The Luffa Experiment

I found THIS website last year and thought it was kinda interesting.  After poking around for a while (and found that you can even use luffa for toilet paper!) I decided I wanted to try to grow some.  My mom and I ordered some seeds and waiting until the spring to plant.  I planted mine mid-March (since the harvest time was so long).  I planted 8 seeds and attached lattice work to the back of the garage.  I did not know what to expect as we patiently waited for the stuff to start growing.  It was it sprouted WAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY later than everything else in the garden, so I was thinking it would not work.

This picture was taken May 15th.

This is how the current garden looks:

There are BIG HUGE YELLOW flowers that bees and wasps just LOVE!  I HATE…HATE….HATE those things.  All of them!  There were some BIG HUGE black and yellow BUMBLE BEES today.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!  When I get brave enough I might take a picture of them because they look cool…but I’m still scared of them.  Yes, I am a big weeny.

Because of the bees, I told Wade I think we need to take the whole thing down…even though this seems to be the ONE thing I can grow!!!  I decided to pull a couple of the luffa and see what has come of them.  I pulled an “original” one that has been on the vine for about a month now, as well as one that has just grown.  I took them inside and cut the ends off and began peeling.  This is what I ended up with:

Pretty COOL!  Next I opened the one that just grew in the last week or so.  It was TOTALLY different.  I am afraid I am going to have to wait until they get a bit “older” before I pull them from the vine.  The website where I found this said that they wait until the first frost before pulling them off the vine.  That means another 5 months before I could get them.  I can’t have bees until then!

The Somewhat Controlled Garden

Not sure what possessed me, but I decided at about 8:15 yesterday to go outside and weed the garden.  It was bothering me THAT much!  I found that in a day the tomato horned worms were back with a vengeance.  Every year, they come…I never know when, so I just have to watch for them.  In a day they will eat all of the leaves off of an entire tomato plant.  And let me tell you…they leave BIG poop behind!  If they weren’t such a menace…they are very pretty.  I pick most of them off by hand, then I resort to Seven dust.  I have tried natural things, but nothing KEEPS them off.

I mentioned my luffa in the last post.  After looking at it a little more closely, I found that I had 2 HUGE fruits!  They are well over 12 inches long.  I just might get a few luffa scrubs out of this crazy plant!

I found this guy hanging out in the corn.  He was pretty big.  Not sure what kind of spider he is.

And after 2.5 hours is the humidity and heat…this is what I ended up with.  I swear I lost at least 10 pounds just from sweating.  I am pretty sure I had a mild case of heat exhaustion when it was all said and done.  Felt pretty dizzy and had a headache.   I still need to pull the corn, but I didn’t want to disturb the spider.  We have too many flies in our backyard right now to get rid of ANYTHING that will help with that!  (Not to mention the bug zapper is hidden in the luffa.)

The Uncontrollable Garden

We went on vacation.  The girls and I were gone for 15 days.  Wade joined us for 4.  I asked that while we were gone, he pay attention to the garden each day, pick anything that had grown and PLEASE water it.  I know for a fact he did not water the herbs, because those are all black dead.  I can’t tell about the garden because towards the end of our trip a tropical storm moved through we had lots of rain.

This is what I came home to.

The cucumbers got a fungus that pretty much destroyed them.  All the tomatillos fell over into the carrots (they were little when I left).  And the cherry tomatoes all busted from the rain.  The corn is all dried up and the large tomatoes had been eaten by birds.  But it looks like my yellow gooseneck squash might survive.  Of all of it…that is the one I wanted the least.

On the other side of the yard is the luffa.  Ever seen Little Shop of Horrors?  That pretty much describes the luffa.

I also brought back this weird plant from my grandfather’s.  He said it was garlic, and the bulbs do look like garlic…but after chopping one up it has a very strong onion smell.  Not sure what it is, but it looks cool!