Sunday, 20 July 2008


I have never grown cucumbers before (where have I heard that phrase before!) but this year I put some seeds in a pot and they started to grow! Surprise, surprise! However, when I planted them out they didn't seem to be making much progress so in my new found enthusiasm for everything potager I bought three cucumber plants and stuck them in too. Hmmm, these didn't make much progress either so I just decided to ignore the whole lot and get on with the rest of the garden - broad beans were doing well and saved my enthusiasm from vanishing.

They say if you ignore something it will go away. Fortunately cucumbers don't know about this because quite suddenly they started growing at an incredible pace and were promising to overrun the garden. Rapid checking in every veg book in the house told me to pinch them out after a certain amount of leaves had appeared - but we were way beyond that. I also noticed that there were dozens of fruits appearing on all six plants but they were all tiny and only one - which by this time was a full size cucumber! - had grown at all. Several tiny fruits had turned yellow and were clearly not going anywhere but the compost heap. Decision time.

I finally spent a morning pinching out all the trailing parts of the plants. Truth be told I had no idea what I was doing but apart from anything else, they had to be stopped from taking over the entire patch! The results were extraordinary and almost instantaneous. Within a week rapid growth was showing in several fruits on all of the plants. Withing two weeks we were eating reasonable sized cucumbers. Now, three weeks later, I am picking at least one full sized fruit a day, if not two. I have a feeling that next week I will be picking more than that!

I am extremely pleased with this. We have a family arriving tonight for three days and then next weekend my sister-in-law and mother-in-law plus one daughter and possibly another child will be here for a week. Our eldest son will be arriving with them so the house will be full. Cucumbers will be welcome!

In the top two photos you can clearly see the two different types of cucumbers. The top photo is one of the plants I bought with a smoothish skin and the second, with an almost prickly skin, is one of my seedlings grown to fruition. In the final photo, I have put the flowers of borage in with the sliced cucumbers. These flowers are edible and I think the blue is so lovely next to the delicate green of the cucumber.

No comments: