This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

my cucumber experiment - cucumbers are not a fall crop

On August 7 (65 days before my average first frost), I planted several varieties of pickling cukes: Cucumber, Salt and Pepper (49 days), Cucumber, Miniature White (50 days), Cucumber, North Carolina Pickling (60-65 days). This experiment was a last ditch effort since wilt (carried by beetles) killed my summer cucumbers.

It seemed this experiment would work, going by the days. The rule of thumb for fall planting is to count back from the average first frost date by the days to harvest, and then add 2 weeks for the "fall factor": with less light plants grow slower. So those 49 and 50 day cukes had enough time. But it did not work.

August and September weather was great. Record heat - our first heat wave in September in 35 years. I kept the plants covered to keep beetles off, then removed covers when they bloomed. They bloomed well (bees loved them), but the plants never produced cucumbers.

My lesson: Cucumbers need mid summer light - they are not a fall crop.

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