Cucumbers Coming

Someday.

But Sunday was a big day. The sun was shining, the soil was warm, the time was right and Monday’s forecast called for the last of April’s showers. Given the Hurricane’s deep, deep, deep, affection for cucumbers, which rivals her love of¬†tomatoes, it seemed important to get some things in the ground.

Step 1: Styrofoam, for drainage
Step 1: Styrofoam, for drainage.
Step 2: Dirt. Lots of dirt
Step 2: Dirt. Lots of dirt.
Step 3: Costume change + consultation with deck amis.
Step 3: Costume change + consultation with deck amis.
Step 4: Finally! Planting White Wonder, Adam F1, and Lemon Cucumbers
Step 4: Finally! Planting White Wonder, Adam F1, and Lemon Cucumbers

Cucumber Count

Even if the heat decides to wreak its havoc on the little blue deck, it’s been a good cucumber year, as you can see.

plants on deck cucumbers, White WonderSpacemaster: 7
Adam F1: 13 (RIP)
White Wonder: 12

And, for any first-time cucumber growers who might be out there, here’s a few picking tips for ya’:

  • Harvest cucumbers early in the morning, before they’ve been over-warmed by the sweltering sun.
  • Refrigerate immediately. Happily, they seem to survive storage for at least a week.
  • Tend to your cucurbits daily — leaving just one cucumber on the vine (they’re sneaky, so look closely) will halt production.

 

Hello, Hybrid

Seed List, CucumbersLast year’s struggles with diseases and less-than stellar yields means that POD’s giving hybrids a shot this year. Vaguely creepy, but if they work…

Onstage this year:

Adam F-1: “High yielding and long lasting parthenocarpic [POD translation: seedless] hybrid with crispy fruits. Smaller 2-4” fruit perfect for pickles. Resistant to powdery mildew, downy mildew, and cucumber mosaic virus.”

Akito F-1: “Main Season hybrid produces high yields of straight and uniform dark green 6-8″ fruit with market winning taste. Powdery Mildew resistance and CMV resistance.” Holy crap! As POD’s Seeds of Change shopping cart was being populated, these $24.50 (for 50 seeds) got the axe.¬† And, since Warminster’s Burpee will be providing tomato seeds anyway, we’re hitting them up for the Salad Bush Hybrid, too: “High yields in small spaces. Very compact, strong tolerance to powdery and downy mildew, left spot, mucumber mosaic virus and scab. Very tasty slicers 8″ long, with smooth, dark green skin.” It’s been a while since bush cucumbers had a space on deck, so it’s time to give ’em another shot anyway.

Bonus: And Burpee tossed these into my already over-stuffed shopping cart, the White Wonder, “Burpee introduced this now classic cucumber in 1893, after receiving it from a customer in western New York. Pale ivory, the 6-8″-long and 2-3″-wide fruits have an exceptionally crisp texture, making for excellent fresh eating or tasty pickles. Produces high yields, even in high heat.”

Adam, Salad, and Wonder will be direct seeded (assuming there’s room) into toasty 65-70 degree, light soil with a pH of 5.8-6.7.