Following the evolution of 3 gardens in Quebec throughout the seasons and the learnings of its respective gardeners. We will steer their evolution through different principles : Permaculture, Polyculture and Sustainability to the best of our abilities.
The tenderness of a Cosmos flower accommodates my favorite winged insect, a bumblebee.
Helene : The success of a garden depends on a variety of things: good soil, sun, water, etc. There's also the unavoidable role of pollinators ; without them, we might have flowers, but certainly not fruits or vegetables like tomatoes, peppers... And squashes... And recently, for these last ones, it's been quite hard in the garden.
Last Spring - and even last winter - I didn't plan on having any kind of squash in the garden. I really hold it to fortune, or most likely to the inexperience of this gardener that it assured the presence of cucurbitaceae in my garden. Let me explain.
The responsible party, right there, in black.
For the first time this year, I used my compost bin. I was so happy! A baby step toward self-sufficency, I told myself. And so, 2 weeks later (we were at the end of April, beginning of May), some seeds that weren't destroyed in the compost... sprouted. The result was a couple plants of tomatoes and 2 vines of squashes... What a beautiful occasion to let nature take its course! And why not? I also bought more squashes from my favorite online seeds retailer - a producer from Quebec, by the way :Solana Seeds.
The jungle... a tiny part of it.
Now that we are in August, the idea I had last spring seems especially naive. Doubled with another experimentation where I let my son play with sunflower seeds in the garden, it looks particularly desorganised and suffering. First off, everybody knows squashes are monsters that take a lot of space! And if we don't pay attention, they'll crush the rest of the garden. An event that almost happened, here. Since squashes climb on my sunflowers, everything underneath like my bell peppers are having a lot of trouble. Furthermore, the squash flower stays open about 6 hours (according to my personnal observations). Our tiny pollinators are efficient, but the window of opportunity here is so small I only got one fruit... On my 3 vines!
So yesterday morning, paintbrush in hand, I went and played pollinator in my garden. It was a great day to do it too : there was a lot of flowers. But will it make a difference?
The tiny squash from Solana, Baby Boo, is the only one to provide me with a fruit. Thanks G. for the spotting, otherwise I would be depressed!
Huh. One of my son's prodigies. The stem that holds this giant flower is about 6 feet up.
So this season lesson (at least up to this point) for me is that I need a Plan for next year. I can have squashes and sunflowers together, but I have to plan the spots where they'll be, not just let them grow wherever they sprout. And for those curious out there, no, I have no clue what type of squashes I got in my 2 remaining vines, product of my inexperience - experimentation. Maybe pepper or pumpkin? If only they provide me with fruits, then we would know!
Update :After a bit more observation, the Baby Boo census brings the population to three... Hurray!