Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Sunflower, Pumpkin and Watermelon Growth

The temperatures are going to be well over 100 today.  Yesterday afternoon we took the time to give everything a good watering with the heat on it's way.  We have not had a nice rain in weeks and with the heat I knew our garden would need the extra moisture.  The little monster helped as we drenched everything.  Despite the lack of rain, everything is getting huge.  Our sunflowers are close to blooming, watermelons are make vines and blooms, and the pumpkins are just plain massive.  We had one lone zinnia bloom despite the heat. 

This little one had just unfolded. Of course the little guy loved it since it is red.  Behind this little zinnia are most of our sunflowers.  The shorter ones in the picture were winter sowed and the larger were directly sowed into the spot they are now in.  There is a huge difference.  The direct sowed flowers were placed in the ground well over a month after the shorter ones.  We had a little a couple of winter sowed sunflowers that were cut down by cutworms and then a few others that were over taken by ants.  The ants love our sunflowers.  We are still fighting them off from making huge mounds around the roots system of each flower.  Anyone else have this ant problem? The flowers are well over five foot tall now and are holding their own pretty well now.  As smaller plants the ants made the ground too soft for the flowers to stand. Since we lost a few of our winter sowed flowers we added the direct sowed ones thinking they would be a little behind.  They were at first, but then made a huge comeback.

A few or our Mammoths.  The ones in the back are half the size as the front direct sowed flowers.

I can not complain about our pumpkins and watermelons.  They have taken off with long runners growing inches each day and new blooms popping up to match the new growth.  We have not had any problems at all.  They have been very easy, except for the massive weeding that we need to catch up on again.  They are in full sun, watered lightly every day and weeded when needed. (These are photos from yesterday clearly in need of weeding.) 

Crimson watermelon leaves
A couple of the many Jack-O-Lantern blooms. Sorry about the weeds.  They will have to wait until temps get below 100 again.
Ten foot of pumpkin vines and still growing.
A huge mound of pumpkin leaves! Most of them are around eight inches long.
A cute little weed (or I am guessing it is a weed) growing near the massive pumpkins. The tiny little flowers are too cute and only the size of an eraser at the end of a pencil.



  1. We have lots of ants and they even come to our kitchen. Grrrr! we have left the garden for you, just go out there. But, I have never seen ants tearing down a plant. They are mostly interested in the pollens, just like bees, I think because they are all the time around and inside the flowers. Could be we have different plants. Do you know you can eat the leaves of pumpkin plants and they are full of all those good stuff. I have read in a book written by an agriculture scientist that direct sowed plants perform much better than transplanted ones because the shock the plants get from transplantation is enough to set them back by more than a month or so!!!What a preety weed; if a weed is pretty, I never call it a weed :-)

    1. We will have to try the pumpkin leaves. I am a firm believer in direct sowing now. I think the ants are not hurting the plant, just building colonies around the roots making the soil loose causing the heavy flower to tip over. The base of our sunflowers seem to be their favorite building spots!

  2. Cute zinnia. Have never had your any problem with the sunflowers. May just be a coincidence that they are together. Enjoy the pumpkins.

    1. It may be since it is one of the few places that is moist. They tend to create new mounds after a rain here. So maybe they are just fcoming to the water.

  3. Your sunflowers are progressing nicely. Haven't had any problems with ants. They're too busy trying to get to the hummingbird nectar. I planted one Sugar Baby this year. It's doing great so far.