Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Death of the Cucumbers

All things must come to an end, and it is now that time for my cucumber plants. This is a sad realization, but it is time to pull up all the plants. I've harvested the last of the cucumbers. They were small tiny things, barely larger than the palm of my hand. Although when I cut them up, they were not bitter and their seeds were regular size. They still tasted just as delicious as their larger brothers and sisters. Can you believe it? I was surprised. So I am still munching on the last of my crop.

Two months of cucumber production is pretty good, I think. And boy, did those plants produce. It seemed I was harvesting one or two large sized cucumbers each day. My family really ate them very quickly. I had dreams of pickling, but nope--we ate them like they were big cherries. Just ate them raw and also in salads.

Below: The end of the line...

As you can see in the pictures, there was one plant, one vine that was trying to survive and produce more. It was green, and there was a beautiful female flower with hope for new fruit. I was excited, but I decided that it probably wouldn't produce a decent size cucumber.

Below: New growth, new excitement
So I'm about to pull up all the cucumber plants. I want to plant more seeds for the fall and even winter, but I am wondering what to get. I think I'll have to order the seeds online because they no longer carry them at the Lowe's or Home Depot near my house.

I have some fall crops started, but what are some good winter crops that will survive? I'll be planting garlic bulbs this October, but what other options do I have?

24 comments:

hap said...

Two months of cucumber production sounds good to me. It's interesting that the small veggies taste the same as full size ones. My tomatoes will be in that category and I will be interested to see what they taste like.

It's good to know I'm not the only one who gets their seeds from a big box store. It sounds like a lot of people order them.

As far as winter crops go, I think you can plant spinach and onions until late September/early October. I didn't notice whether or not you have already planted them.

Skeeter said...

Our cukes are about to their end as well.. sigh....

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Hap, We planted some onions, but they are growing so slowly. We've only pulled a few, and they were of the smaller variety, but very yummy.

Hi Skeeter- Welcome back!! I'm also sad about the cukes. Hope you had a good season!

PGL said...

Sounds like they gave their all for two months & it's time to say farewell until next year. You could plant Lettuce, Spinach, Cabbage, and Onions. Their all cool season veggies. :)

Daphne said...

I don't know how long of a growing season you still have in Nashville. Probably longer than mine, but not really sure. The only thing left to plant here in New England are the faster greens. Spinach, lettuce, boc choi, tatsoi. Anything that is fast and likes cool weather. You might have time for broccoli, but it is too late for that here.

The Organic Gardener said...

Hap!
The hardest thing for me to do is to pull out a plant! If you save one of you cucs, you can harvest the seeds from the...as long as you didn't harvest them too early. I think it is next week, but I am not for sure, that I will be talking about harvesting seeds from cucs. I will let you know when I do post it!

I love garlic, I just planted mine last week, and can't wait for the harvest. I own Heirloom Garlic form the 1800's! I have a blog that I dedicated to the subject, Check it out!

~Zach

Frances, said...

Hi DP, you had a successful year with the cukes. They were the best producers in my garden too. I planted ones called 'Straight eight', they were long and straight. I made pickles, lots of them, but next year want to plant the little gherkin types to pickle whole instead of sliced. Besides garlic I will be planting more carrots, beets, spinach, lettuce and arugula. I think kale and collards can be planted also now. I had to order some of the seeds online, the beets for I had not bought any earlier like I had the lettuces and greens. You need to remember to buy for fall when the seeds are put out in late winter here. So do I. ;->

Susie said...

I had to pull up my cucumbers the other day as well. They looked so tattered and pitiful. I ate my last two tomatoes a couple of days ago as well.

I don't remember what you planted for fall but lettuces, collard greens, broccoli and cauliflower are cool weather plants.

lola said...

So sad about your cukes. They produced a long time. Now for some variety of winter goodies. Spinach, collards, carrots, onions just to name a few. Happy Gardening.

Mick said...

Hello dp

My cucumbers are history too. I only had the one plant but it served us well.

For my fall garden I have the following seedlings started:
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Kohlrabi
Brussel Sprouts
Catnip (for the boys)

I also have some Favva beans which will be planted direct.

I'm planning on erecting a clear plastic dome over one or two of my raised beds in a couple of weeks to form a small kind of greenhouse to put the plants into when they are ready.

I've also started collecting seeds from my heirloom varieties and preparing them for drying. Some are going to South Africa this year!! :-)

Cindy said...

