Unidentified Plants - Stevie's Crazy Kitchen Blog at Allrecipes.com - 302437

Stevie's Crazy Kitchen

Unidentified Plants 
May 10, 2013 11:13 am 
Updated: May 16, 2013 4:05 am
I've been a poor gardener most of my life, but that has never stopped me from starting seeds, or planting a potato that's growing out of it's skin, if for no other reason, to simply see what it will do.  Having been chastised by a good friend who grows all sorts of stuff (even here in the desert,) for not tossing the soil from planters and pots every year.  She begins with new each time, and does as she can to amend the "used" soil, for flower and the like.

This year, I turned over a new leaf, and began dumping all of the dirt into a large bucket, adding to it things like coffee grounds, dead leaves, roots from dead plants... you get the idea.  If I think that it will breakdown quickly, I will toss it into the bucket, give it a good mix, some water, and re-use it for something new. 

This year, I've planted a couple of spuds in a large pot (mostly so that I can move it out of the sun once it hits 100&miserable outside.)  I do have 2-3 little scallions growing from  seed, and some lettuce leaves, but nothing major in the line of vegetables.  Mostly I've focused on planting flowers, as I'm attempting to get my large back patio area "cheered up" that I might enjoy some company out there - IF I ever get my new umbrella placed, that is!  With the addition of a new bbq, and the "rolling island" that I built, it will be nice to have a table and couple of chairs (found some wonderful place mats for the table in a drawer...)  Just need that darn umbrella, and as many flowers as I can muster.  I've begun two batches of marigolds from seeds that Denise gave me last year (or... year before?)  The greenery is looking great, and I not only have one bloom, but many buds also, in the first batch.  My prize is a coral colored geranium that I purchased last Oct/Nov time which stayed in the "store pot" until this spring!  Including the pot, it stands approx 30" tall, with beautiful blossoms, and is accompanied by a small "mum" plant that I thought had died... but to my glee, it has come back, and actually has a few buds on it!  It will be joining the party on the "back patio" once things come together...  The patio will be bursting with color... IF I ever get it done!

Meanwhile, I removed much of the dirt from a planter next to the front door...  This dirt had been used over and over for 20yrs, with the exception of what I needed to remove, to plant new flowers.  Generally the planter houses geraniums, or on occasion at holiday time, small poinsettia's which are rather festive for the season.  Either way, come June or so, they die from the heat - the house faces S and is subject to direct sun all day in the summer months.  So, I planted a white geranium that was sitting around and needing a permanent spot, meaning to add additional plants at some point.  I addedd "recycled" soil to the planter, but didn't fill it, plans in mind.  Mother Nature had other plans, however, for that planter!   First one, then a second little plant sprouted through the soil.  I presuemed that "whatever" they were, the seeds were left from the soil I had just added.       
Considering what types of seeds I've planted over time, I presume that these vining green and yellow plants are either a winter squash such as butternut, or there's a slim chance that they're a melon of some variety, but I'm at a loss...  The beautiful yellow blossoms close once the sun is fully on the plants, and many of them are dying off before showing signs of starting any type of produce... too little water, or too much sun?  I'm guessing the prior!

While these continue to survive, I will simply sit back and enjoy, and if, by some miracle, they produce anything, it will be with a smile on my face and a feeling of self-satisfaction that I watch them grow, and hopefully produce

