I have baby cukes! Ok so not quite, but my cucumbers are blooming and they are all female blossoms. I’m growing Diamant which is a parthenocarpic pickling cuke, so all female blossoms is not a problem. This variety seems to send out one female blossom per leaf node. I can only hope the little plant is big enough to actually set its cukes. I know it needs no fertilization, but I’m thinking that it is still a very small plant. I’ll be watching them closely.
I grow lemon thyme. It used to be golden lemon thyme, but the golden part has mostly faded away over the years. At the beginning the variegated yellow part was very strong then one year a branch sprouted out of it that was no longer variegated and that part is now the only surviving part of the plant. I bought another one this year and I was going to replace it but the old ones looks so more appetizing than the variegated one. I never ate the other one. It never looked particularly edible to me. I loved it anyway because of its beauty and its wonderful scent. I think I’ll keep them both, but the green one I’ll use as it is supposed to be used – as an herb.
The best time to pick perennial herbs is usually a short time before they flower (though frankly I’ll do it anytime) and always pick them in the morning after any dew has dried off. The fragrant oils are strongest at that time. So this morning I picked the thyme. When I picked the plant, I picked the stems and all. The stems will be easy to pick out once they are dry. The little leaves will fall right off.
I noticed my oregano could used to be picked too, but I only dry one herb at a time as I don’t want to mix the flavors together in my dehydrator. Oregano flavored lemon thyme is not what I’m going for. Tomorrow we are supposed to get rain so I may have to wait a few days for the oregano. I use a dehydrator because you lose more oils if you air dry the herbs. It is a very cheap one that I bought ages ago. I have herb screens for them which are just plastic inserts with holes in them – as I said, a very cheap dehydrator. It has no temperature control, but I’ve dried everything in it, from jerky to cabbage (once I was in charge of dehydrating coleslaw and some other veggies for a raft trip down the Grand Canyon) and of course herbs. Fresh herbs are best, but if you don’t live in an area where the weather is always beautiful, get a dehydrator, or even better have a friend with one and share.
The bad news on the gardening front is that leaf miners have invaded my chard. I don’t have this under a row cover and I should to keep them out. So I spent some time picking out all the little larvae. Then I turned each leaf over and dispatched the egg sacks that haven’t hatched yet. The egg sacks are tiny little white specks. They are very small, but since they are white they are easy to see.