Thursday, August 14, 2014

Yellow Cukes?!

I got a little lazy this year when I planted my garden. Usually, I am meticulous about keeping a journal with what I planted and where, where I bought the seeds, how things were progressing. I even made little drawings. But I had just started a new job this year and I was growing ALL of my plants from seed. This was a lot of work because I live in the city and I do not have a greenhouse (but I will one day!). I was constantly moving trays from the top of my refrigerator to my car during the day, trying desperately to get things heated up and sprouting. These are all poor excuses for why I didn't make the time to journal this year. I had planted one of my beds with nothing but cucumbers but as the plants started to mature, the veggies looked more like squash. They were only slightly green but mostly yellow and very prickly. Had I mixed them up? Was it because  I was trying a different variety from what I had grown before? What was going on?

Once I picked the fruit off of the plants, brought them inside and gave them a good scrubbing I cut into the mystery veggie with bated breath. Indeed, it WAS a cucumber. A little sour, but still quite good. There were a few more seeds than I am used to, but still perfectly edible. So what had I done wrong? Most likely I waited too long to harvest them. I was expecting them to be long, lean and green but this was not the case. If I had picked them sooner they would have been sweeter. Another issue may have been inconsistent watering. You should never let the soil dry out and by the same token, never over water. Next year I plan on getting an irrigation system set up so I won't have to worry when I'm out of town and I'll also be sure to pick my cucumbers as soon as they are ripe and not let them sit on the vine for too long. Another possible reason for yellowing is missing nutrients in the soil.The solution to that is to add more organic compost throughout the season. One of the great things about gardening is each year is different and every season teaches you new lessons! I'll take note of these and have an even more productive garden next year.

Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes,and basil from my garden drizzled with oil & vinegar