It's harder to grow up female 2 Pages


Fruit selection is very important, and you should select perfectly shaped fruit to start. No lopsided, banana-shaped fruit that will probably split on the blossom end. You want a nice, fuzzy dark-green, bottle-shaped melon; and to keep that shape, you need to keep the soil moisture level up. I water a little everyday depending on weather. Mother nature plays a huge role in growing giant cantaloupes, and the warmer the weather, the better. (80 degrees during the day, and nighttime temperatures 65-75 degrees are best.) They can gain 2 pounds a day under these conditions. Once I choose the melon to compete with, I place a board under it to keep it off the soil. The board keeps the bottom of the melon dry, prevents the fruit from rotting, and keeps slugs or snails from damaging it. Drill a few drain holes in the board to help with drainage. I lay mill fabric over the board to further protect the fruit. Have someone carefully lift the melon while you check to see if it is dry. If there is moisture underneath, I dry it off with a rag. I lost a melon one year, which may have been over 60 pounds, that rotted on the ground.
You can leave one on if you want the largest possible fruit, or leave 3-4 on the plant and have some nice 25-35 pound fruit to later harvest. My 49 pound fruit was one of 5 fruit on the plant, but it was the first melon set. The others were set 2-3 weeks later after the 49 was well on its way. Shading the melon can help keep it from getting burned from the sun. This variety normally grows only 40-50 days, but good protection may extend this time. As the melon grows, you will need to move it every few days to keep the stem from "kinking" and restricting its growth. Once the plant has filled the area allotted to it, and the melons are growing well, I give the plant some organic fish and seaweed fertilizer to feed the plant and push the fruit. I drench every 7-10 days.

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Although cabbages are fairly hardy, they do not like really cold temperatures, so do not transplant until you are sure that there is no risk of a hard frost – -10º to -7º C (15º-20º F).
Dig a hole big enough to bury the plant to the first leaf. Remove the plant from the 5 liter pot, and brush the roots vigorously to expose them.
Sprinkle a handful of high nitrogen fertilizer (I use a 21% N product), and sprinkle around the roots. Water thoroughly. Make the support frame 18" x 18" x 18" and place it into ground. This frame is made from rebar but wood is also ok. Wrap the frame with strong packaging/pallet film – not kitchen wrap, it's too weak.
This combination of frame and plastic film prevents pigeons and other critters from eating the plants. The frame supports the lower leaves, and prevents them from breaking off. Also, the angle of the leaves helps to drain off any water – very important to prevent rotting. When puddles of water collect on the leaves, it's advisable to puncture the leaf with a thin cane to let the water drain. Failure to do this will lead to rotting and loss of leaves. The frame also helps to support the cabbage and keep it upright as it grows – especially when the wind blows.
When the plant is big enough, remove the plastic film to allow access for watering and fertilizer applications. It is better to water the ground underneath than over the leaves, because the water will get to the roots instead of either evaporating or causing rot.
Cover the cabbage with netting to protect from Cabbage Loopers (adult white butterflies).

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If you have grown a prize winning onion, then it makes sense to try and retain its gene potential. If the seed you grew it from is a hybrid, then the saved seed will not have the same characteristics as your prize winner. If the seed is from an open pollinated variety, then its seeds will reproduce similar onions.
Onions are biennial, so to produce seeds from a bulb, it must be grown for another year to create a seed head. Select your biggest and best disease free bulb, remove it from the soil, trim roots and treat with sulphur powder. Discard any decaying leaves. Check the condition of the bulb by gently pressing around the shoulder area. If it is soft, then the chances are that it will be no good for producing seed.
Store a sound bulb on a soft cloth in a protected area such as a workshop. To form a seed head, onions need at least a month of cold weather. As soon as the bulbs show signs of growth around early January, remove any decaying leaves and pot them up in 10" pots with a slow release feed compost such as Levingtons M3. Transfer the pot to a frost-free, lighted area and allow to grow. The flower heads will be at least 4' high, so make allowances for this and provide support.
Flowering onions will cross pollinate with other varieties very easily, so make sure that there are no other flowering onions within 100 yards. Look after the onion until the heads start to flower. It may be necessary to strip away the old bulb skins to prevent disease. Assist pollination by transferring pollen with a soft artist's brush. When the seeds have formed and are dry, remove and place them between sheets of newspaper. Store in a sunny location for two weeks.
Finally, remove any diseased seeds and store in a bag in a cool, dry place.

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The marrow is a member of the Cucurbita pepo genus, also known as summer squash. Marrows need to be harvested very young in order to eat skin and all. Unlike most courgette or zucchini plants, the marrow plant does not form a bush with the fruit coming off the central, upward-growing stem. Marrows produce vines like the pumpkin and cucumber species.
For as long as people can remember, marrows have been grown for competition in Great Britain, and especially in England and Wales. Today, it is one of Britain's most popularly grown giant vegetable, with competitions at local, regional, and national levels. Although Canadian and American growers have been growing giant marrows for quite a few years, it wasn't until the European Giant Vegetable Grower's Association organized a marrow contest for its members in 2008 that marrow growing took off in other countries. In 2009, the world record was set outside of Britain for the first time in its history when I grew a 206.5 lb fruit.
Finding the right seed is the key to success. Without the right genetics, it is impossible to grow a world class giant marrow. While the marrow record had been stuck in the 40 to 50 pound mark for quite some time, growers like Bernhard Lavery managed to get weights above 100 lb by 1990. In 1998 the top weight suddenly jumped to 135 lb where it stayed until 2005, when that record was eclipsed by a mere pound. In 2008 a new world record of 143 lb was grown, but a year later that record was smashed by a 206.5 pound monster grown in The Netherlands [by author Brad Wursten].

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This book will be a work in progress for some time, as new categories of vegetables, fruit and flowers make their way into the book by way of popularity of growing or new records. What you see today will change, because input from those reading the text will have a significant impact on its future content. New images will be added from time to time to improve the book, making the teaching aspect of it clearer. I have a page on my website to upload images that you think would do a better job at explaining the textual instruction. The link is: .
Here you will be able to choose a category of vegetable, and write a caption for your image; or send articles in Microsoft Word (.doc) or text (.txt) files for my review.
I will review all submissions and use them if they further improve the book, so keep a sharp eye for a good image that can, by itself, tell a better story about a growing procedure.
And, if you break a record, by all means send a picture to me, so I might add it to the book.
The categories covered thus far in this evolving book are:

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Pollination procedures are the same as used with pumpkins. For a controlled pollination, the male and female flowers must be covered the evening before. The female should remain covered (or tied up) for up to a day after pollination. Do not forget to write down the date and cross you make. It is usually best to set up to three marrows on a plant and finally keep the fastest growing, which is often the first marrow set. If necessary, you can allow the main vine to continue to grow. The 2009 world record was grown on a plant 15'x15', but the main vine was doubled back and the marrow grew at 17' from the main root.
Marrows only grow a short period of time. The shortest fruit growth cycle is about four weeks, but five to six weeks is quite regular. Some marrow seed lines will grow on into the seventh week. The 2009 world record was still growing in the eighth week, which is new evidence that better seed genetics and cultural procedures are extending the growing season for marrow fruit. Marrows should be set about eight weeks ahead of the weigh-off date. Once the skin is hard, the marrow has stopped growing. They can stay on the plant for a few weeks without significant weight loss. It is also handy to measure the width (ground to ground) and length (ground to ground) of the marrow. This will help you know when it has stopped growing, and you can also use these measurements to estimate the weight. For this purpose a marrow estimate chart has been developed.