Vegetables, page 3
Wow an entire page devoted to cucumbers! Cucumbers are an easy addition to any backyard vegetable garden. Just a couple of plants can provide your family with enough cucs for a summer full of salads, fresh slices for a little crunch on sandwiches and snappy refrigerator pickles.
Cucumbers are members of the curbit family. Other curbits include melons, squash and pumpkins. These plants do not appreciate having their roots disturbed so transplant with care.
We start all of our cucs in peat pots for this reason. Slice the side of the pot with a razor knife. Not so deep that you cut through the roots. Just deep enough to get through the surface of the pot. Then plant the whole thing.
Members of the curbit family are also susceptible to powdery mildew. Take care to water the base of the plant, not the leaves, during the hot, humid days of summer. Every small thing you do to prevent disease saves you the effort of fighting it later.
Many people have objections to the green vegetable. Some say that they give them heartburn. Others that they cause burping. Still more like pickles but complain that many cultivars have spines that make harvesting them tricky.
There are many varieties, both heirloom and hybrid, than have attractive qualities such as very high yields, smooth skin, less seeds, or they grow on compact busy plants.
We have grow many different cultivars of cucumber in our Pocono garden over the past decade. These have included Burpee's Double Feature hybrid, Homemade Pickles heirloom, Boston Pickling and Sweet Success hybrid.
For 2009 I have chosen to grow Muncher and Burpee's Spacemaster Bush.
Muncher produces a medium green, nearly spineless, straight cuc. A vine type cucumber, plant 4 to a hill or support with a trellis or cage to make the most of your space.
The photo to the right shows Muncher seedlings at 2 weeks old on a seedling heating mat.
Pick small, 2 or 3” long for sweet pickles. Up to 5” long for crisp, burpless cucumbers to slice into your salad. I have seen descriptions that say you can wait to harvest until they are 6 to 9" long. I have found that if they are left on the plant that long the vine tends to slow its production of new flowers.
Produces a dark green, smooth vegetable on small, bush type, compact plants can be grown in small garden or containers on a deck or patio. The seeds have a good germination rate. At least 80% in our experience.
Harvest at 6 to 7.5” long for salads, slicing or refrigerator pickles. Of course they can be picked earlier for gherkin sized pickles.
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Looking for more ideas for your backyard vegetable garden? Check our Herb and other Vegetable pages for squash, tomato and jalapeno varieties we are growing this year.
Vegetables, page 1
Vegetables, page 2
Eggplant - Vegetables page 4
Growing Potatoes, page 5
Potato Varieties, page 6
Tomatoes, page 7
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