Wednesday, 7 September 2011

My first cucumber

Given the number of cucumber seeds sold every year, you'd think they were easy to grow, but I've never had any success with them. I've tried greenhouse types, outdoor types, round, long, almost all going and never produced anything. So earlier this year when we lost plants due the frost, I picked up a couple of cucumber plants in the garden centre. My Mum laughed at me, thought they would produce as much as previous attempts, i.e. nothing. But I proved her wrong - here is my very first cucumber, after 10 years of trying. It is a miniature type, designed to fruit earlier than others, just like the tomatoes I also bought earlier in the year. One to try again, I think.
This cucumber is growing in this long bed. You may think there are several plants in here, but in fact there are only three. The pumpkin you can see right at the back of the bed is actually growing forward from there right to the end. I decided to cloche this bed given the cold and now very wet weather, to protect the cucumber and also to help the pumpkins set as they were rotting off in the damp. It's worked well, with three pumpkins set on the one plant at the last count.
I weeded the parsnip bed at the weekend; they are small but the first sowing was wiped out by a plague of snails. At least they have room and light to grow now. It's been a fairly bad year for vegetables, cold and wet, and everyone at our allotments has struggled. We really must be due a better summer next year.
But the fruit has been doing well - I picked the first Katy apples this weekend, some rhubarb and a few autumn raspberries. I dread to think what the current windy and wet (America's hurricane) weather will have done to my trees since. I'm just hoping my supports held and the trees are still there, with most of their fruit still on!
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