatoes, each flower has it's own male and female part, so all you need is a bit of vibration. (yes, we are still talking vegetable plants here guys) The fan or just tapping the blossom should work. Oh goodness, this is such good fodder for the guys on the forum!
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:44 AM   #202
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Mid-winter indoor container garden progress report

Spinach growing well but very slowly, very deep green color (bottom shelf 1st pic)
1 Roma tomato pinched back and healthy (top shelf on left in styrofoam cup)
Peppers of all types about 3 weeks old (not shown)
2 Spacemaster cukes growing like crazy, lots of buds (center of top shelf 1st pic)
Oregano, parsley and basil very happy, constantly using all 3 in the kitchen (top shelf, back and right)

Several pots with tulip bulbs (not shown)
A $1 grocery store chrysanthemum properly rescued, repotted and brightening up every cloudy/snowy day (2nd pic)
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File Type: jpg 1dollarchrysanthemum.jpg (40.7 KB, 2 views)
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:49 AM   #203
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Mid-winter indoor container garden progress report

Spinach growing well but very slowly, very deep green color (bottom shelf 1st pic)
1 Roma tomato pinched back and healthy (top shelf on left in styrofoam cup)
Peppers of all types about 3 weeks old (not shown)
2 Spacemaster cukes growing like crazy, lots of buds (center of top shelf 1st pic)
Oregano, parsley and basil very happy, constantly using all 3 in the kitchen (top shelf, back and right)

Several pots with tulip bulbs (not shown)
A $1 grocery store chrysanthemum properly rescued, repotted and brightening up every cloudy/snowy day (2nd pic)
Coolness! I still have brussel sprouts and small bits of broccoli growing outside...and get this, my cilantro and dill herbs RE-SEEDED themselves, and are growing like crazy, despite temps dipping into the 20's at times at night. The herbs are growing better now that I have been ignoring them than when I was doting on them in the summer. Toooooo funny! I need to plant some other herbs like oregano and parsley, too - perfect for those dishes that require small amounts of fresh herbs. I hate buying a huge bunch of parsley when all I need is 1 tbsp chopped!
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:43 PM   #204
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...and get this, my cilantro and dill herbs RE-SEEDED themselves, and are growing like crazy,

I need to plant some other herbs like oregano and parsley, too -
Our dill was outside, and it re-seeds itself so much, we have plants all over the place. I don't think we've actually planted any for 10 years, and we get plenty.


For parsley, be sure to leave a couple plants go to seed. The parsley plant will come back a second year, but let the seeds drop so you always have some current year plants to keep the cycle going. We bring the plants into the porch for winter (rarely freezes out there), and the seeds sprouted in the fall and will just keep going through the year, plus we have about 3 or 4 stems that are a year old. Between the new and the old, it will keep us supplied.

For oregano, make sure you get a good variety - a lot of places sell the 'common' one, which isn't so great for coking.

-ERD50
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Old 01-22-2012, 07:58 PM   #205
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Our dill was outside, and it re-seeds itself so much, we have plants all over the place. I don't think we've actually planted any for 10 years, and we get plenty.


For parsley, be sure to leave a couple plants go to seed. The parsley plant will come back a second year, but let the seeds drop so you always have some current year plants to keep the cycle going. We bring the plants into the porch for winter (rarely freezes out there), and the seeds sprouted in the fall and will just keep going through the year, plus we have about 3 or 4 stems that are a year old. Between the new and the old, it will keep us supplied.

For oregano, make sure you get a good variety - a lot of places sell the 'common' one, which isn't so great for coking.

-ERD50
Excellent advice - thank you!!!
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:23 PM   #206
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A few weeks later....

- Spinach still growing slowly, very deep green color - won't repeat a planting, not much yield is expected from the 2 flower boxes.
- 1 Roma tomato growing sturdy side shoots where previously pinched
- Peppers of all types about 4 inches tall, pinching back to get sturdier plants
- 2 Spacemaster cukes growing like crazy, producing flowers like crazy and some teeny tiny cukes formed without any intervention.
- Oregano, parsley and basil need constant trimming, drying some for later use, still using all 3 in the kitchen

I just planted 5 Sugar Baby watermelons to test the seed viability (2011 packet). If they sprout, I will bring an Earthbox inside to the growing room and use hand mirrors to point light to them, or buy another grow light.
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:31 PM   #207
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A few weeks later....

- Spinach still growing slowly, very deep green color - won't repeat a planting, not much yield is expected from the 2 flower boxes.
- 1 Roma tomato growing sturdy side shoots where previously pinched
- Peppers of all types about 4 inches tall, pinching back to get sturdier plants
- 2 Spacemaster cukes growing like crazy, producing flowers like crazy and some teeny tiny cukes formed without any intervention.
- Oregano, parsley and basil need constant trimming, drying some for later use, still using all 3 in the kitchen

I just planted 5 Sugar Baby watermelons to test the seed viability (2011 packet). If they sprout, I will bring an Earthbox inside to the growing room and use hand mirrors to point light to them, or buy another grow light.
Awesome! Hey, you may already know this, but since the cukes are inside, with no bugs to pollinate, you are going to need to hand pollinate them. Otherwise the baby cukes will wither up and die. Check it out:

Stop shriveling cucumbers Vegetablog
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:57 PM   #208
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Awesome! Hey, you may already know this, but since the cukes are inside, with no bugs to pollinate, you are going to need to hand pollinate them. Otherwise the baby cukes will wither up and die. Check it out:

Stop shriveling cucumbers Vegetablog
Thanks! I was wondering if the little cukes would make it or not.

