Sunday, August 17, 2014

The cucumber tree

This year's experiment with the cucumber tree has been moderately successful. Once I got the cucumber seeds to germinate (next time I'll start them in pots indoors), I was able to train them up on the supports. The tripod I built was not the best support for them, even after I wrapped it in twine to give the vines more to cling to. So I'll have to go with a more traditional support system the next time.

Cukes growing on the vine. The lush greenery around them is cilantro, which has flowered and is going to seed.

Also, the fruit is not as straight as I expected it to be from hanging. One reason for that is the variety of cucumber, I suppose. I would like to find seeds for what's called the English cucumber (the fruit of which is what you always get in French supermarkets), but I have yet to see them in the garden centers. Still, all six of my plants have climbed and they are producing. In fact, we ate the first cucumber this week, sliced and dressed in yogurt with fresh tarragon. Tasty! I'm looking forward to more.

8 comments:

  1. Walt, we grow "La Diva" and "Marketmore"...
    La Diva is smooth-skinned and very tasty...
    Marketmore look like these [still tasty, tho', else we wouldn't grow them]...
    both plants provide 6" to 8" fruits, perfect for two personages....
    and are both thin skinned and the fruits are usually pretty straight.

    We let ours sprawl across the "maggot"....
    the huge cucurbit growing area.
    but I am going to have to lift the La Diva up....
    somehow....
    we've got a goumet vole!!

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  2. Those cukes look really nice. Not a big fan myself, but I do like the smell of a freshly sliced cucumber. I have it from hearsay that cucumbers aren't necessarily straight ... and only the straight ones make it into the shops.

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  3. Those are fine-looking cukes - the shape doesn't affect the taste. They do look like "Marketmore" - a variety from the USA. "La Diva" (also from USA) are mostly nice and straight, and they are much more like your description of an "English Cucumber". It's an All American Selection winner and Baumaux supply them. I think Jardiland have Baumaux seeds.

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  4. I tried Armenian striped cukes this year. Got one -- sweet, soft skin. Then…no more. Might have been too much sun/not enough water. Your cukes look great. I might try your upright method on my sprawling winter squash….

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  5. Every time I have gone to the Missouri Botanical Garden this summer, I have walked past the vegetable garden area, and seen their cucumber "tree" -- and it always makes me think of yours. Thanks for the update.
    I understand that the smaller English cucumbers are a little more tasty.

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  6. Perhaps your next American visitor might be willing to bring you some of these: http://www.reneesgarden.com/seeds/packpg/veg/cucumber-chelsea.htm . They're available by mail.

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  7. Wow. The "tree" turned out really well!

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  8. tim, the variety I have this year is called "marketer."

    martine, interesting!

    pauline, I'll check that out the next time we're near a Jardiland.

    christine, all that work for one cuke! I thought about squash, too, but wondered if they wouldn't be too heavy?

    judy, the English cukes we get are long and skinny, not curved, and have fewer seeds than many fat varieties. And they are tasty!

    chris, we can probably have them sent to Ken's mother's for him to bring back next spring.

    dean, cool, eh? I'm tempted to do it again, only a little differently, next year.

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