Wednesday, 4 September 2013

A UFO

UFO in this instance is an Unidentified Fruity Object. If you look at the squash in the photo, you'll see that they look nothing alike, though they've actually both been grown as patty pans - Sunburst and the seeds came from the same packet. They should look like the squash on the left of the photo. I wonder if a different seed has been included in the packet or if cross pollination has occured, either as it's been growing as I'm growing other squash and courgettes in the same bed, or before the seed was harvested. Sue from Our Plot At Green Lane Allotments wrote about her courgettes undergoing transformations recently on her Are Courgettes Promiscuous? post. I've never had anything like this happen before. I didn't get to eat the mutated squash as it was full of seeds, but I wonder if it would have tasted like a patty pan. I shall be interested to see what further fruit the plant produces, whether future fruit will look as it should, or not. I'll keep you posted.

I'm intending to have a go at growing some potatoes for Christmas again this year, in fact, I really need to get them planted up in the near future. I'm going to use some of the Arran Pilot potatoes which I've grown as first earlies this year and just replant them in new compost. If I get them planted now, there should be some decent enough weather to get them started off before the containers have to be moved in to the cold greenhouse and covered in fleece when the bad weather arrives. I've tried this experiment on a couple of previous occasions with mixed success, so I hope they do well this time as it makes Christmas dinner a little special having home grown veg on the plate.

I have a bird feeding station in the front garden, it's positioned in a flower bed which is a little inconvenient at times as birds are such messy eaters and seed is often dropped. I have to hoe the area regularly to stop the dropped seed from germinating, but I happened to notice that a sunflower had sprung up. I decided to leave it, even though it looks a bit out of place where it's situated. I'm glad I did now as it's blooming away. It's not a huge sunflower, probably three feet in height, and it's not growing in the most convenient or pleasing place, but it's flowering it's socks off and making me happy.

22 comments:

  1. Fascinating, but I've really no suggestions as to what's gone on with these!
    Good luck with the potatoes.
    It's surprising what grows from bird seed, and in this case well worth leaving alone. Flighty xx

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    1. It's certainly a mystery to me. I'm hoping that I'm successful with the spuds, it would be good to have some to harvest on Christmas Eve. I'm not very good at identifying seedlings, sunflowers are one of the few which I can.

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  2. How strange, it's the ugly duckling of the squash world! No idea I'm afraid but hopefully someone will help xxx

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    1. It's definitely ugly. I thought it looked a bit like a Hubbard squash, but I've never grown any of those before.

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  3. I reckon like my courgettes naughty things have been going on under the leaf cover. Squash and courgetes are related so I wonder whether courgettes and squash cross pollinate with one another Does the strangely shaped one resemble any of your other varieties? We have three squash varieties close to one another and so will be intrigued to see what they have been up to.

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    1. My strangely shaped squash doesn't resemble anything else I'm growing, I've got Crown Prince and Queensland Blue, and my courgettes are Mikinos and One Ball. I wonder if it's crossed before the seed has been harvested and packaged as I think it resembles a Hubbard squash. I'm waiting now to see what other fruit the plant produces.

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  4. Lol....your little UFO is a mystery!

    I'm all fired up to try and grow some spuds for Christmas now too....here's hoping!

    I have the same problem with my seed growing all over, but like you I've had several sunflowers grow which I've left too...our reward eh?xxxx

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    1. It will be interesting to see what else the plant produces. I've got some spuds ready to plant, I just need to get some more compost, but I reckon they need to be planted soon to give them a good start. The sunflower is most welcome, the others I've grown this year are at the allotment so it's nice to have one in the garden.

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  5. Beware Aliens!
    Love from Mum
    xx

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    1. Ha ha, you could be right.

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  6. That's quite a mystery! We haven't done well with squashes this year. Our black figs are abundant and enormous this year. I've taken some photos to post soon. Our daughter is growing potatoes for Christmas in her shared allotment in Berkshire and more organised than we are as we're busy bottling tomatoes etc. at the moment which is taking time.

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    1. My squashes don't look to be doing too well either, but I'm reserving judgement just yet. Well done with the figs, it's great when something gives a good harvest. I'm going to grow my Christmas potatoes in containers, that way they can be moved in to the allotment when the weather gets bad.

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  7. How spooky Jo but all part of what makes growing such fun :)

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    1. It's funny what goes on in those veg beds. I probably won't get to the bottom of it, one to chalk up to experience I think.

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  8. Congrats on the sunflower! I don't seem to have a problem with seeding under the bird table, I don't know why. Oh hold on a minute, of course I do... mice!!

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    1. I found a hedgehog snuffling about under my bird feeders the other night. I'm also visited by pigeons, they like to hoover up all the seeds which are dropped.

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  9. I also want some tasty potatoes for Xmas dinner hence I put few seedlings straight into the soil. I might not get any if it's too cold...

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    1. You could always try covering the plants with fleece or straw to give them a bit of protection. Good luck, I hope you get some tasty potatoes to eat on Christmas Day.

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  10. How odd! I reckon you had a cross pollinated seed from the start. Either that or it has just mutated! I must admit, I like squash and the odder, the better! Very cool :)

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    1. I think you may be right. It would have been good if I were able to eat it but it was so full of seeds that there was little left after removing them all.

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  11. I have had problems with seed too this year. Flowers turning out to not be what they were meant to be. In my case I think it was definitely cross pollination. I have friends who have had similar problems too. Did you get them mail order? If so, you should complain. I've had my seeds refunded.

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    1. The seeds were ones I had left over from last year, I buy very few mail order so I'm sure I will have bought them from a garden centre. The rest in the packet have gone on to produce what they should so I think it's probably a stray seed that's got in there somehow.

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