When the flowers first appeared on the vines, I thought "oh, cucumbers..."  Guessing by the size of the flowers which average approx 4" across, I doubt that, but cukes will be fine, if that is what they are.  I'm still betting on butternut squash, though.  So, should you have any insight to share, I'll be happy to hear it...  Joe gardener I'm NOT, but that hasn't yet stopped me from trying...  Just odd that I did not "try" to grow these, the two of them just showed up - volunteers, if you wish, while when I do attempt to grow anything, chances are slim that I will see any sign of life!  I will keep you posted, of course, as to just what they do over time....   Maybe this fall I will have home grown squash for dinner a few nights!
May 10, 2013 11:35 am
the last two pictures look like squash to me.
May 10, 2013 11:47 am
They are some kind of melon/cucumber/squash. They need to be fertilized to produce fruit, thus the need for butterflies and bees. :)
May 10, 2013 11:51 am
Cucumbers that I've grown have a smaller diameter vine than most of the winter squash I've grown. Are the flowers on long or short stalks? Flowers on long stalks tend to be male flowers. How big are the flowers and leaves? In the photo they look like they might be cukes.
May 10, 2013 12:07 pm
Take it from one who is supposed to be a Master Gardener, sometimes the most fun is just to grow things!!
May 10, 2013 12:52 pm
Cat ^5 Amen Sistahfriend! You put these bitsy little seeds in the dirt, provide light, attention and care and a MIRACLE occurs! I am even a "weed" lover. . .that doesn't sound right. I MEAN some weeds are pretty and some useful to garden friends. I always leave milk weed around. Not a full blown patch, but a plant here and there ( they just keep comin') because the monarch caterpillar feeds on it. I have seen MANY monarch caterpillars on mine. I have some poke in my backyard because I think it looks tropical (I'm still askeerd to eat it). . . and I grow my zukes in my "grasslands". Some kind of grass that grows in clumps. I cut the clumps short a few times in the early summer either with a hedge shear or a machete (no mower in the back yard) and put the cut grass on the path to the wading pool :) I HOPE by this fall I can show a rough sort of "photo map" of my small, dog infested backyard. It is so fun for me :) And a work in progress. . .aren't all gardens?
May 10, 2013 1:44 pm
Generally the male flowers will come first - open up and then die. Look closely at the base of the flower - if it is a female you will see a miniature 'fruit' - those flowers have to be pollinated for the plant to produce.
May 10, 2013 2:35 pm
King, I thought so too... Seems cukes would be smaller leaves etc. Be well!
May 10, 2013 2:38 pm
LadySparkle, we do indeed get a few butterflies, and had a swarm of bees/wasps earlier this year (they left, thankfully!) Per your second comment... you hit the nail on the head! Whether or not I see anything other than "growing" stuff... the fun and excitement has been achieved! Be well... and I'll look into fertilizer!
May 10, 2013 2:41 pm
Doc, the leaves spread about 5-6" across,and flowers perhaps 4. Rather large, I thought for cukes... If I "grow" anything other than vines and leaves, I'll let you all know! I have only attempted to grow squash, cukes, and a melon or two... thus these are the most likely seeds to have decided to germinate from last year (or before?) Thanks, and be well!
May 10, 2013 2:43 pm
Cat, I'm even enjoying the marigold seeds from Denise's garden last year... so cool to watch the little green specks grow into a plant and flower to boot! My back may be most marigolds, but at least I can say that "I grew them from seed!" Be well!
May 10, 2013 2:47 pm
Baking Nana, I appreciate the tip! Seems that I was told a yr-ish ago that the plants would need to be pollinated (just spaced that fact out... or haven't worried about it yet!) I will check the flowers! When I had some butternut going wild in the back yard a while back, I did get two squash... of course it cost $100's of in water - LOL Hasn't stopped me yet, though! be well!
May 10, 2013 5:58 pm
Gardening is fun isn't it Stevie?:) My sister is going to Phoenix, wish I was to. Love it there.
May 11, 2013 4:43 pm
I have been trying to grow lavender in a container for years. This year, instead of buying a small plant, I tried seedlings and I have to admit they fascinate me. Keep your fingers crossed for me. Your patio area sounds so nice. How about a small cactus garden? They can be quite charming.
May 13, 2013 10:05 pm
manella, fun is what it's all about, isn't it? I'm not "crazycook" simply for the sake of being "crazy," I am because it's FUN to do so many things... Be well!
May 13, 2013 10:08 pm
BigShotsMom, if you find the secret to growing lavender, let me know! As for the patio, things sorta stalled in the water, though I do have plants staying green and flowering! That's an effort in, and of, itself! SOON I must get my umbrella up, though I fear that it's already too hot to enjoy! (triple digits today... 95 at 11am!) Sure would enjoy your beach outside my front door! Be well, friend!
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Stevie crazycook

Home Town
Lansing, Michigan, USA
Living In
Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Member Since
Feb. 2008

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Quilting, Gardening, Music

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About Me
Started cooking many years ago, and learned as I went. First meal may have been "steak & chips" at age 15, in Birmingham England, where I lived for several years. Mostly grew up in MI, transplanted to the desert 30yrs ago, or so. Favorite cookbook is "Better Homes", also enjoy "Great British Cooking, a well kept secret." Hesitate to call myself "expert," but friends do rave...
My favorite things to cook
Italian has been my "specialty" for some time, and my "signature" meal is Lasagne, salad, garlic bread, which I first made 20yrs ago... from SCRATCH, very first time I made it. (Never again, folks...) Now start with a big jar of sauce!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Thanks to my heritage, I have enjoyed trying foods from different cultures. We still have beer battered fish, and chips of course; ground meat dishes often, chicken occasionally, pork too. I would love to submit a bean dip recipe, however, my ex who gave me the original has passed, and I have no way to verify that it didn't come from another source! I also enjoy British cooking (with a few yankee twists) and once made Plum puddings, also known as Christmas puddings, as far as I know... what an ordeal that was, but well worth the effort. Today, there is mail order!
My cooking triumphs
Greatest triumph was not too long ago, when I held a sit down dinner for 12, Lasagne being the entree. It was a fund raiser I chose to sponsor, and am proud to say that "we" raised over $1000 from that meal alone, minimum donation being $25. All proceeds collected were donated; my partner and I provided the meal and beverages.
My cooking tragedies
MEATLOAF of all things! Went through a stage of "winging" it each time, and I pulled one after another out of the oven that were almost unedible. As yet, not too big on baking... no sweet tooth here! Have dabbled, but find doughs/pastries especially difficult, perhaps as it's 90 degrees in my kitchen much of the year.
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