Cucumbers

Sliced cucumbers fresh from the garden are one of the great tastes of summer. For seasonal eaters like us, it’s the only time of year we have them.

One of the joys of July

One of the joys of July

Our primary variety is Straight Eight.  For years it was the only cuke we grew.  Over the past few years we’ve experimented with other varieties including “burpless” cucumbers, which we grew for a while.  Last year on the recommendation of the awesome Pam Dawling we added General Lee and it did very well.  We also grew lemon cucumbers and they did OK, but not well enough to make the cut for next year.

I couldn't find any solo photos of this year's cukes, but here's one sharing the stage with other goodies from the gardens.

I couldn’t find any solo photos of this year’s cukes, but here’s one sharing the stage with other goodies from the gardens.

In 2015 we’ll be growing Staight Eight and General Lee as well as a long low-acid Asian cucumber called Suyo Long.

Weeds are a major problem with cucumbers. The vines spread rapidly making cultivation impossible.  I’m think I’m going to try trellising this year, which should help with that problem.  Deer and groundhogs are the other major problems.  We try to fence them out, but it doesn’t always work.  We usually still end up having to share the cukes with them.

Just six more months until we get to enjoy that first crunchy cucumber of the year!

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14 comments on “Cucumbers

  1. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, it is hard to beat cucumbers fresh from the garden, that’s for sure. The next best thing would be pickles which I also like. Cucumbers are a must in my garden and have always been trellised. They are great climbers. I’m partial to pickling cukes for obvious reasons. Cucumbers are one of the vegetables that are good to give away. Almost everyone likes cucumbers.

    Missed your blog post yesterday about honey, garlic, and vinegar because I was down with the some kind of virus thing. I couldn’t hardly function for the day. Yeah, well, anyway, I’ve known that honey, garlic, and vinegar are power house protection against illness. I often start the day with whole wheat toast with honey on the toast and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon which is another health protecting ingredient. When we had a chest cold, mom would fry onions to get that smell in the house and hold a clean dish towel over the skillet. Then it would be placed on our chest when we went to bed. I’m not sure if it did any thing but just the thought of it working released the power of the mind to help with healing. I too have been reading about old remedies since the 70s. I’m not against modern medicine and Lord knows I’ve used it a lot this year but it’s not the first thing I run to for minor aches and pains.

    Have a great cucumber anticipation day.

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    • Bill says:

      Can you tell I’ve got summer gardening on my mind these days? I do love my summertime cukes.

      Sorry you were under the weather yesterday. Make sure you take your honey and garlic. 🙂

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  2. Cynthia says:

    I had so many cucumbers this year, I was really getting tired of eating them. I made loads of pickles and resorted to juicing the cucumbers so as not to waste them. Now , I am actually craving them, lol! I cant wait to be in the garden again, eating cucumbers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      It’s funny how that works, isn’t it? By the end of the summer those sliced cukes are no big deal and I’m really looking forward to fresh greens again. But that first fresh cucumber of the year is something I really look forward to. Hopefully at some point this summer I’ll reach cucumber overload. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cucumbers – definitely a taste of summer. Field cukes are a late summer thing here, Long English cukes are mostly grown under glass here, and are available for a much longer season. From about November to April this household goes without, as the cukes in the stores are all from Mexico.

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  4. avwalters says:

    Almost cruel to display those lovely sliced cucumbers–when we have to wait months until we’ll get them fresh again. I always do lemon cucumbers (because they’re so nice to eat like an apple at lunch). I’ll try your straight eights, for a slicing cuke. I’m so staid in my use of cages for cucumbers, that it wouldn’t even occur to me to grow them on the ground (where I’m sure the gophers would get them!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      Hmm. I hadn’t thought of cages. I have plenty of those that I used to use for tomatoes. Maybe I’ll cage some cukes, trellis some others, and see which I like best.

      We’ve had lemon cucumbers the past two years but I prefer the Straight 8’s General Lee actually did very well and might be a superior cuke but I’ve been growing Straight Eight so long I’m not ready to replace it entirely.

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  5. farmerkhaiti says:

    I am just not liking these posts Bill- so torturous!! We had -18 last night, summer and a garden feels like another planet right now. I was thinking thinking as I read, what was that cucumber I absolutely LOVED, and it was Suyo Long! They are so tasty, even when big, and the skin never gets tough. I could eat like 6 or 8 a day during weeding sessions. So refreshing. Now I am gonna just have to go buy some cukes next time I am in town.

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    • Bill says:

      -18! I get cold just typing that. Hope you’re staying warm enough. Think warm thoughts. 🙂

      We liked the Suyo Longs. Because we didn’t trellis them they grew in spirals, which made them look kind of odd. But definitely delicious.

      I eat lots of cucumbers in the summer. Often I don’t stop until I have a stomach ache. I’m ready for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Woody says:

    We’ve used cattle panels leaning at about 25 degree angle for trellis. The first time I used the panels they were tied at a 45. It was too difficult to reach the cuts near the bottom and reaching through the plant and panel defeats the whole idea of a trellis. Keeping the panel listing causes most of the cucs to fall through and are much easier to see. The lesser angle also made any weeding much easier. Panels may not be practical for a small commercial operation but work dandy for us.

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    • Bill says:

      That’s good info. Thanks Woody. Trellising will be new to us so I need all the practical advice I can get. We have a cattle panel I can use as an experiment and we have our eyes open for any good deals at farm sales.

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      • Woody says:

        Once I have them I use them a lot! My favorite is a bean arch. Staked at six feet apart they provide a little over six feet of head room. Our pole beans cover the entire arch and hang underneath for easy picking. We’ve also planted some salad greens later in the season under the dappled light of the arch. It seems to have slowed bolting.

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      • Bill says:

        That sounds great! I’m excited to try some trellising this year. I’m used to cultivating with a tractor, so I’ll have to make some changes if I trellis more than one row side by side. I’m going to keep an eye on Craigslist for cattle panels too.

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