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Cucumber Mosaic!

I have spoken with so many people this year that have had new and different garden experiences - birds they've never seen before now visit regularly - insects are eating plants they've never eaten before - and some are frustrated with plant viruses they've never had to deal with. My neighbours large, stunning, magnolia developed a nasty case of magnolia scale - after 20 years! And I've got a case of cucumber mosaic. Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) is most often spread by aphids, but can be carried by wind and rain from other sources. And once it's there, it can overwinter in the soil. There's no cure - remove the damaged plants to try to minimize the spread to other cucumbers, melons and squashes. Your best bet is to purchase CMV resistant seeds. The first sign of the disease was a vine that just looks weak - and leaves with a mosaic type pattern throughout, often spotted with holes. The fruit will start to grow, but will quickly become distorted and discoloured. Lucky for us, we did get a good size harvest before the CMV hit,  and there is another plant out there that is resistant, but sadly, it's now affecting the melons. Such is life! So now we wait for next year. And reasearch resistant varieties!




                         Pixie Cantaloupe

This compact, palm-sized hybrid
melonweighs in at roughly 1.5-2 pounds
and thefruit is deliciously sweet
and juicy. Witha small seed cavity
and plenty of bright orange fruit,
it’s the perfect size for ahot afternoon
snack. And it’s just fun
to grow – even if it does look a little
bizzare when mature.

Is it poison oak or poison ivy? Find out here.

My favourite this year...

Renee's Garden Seed,  Sea of Red Cutting Lettuce

When the heatwave hit this year and greens started bolting, this one just kept growing beautifully. I do have it in a pot, it a slightly shady area, but it still enjoys plenty of sun and the long, hot days we have experienced this year. The colour is vibrant and it looks great in a mixed greens salad. Definitely worth growing.

   Ornamental Eggplant
   (pumpkin on a stick) 
A truly fascinating plant. 
Bushy tall, 5' stems that develop large, prickly leaves (just like a "regular" eggplant). An abundance of small white and purple flowers appear over the summer that grow into  small ribbed "pumpkins" - these tiny gems start out green in early August and as fall approaches turn a vibrant orange.  Stems can be cut and used as fall decorations, or leave the plant where it is for fun colour and plenty of interesting comments until the frost hits. 
Grows great in containers or in the garden and is best started indoors in early April.