After a very slow month, my garden is really starting to come to life! First the watermelon started to fruit and now the cucumbers have decided to grace my garden. I'm going to have so many cucumbers to harvest... I don't know what to do with it all. I guess I'll have to learn how to make pickles! Or eat LOTS OF SALAD! Or make a cucumber and tomato sandwich. Yum!
Below: My cucumbers at my parents' raised bed garden
Because cucumbers have a tendency to spread, we decided to use bamboo sticks to help them grow vertically. The bamboo sticks (above) come from my parents' very own bamboo bush. My mom and I ventured into the bamboo "forest" in the backyard and cut down the larger, stronger bamboo stalks to use on the cucumber plants.
Below: The bamboo "forest" in the backyard
Bamboo also has a tendency to spread like crazy. You have to work very hard to maintain it. Each spring, we go into the backyard and dig up the shoots that form outside of the designated area. It's hard work to keep the bamboo forest in its correct location, but the bamboo is very beautiful and very useful in gardening.
Below: The cucumbers that have started to form
These cucumbers are best suited for salads because they will end up having smoother skin. The flowers are beautiful, and the cucumber itself is lovely to see. For several weeks, the cucumber plants have been growing with only male flowers. It's refreshing to see the female flowers and the cucumbers.
Since my plants have started to give birth to vegetables and fruit, I've been able to determine which flowers are male and female. In the beginning of my garden adventures, I was completely clueless. And now I can spot the different types. A very cool feeling to know a little something about gardening!
Below: The cucumbers in the square foot garden
At Cam's house, I also used bamboo sticks to allow the plants to grow vertically. These cucumber plants were replacements that we bought after our first batch failed due to illness. So far, no disease (the roots are not split in two), and these plants have also started to have female flowers.
The variety of cucumber is the picklin' type. They have rougher skin and I believe they are called pickling cucumbers. Anyway, there are so many cucumbers growing in this square. I'm excited about the possibilities!