Tag Archives: cucumber

End of season review – what went well?

I’m beginning to consider what I would like to try growing next year which has made me have a good think about what has gone well this year and what I’ll definitely be growing again next year. I’ll do a separate post about the things that didn’t grow quite so successfully.

Tomatoes were a major success – I grew two varieties from seed, Moneymaker and Maskotka and also bought a Black Russian plant as we fancied trying something different. The Maskotka plants were attacked by nibblers but I managed to save three plants – and Moneymaker was very successful, I had nine plants, six in the greenhouse and three outside and gave away
another nine!

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Cucumbers have also gone well and we could hardly keep up with eating them all. The Crystal Apple round cucumbers are my favourite. I had two plants (again grown from seed), one went completely mad, grew like a triffid and produced at least 20, while the other one was less
productive, with only three or four coming from it.

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The ‘normal’ cucumbers (a variety delightfully called ‘Burpless’) have also been very productive – two plants stayed in the greenhouse and I put one outside in a raised bed where it got munched but just about survived – it then recovered and ended up producing probably 20 or more cucumbers, we had to pickle some to use them up.

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The butternut squash looked well enough, two plants grown from seed, both in a raised bed outside and produced plenty of flowers but in the end only two reasonable sized squash with another tiny one. They were tasty though.

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Peppers also grew well from seed – I grew Cayenne, Hotscotch and Hot Devil’s Brew and they produced plenty of chillies, see my pepper update here

So more of the same next year although now we have half an allotment, I can spread out more – just have to remember not to grow more than we can feasibly eat/store/give away!

Waste not, want not…

I’ve been harvesting so many tomatoes and cucumbers we just can’t keep up with them! So my resident chef has been busy in the kitchen – pickling cucumbers (with some of the dill I’ve also grown):

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And making passata – using up some of the tomato harvest and including basil, also homegrown:

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We also have a glut of chilli peppers but haven’t done anything with them yet – so watch this space…

Squashed…

My two butternut squash plants have turned into triffids in one of the raised beds – I’ve got two squash plants and a cucumber here, plus a few sweet corn plants – they aren’t doing quite so well though.

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The cucumber is going great guns, with four cucumbers at various stages of growth but until now there didn’t seem to be much going on in the squash department – all flowers and no fruit. But I’ve just spotted this hiding away under a leaf:

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I think it should be a bit further forward by now, but hopefully it still has time to grow and ripen.

Two delicious ‘firsts’ of the season…

Delighted to find a red tomato in the greenhouse yesterday (and a few more orange ones turning…) and a small but beautifully formed crystal apple cucumber.

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I grew these little round cucumbers last year for the first time & found them so tasty I gave them another try this year – one plant has provided this single cucumber and the other is bursting with flowers & growing out of the greenhouse like a massive triffid but no fruit ready yet. Must try and be patient…

We were about to head out for a meal but thought we’d better try out our lovely fresh picked produce – absolutely delicious so hoping for lots more of both.

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Guilty of neglect…

But I’ve been making up for it over the last week. We had a great holiday in the South of France but my crops did look a bit thirsty when we got back, especially the tomatoes which were
looking very droopy. Plenty of water and some tlc was the order of the day but it has been a challenge as work has also been very busy.

There has been some potting on, tying, staking – and of course, plenty of watering so things are looking much better now.

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I’m happy with the tomato, cucumber and courgette progress – broad beans are also looking good with peas beginning to make an appearance too. I’ll do a separate update about the
peppers soon, some are looking very good but not all of them.  

Still fighting the slug battle, I’ve lost a cauliflower and two lots of marigolds in spite of the beer traps and our family of frogs living in the back garden. My latest weapon is a layer of ash all round the edge of the raised bed of cabbages, let’s see if that does the trick.

So much to do, so little time…

No need to worry…

We’re away on holiday, having a lovely relaxing time except for the niggling concerns about my plants, would they be ok without my tender loving care?!

Luckily they are in good hands, and just to prove it, I’ve been sent some photos – the greenhouse is looking a bit crowded:

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And is that a tiny tomato I see? As well as an even tinier cucumber?

