At last Cucumbers
To say I am chuffed is an understatement. I have grown cucumbers!!! So far we have three large fruits with more coming on. I am so pleased because this isn’t the first time I have tried to grow cucumbers but I have always failed in the past.
My eldest son adores cucumbers, in fact when he was little they were the only form of vegetable he would eat. He gets through at least two a week so growing them myself would be a real result. The last time I tried, probably two years ago, the plants germinated and grew on well to start with but then I planted the one plant I had decided to keep into a huge pot. I stupidly thought that as they grow large vines they would need a large pot with lots of compost etc. However, I think in hindsight I drowned the plant. I have since read that this is the reason when you pot up plants you just go to the next size pot. Too big a leap means the plant can’t cope with the amount of moisture etc – well I am a little unsure of the science bit.
This year my first cucumber seedlings were destroyed by an early outbreak of white fly. They sucked the moisture out of the shoot and the plants just stopped growing. So I started again and put up yellow sticky cards to catch the white fly. I nurtured all four seedlings and this time they grew big and strong. I then succumbed to that failing that so many of us gardeners succumb to and failed to discard any of the seedlings. I thought two plants would be ideal but I had better keep one more just in case, oh and then it seemed a pity to ditch the last one!! So I have 4 cucumber plants but where to put them?
My greenhouse is tiny (3′ x 4′) so two cucumber plants would be more than enough especially as I have tomato plants in there are well. I decided to put the other two plants in my cold frame. Luckily it is a vertical one and you can remove the shelves. As you can see they are going really well, in fact they are actually doing better than the ones in the greenhouse, if not a little behind. The greenhouse plants may have produced three large fruits between them but the new fruits have gone yellow and fallen off. I am assuming that this is due to the heat as I am too lazy to shade my greenhouse. It may be that the plants have used all the nutrients from the soil producing the fruit they have so I will give them a good feed and wait and see.
There are lots of fruits on the cold frame plants all of different sizes so I can only assume that the cooler conditions are more beneficial to the plants.
But even better than the satisfaction of having grown the cucumbers is the triumph that my discerning son says they taste better than the shop bought ones and are far more enjoyable – result!