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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Behold, Cucumbers

Behold, the days of cucumbers have arrived.

There is the perception amongst some gardeners that home grown cucumbers don't taste that much different from store bought, so what's the point in growing them?

I'd like to set the record straight. Homegrown cucumbers do not taste the same as store bought if you choose the right varieties. They taste better. I wouldn't have a vegetable garden without a few hills of cucumbers.

Here's the beginnings of my cucumber harvest.

I have two varieties this year, Salad Bush and Bush Crop. The full size cucumbers are Bush Crop and the smaller ones are Salad Bush. Both are "short vine" or bush varieties, so they don't take as much space as some might think.

I have four hills of cucumbers in a 4 foot by 4 foot bed.
So far it looks to be a good cucumber year. I like to peel the smaller cucumbers and eat them like a candy bar. However, some people eat them skins and all. I guess it is a matter of personal choice and the variety of cucumber. Salad Bush, for example, was described as having a thin skin, which would be good to eat without peeling it first. (Please don't say bad things about Salad Bush in front of it, you know, it has a thin skin...)

Anyway, I am enjoying the cucumbers and they are on top of the harvest list right now. I'm still getting a lot of zucchini, in such quantities that they are getting on my nerves, all spread out on the kitchen table, begging for me to do something with them.

So cucumbers are the favored vegetable today.

But as with most vegetables in the garden, the cucumber will only be number one until some other vegetable comes along to knock it off its pedestal.

And in my garden, it looks like the green beans will be doing that soon. Look, I picked a little handful this evening.You know what this green bean harvest represents, don't you? It represents my triumph over the rabbits. Most years, the rabbits eat all the bean plants. But this year, they haven't.

Perhaps it is due to the row cover I used, or maybe they are finally afraid of the trap I set between the two rows of beans? Perhaps it is the cayenne pepper I put on the leaves, or the neighbors' cats are earning their keep by chasing the rabbits away? I really don't care why, I'm just happy that it looks like I'm finally going to have some green beans from my garden.

But I won't declare complete bean victory just yet, because you shouldn't count your beans before they are picked.

Anything can happen.

7 comments:

chuck b. said...

So you don't trellis your cucumbers?

eleanor said...

Glad you're getting some greenbeans. In this family we argue on how to cook them. They like then whole & crisp. I like mine cut up and soft. Both have the same seasoning.

Colleen said...

Now I really, really wish I'd planted cucumbers this year! I'm definitely growing some next year....I'll do a short vining variety like yours.

By the way...that bed that you're growing the cucumbers in looks really pretty! I know that's not the main goal, but it's a very nice bonus :-)

Carol said...

Chuck B... No, these cucumbers don't need a trellis, since they are a bush variety.

Eleanor... I guess you could finish yours off in the microwave.

Colleen... Thanks, I do like how the cucumbers look right now in that one bed. I do wish I had picked a different, smaller variety for one of them. Next year, we are already planning for next year!

Thanks all for the comments!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Laurie & Chris said...

I love fresh cucumbers!! I also love green beans they look so good.I'm going to have to get to the farmers market.

Petunia's Gardener said...

Wow, even my bush beans haven't bloomed yet! I think there are some regional differences going on. I have lemon cucumbers growing (apparently a favorite in the NW). I think they do some vining and I plan to give them something to climb on to keep them out of the paths. Your garden shots look great too. I just love it when the garden starts getting taller than me.

Matron said...

I completely agree with you about cucumbers. You can just eat home grown cucumbers with nothing on! I have grown 5 varieties of cucumbers up an arch over my allotment path this year. Crystal Lemon, Straight 8, Marketmore, Odys (Polish), Long Green Ridge. I have also grown some dill - ready for pickling!