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And look, some tasty ripe strawberries, I’m hoping there are still some left to pick when we get home:

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I can relax and enjoy the rest of our holiday now… and try and resist the urge to plant some tomatoes round our villa, with this heat, they’d do very well 😉

News from the Potting Shed

I’m beginning to panic a little bit about all the ‘stuff’ I need to get done before we go on holiday for a few weeks (South of France, staying in a lovely little cottage near Nimes, can’t wait!). So I’ve done a bit of gardening in the rain tonight – we did actually have a little bit of sunshine earlier but it soon clouded over.

Before I did anything else, I ‘harvested’ some lettuce, mixed leaves and rocket – all of which has suddenly grown and seem to be taking over the cold frame.

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Then some potting on – little and large here were sown on the same day but one courgette plant seems to have done a lot better than the other.

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I popped the larger one in a pot, putting in a cane to help support it before placing the plant in the pot – I’ve managed to skewer the roots of a plant in the past so I’m trying to be a bit more careful now…

Some of the tomatoes needed tying up and a couple needed a better cane support so I got those jobs done before making up a couple of hanging baskets which are going to go out at the weekend.  By that time it was raining quite heavily so I put everything back in the greenhouse, watered all the tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and flowers and made a dash back to the house. Not before taking a couple of photos of the packed greenhouse, a sight that makes me very happy 🙂

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Progress report

I needed to get on with repotting some tomato and cucumber plants this weekend so I was a bit concerned about the forecast of rain (yes, I’m a fair weather gardener, I can’t deny it..). But as it turned out, we had beautiful blue sky and sunshine this morning and I managed to get quite a bit done between the showers. 

Glad I went out there early on though as it has been raining sideways this afternoon and is
currently pouring down. There must be a rainbow somewhere near though as the sun is still shining!

A couple of my repotted tomatoes went very floppy and were looking sorry for themselves, but they have perked up again now they’ve been back in the warm for a while so hopefully I haven’t killed them off.

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There are several trays of peppers at various stages of growth:

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After the peppers, I pricked out some of my antirrhinum seedlings – I do love the bright colours of snapdragons but think I got carried away when I was sowing them as I have 24 in one tray, plus 13 in little pots and that only got about a third of the tray of seedlings done.
Anyone want any snapdragon seedlings, I may have a few left over..?!

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That’s in addition to the (mostly) marigolds on these trays:

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I may have to get the under-gardener to dig me another flower bed…

Delighted to see that one of my Crystal Apple cucumber seeds has sprouted:

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Hoping to put this marjoram out in the new herb garden when it has come on a bit more:

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The cold frame is full, with lettuce, mixed leaves, rocket, coriander, peas in pots and some little fuchsia plants waiting to go into hanging baskets. The house is also just about full of plants and seedlings now, not a spare windowsill to be had. I’m getting an old table in from the garage to put up in the spare room so I can give everything a bit more space and importantly, a bit more light. I’m going to have to look up leeks, I haven’t grown them before but this tray has suddenly burst into life:

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Once I’d done all my repotting and pricking out, I had a quick peep outside at the raised beds – the garlic that went in last October is coming on nicely:

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The onions, broad beans and strawberry plants out there are also looking good but the rain poured down as I was about to take a few more photos so I’m afraid you’ll have to take my word for it… 🙂

Progress..

Seedlings all seem to be doing nicely now, making slow and steady progress so their spot in the dining room seems to be suiting them.

Tomatoes will be potted on before too long, I think they need a bit more room.

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The coriander is popping up, must remember to start regular sowings so that we’ve got some on the go all the time, I love it in salads and curries and we eat a lot of both! Delighted to see a little sign of life from the cucumber seeds in the pot on the left, hopefully all four will appear eventually.

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Last but not least, I have one nasturtium making an appearance, let’s hope the others pop up soon. I haven’t used these little growing pellets before and the jury is out at the moment – I’ve got 6 nasturtiums and 6 extra hot peppers in them and this is the only sign of life so far.

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