swilliamson at acespower.com
Thu Mar 4 08:51:20 EST 2004
Lon is this a commonly sold sunflower? If not do you know of any sources for it?
From: Lon J. Rombough [mailto:lonrom at hevanet.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 7:39 PM
To: North American Fruit Explorers
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Melons
One of the neatest controls I ever saw for cucumber beetles was demonstrated by Alan Kapuler, founder of Peace Seeds. He planted Helianthus argyphylus (silver leaf sunflower). It's a species that blooms cotinuously all summer and takes a hard frost to stop it. It happens that cucumber beetles LOVE the flowers and will go to them and leave everything else alone. They eat the ray petals around the edge of the flower, which not only doesn't hurt it, they pollinate the flower thoroughly in the process. By the time the flower looks ratty, several new ones have opened to replace it. The kicker is that the beetles that feed on the flower petals reproduce at a lower rate, reducing the population.
Grapes, writing, consulting, my book, The Grape Grower, at http://www.bunchgrapes.com
Winner of the Garden Writers Association "Best Talent in Writing" award for 2003
Melons are native to Africa, and the trick to getting the best quality fruit
to duplicate the continent's hot sun and sandy earth as best you can.
Situate melons in a south-facing, full sun area. Because seeds and
transplants do nothing until the soil has warmed to at least 60ºF, lay clear
or black plastic to heat up the ground. Black landscape cloth and clear
plastic work, too. Floating row covers also help. The covers are also
excellent for controlling cucumber beetles and vine borers, which are the
worst melon pests. Row covers should be removed when plants start to bloom
so that pollinating insects can reach flowers.
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