Wednesday, November 30, 2011

zucchini and sweetcorn

With the mix of sunny warm days and overcast rain which November has brought us Adeladians, veggies in our garden are growing longer and fattening up right before our eyes! 

A new flower and tiny veggie appears daily on our two zucchini plants. We compare zucchini growth to the act of blowing up a long skinny party balloon!

The corn is h.u.g.e (almost 6 foot) and keeping us entertained - as we sweetcorn growing newbies assumed ears of corn would magically appear then grow with all the little kernels tucked safely inside. But no! Here's my version of the process...

First the beginnings of the tiny ears (female part) form along the side of the main stalk just above one long flaggy leaf. Each ear is soon riddled with long spindly white silks spilling from the tip. Every individual silk thread is internally attached to a single immature kernel....

At the top of the plant grows the tassels (male part). These tassels produce pollen, which in the wind must drop down onto the silks for the silk to drag the goodness down inside the ear and produce a kernel. If a silk isn't pollinated that kernel won't develop, leaving you with a gappy/kernel-less ear, and we just won't settle for such happenings. So as soon as the pollen forms we're going to play with mother nature and hand pollenate to ensure as much kernelly goodness as possible. Woo!

See?  It's all quite complicated but fabulous don't you think?!

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