I have the perfect little brushes on hand to do this.
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #209
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Thanks! I was wondering if the little cukes would make it or not.

I have the perfect little brushes on hand to do this.
Cool! I had so much fun doing this last year. I used makeup brushes!
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:48 PM   #210
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Freebird what variety of cuke are you growing? Parthenocarpic cucumber varieties develop fruit without pollination.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:36 PM   #211
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Freebird what variety of cuke are you growing? Parthenocarpic cucumber varieties develop fruit without pollination.
SpaceMaster a.k.a. Cucumis sativus from Botanical Interests, Broomfield CO
The packet says "No GMOs"

I have several tiny cukes that are developing without any intervention, unless there was a fly or ladybug in the room that I didn't notice.
We could make a movie...
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Old 02-14-2012, 05:01 PM   #212
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From what I found Space Master is a "monoecious" cuke. That means "Having unisexual reproductive organs or flowers, with the organs or flowers of both sexes borne on a single plant". So I think that would mean it is self pollinating. Many vegetable plants are self pollinating and may be pollinated by insects but can do it themselves. There are many different types of cukes.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:26 PM   #213
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Thanks Veremchuka

I tried the small brush technique but could not tell if I was depositing pollen or not. So I carefully picked the boy flowers. I used my fingernail to slice off the petals to leave just the stamens intact on the bud base.
I then placed the entire stamen into the center of the girl flowers with the tiny cukes forming at the bud base. I carefully closed the girl flower petals so the stamen would not fall out.
All sorts of odd things about assisted cucumber sex crossed my mind while I performed the task. Maybe I should have put on some mood music.

The results? Ta daaaaaaaaa
There a dozen or more such developing baby cukes on the 4 foot vine.

2 Sugar Baby watermelons are up.

Also, I used these sprouting store bought Russett potatoes to plant 1 indoor Earthbox with the sliced off eye sprouts. We shall see how they do under the grow lights.

My 2 window boxes of spinach caught aphids from that store bought $1 chrysanthemum, so they are all banished outside in the cold weather. No sign of aphids on anything else indoors. Whew!
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:26 PM   #214
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All sorts of odd things about assisted cucumber sex crossed my mind while I performed the task. Maybe I should have put on some mood music.
I bet they had a cigarette when you were done!
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:02 AM   #215
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I would just pick the boy flowers and rub the pollen part on the girl flowers.

Whether they had a cigarette afterwards - well, that was their business. But I got my cukes!

Wow, I didn't realize cukes were wise as well! Cucumis Sativus. Well, actually Sativus just means cultivated - what a letdown!

In the meantime - I have no veggie garden (too lazy), but my neighbors are bringing me loads of fresh homegrown produce!

Audrey
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:31 AM   #216
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If cukes could smile or smoke, I'll bet they were

I must have done well, because here is my star performer at 3.5 inches.

I looked closely at the new buds on the cuke vine today, and discovered that the girls are outnumbering the boys now. Uh oh...the girl buds are emerging in dense clusters of 4 or 5 with only 1 boy bud nearby.

I'm not going to type what I'm thinking...

Can you tell it's the tail end of winter and I'm sick of being inside?
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:50 PM   #217
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How do those cukes taste? Are they like a summer cuke or are they tougher, drier, less sweet? I never grew a cuke in the winter and I love them in the summer. I eat tons of them, can't seem to get enough. I'd grow 3 or 4 plants and I'd pick 8-12 a day when they were really producing, some days 15-20! I was so happy when I'd get 2 or 3 days without any to pick!
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:12 PM   #218
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I grew the SpaceMaster cukes outside last summer in an Earthbox on casters. They were extremely profilic. We ate a lot of them fresh off the vine. I ended up sending a lot to the Legion where Mr B has his morning coffee with the guys.
Grown outside, and picked at medium size (5-6"), they were nice and sweet and moderately juicy. The inside seed content was about average.
They grew on the faux bamboo poles I fitted together above the Earthbox. I used heavy cotton twine to give them growing support lines.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:33 PM   #219
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I'm going to let my star performer cuke (grown inside) get just a little bit longer and will let you know how it turned out.
The room I am growing them in is very warm, with both T5 Jumpstart grow lights and natural sunlight falling on the plants. I finally placed a large metal bowl under the 6" pot so it could have plenty of water at all times.
Several boy buds blossomed today, so all is well with my ongoing manual fertilization process.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:25 PM   #220
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So you have not eaten any yet? When did you start them? I thought you were eating cukes all winter. I'll be curious to hear what you think tho I suspect they won't be as good as summer grown cuke but maybe...
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