DP ~ Wow, two months is great production from those cucumber plants! I was looking for seeds for fall planting and couldn't find any at Lowes or Home Depot either. I did find lettuce and radishes as a local garden center but they were just their spring leftovers.

Eve said...

Ah, so sad to see the season end. I am in zone 8b so I'm not sure about your zone 7a. Here is what I plant:

Radishes, broccoli, turnips, kale and spinich, onions, potatos,cabbage,..and our favoirte collards.

Dawn said...

I never had luck with cukes, seemed like they were good in size but tasted awful. More crops are always better!

Dan said...

I thought I was the only lucky one to have cucumbers that look like that. Maybe this is a normal occurrence.

You could plant some radishes in place of them, I don't think they have been mentioned yet. I think you could also plant Swiss Chard too, I have never grown or eaten this but it seems allot of people grow it.

DP Nguyen said...

Hi PGL, I already have cabbage and lettuce, so that's off the charts but maybe onions might be a good idea. I could order some seeds online.. Hmm..

Hi Daphne, We do have a much longer season because the frost doesn't come until late October. I wonder how fast brocoli would grow here, although bok choy sounds really good and we'd eat it up!

Hi Zach, It is always hard to have to pull a plant. I also love garlic, but I have to wait until October when it gets cooler and have a good harvest next year.

Hi Frances, I don't know what my variety was, but they were good. We had some pickling varieties too, but they didn't as well as the regular variety. I am excited to plant more next year. I will have to buy more seeds this winter. Thanks for letting me know. I may also have to order some online. We'll see!

Hi Susie, I hate it when the harvest starts to get a little dry. I'm lucky that my tomatoes are still producing, but who knows for how much longer. Califlower sounds good. I might give that a go if I can find seeds for it.

Hi Lola, Thanks for all those ideas. I don't like collards but I might try to grow spinach again. I just have to find the seeds for them.

Hi Mick, Those all sound great. I might have to invest in cauliflower and brussel sprouts. Yum! So glad to hear your cats react to catnip. I don't think Luka does.

I can't wait to see what your "Greenhouse" looks like. Be sure to post about it on your blog.

Hi cindy, I am bummed that the big box stores stop selling seeds. Grr. I hate ordering online because you have to wait for it to come. I am so impulsive.

Hi Eve, All of those sound so good. I might want to try to grow some potatoes. that would be fun.

Hi Dawn-Sorry about your bad experience with cucumbers. That really sucks.

Hi Dan, Hmm, I haven't planted radishes so that does sound like a cool idea. I don't know how to eat swiss chard so I am afraid to try growing it, lol.

tina said...

Yup, they gave all. Natural progression. Time for fall for sure.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Not my favorite veggie but a local gardener was telling me about a new one her grew this season. Some kind of Chinese cucumber that was small and more yellowish in color. He said it was mild with a wonderful flavor for salads. I might try that one.
Marnie

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Two months seems like a long time for production. But it IS really sad for it to come to an end. And I'm silly, I get a little attached to my plants and feel bad for uprooting them, but I am silly, so that explains that one.

A couple of cukes a day though, wow! That's a lot of cucumbers. We eat 'em like candy too, sliced up, sometimes just raw, sometimes with a little dressing, yummy!

Dan said...

ha, that was my thought about swiss chard too. I do know it is a green that you cook and it has a thick stem, kind of like bok choy.

There is one that grows multi-coloured stems and it looks pretty in the garden.

Robj98168 said...

That's too sad ypur plants died.:(

Gail said...

dp,

I am posting later then the rest and wondering what you decided to plant?

Gail

DP Nguyen said...

Hi Tina- So sad, but so true. Fall is coming. We got some rain today, so that was nice for all the veggies!

Hi Marnie, That cucumber variety sure sounds delicious. I've never seen any yellow ones before, but I hope you try it and enjoy!

Hi Jennifer, I also get so attached to my plants, which is why I have the hardest time thinning them out. Silly me!

I also eat cukes like candy. I love them!

Hi Dan, Great minds think alike! lol. I think I'll only grow things that I know how to cook.

Hi Rob, Thanks. I am also sad my plants died, but I am optimistic about next year's yield.

Hi Gail- I really want to plant broccoli and brussel sprouts. Now I just have to find out who sells their seeds and where I can buy them. I prefer to go to a local store instead of ordering online, but we'll see.

Jendi said...

Hello!
My 5 yo son actually cried when he saw that the cucumber plants were dying. All my kids love to pick and eat them.
Can't wait till next year so we can plant more!

Jendi said...

Sorry about the 2 comments. I wanted to link to my garden blog instead of my regular one.