Thursday, May 4, 2017

Cucumber Success

After trying a multitude of different ways, I've finally hit upon the right combination to give me cukes. 

1- a screenhouse or greenhouse. This prevents the pickleworm moth from destroying the cucumbers. Plus I suspect the plants respond to the extra heat and wind protection. While I've gotten a few cucumbers in the past, mostly hit & miss, I've never before had reliable cuke harvests. 

2- variety. Since I'm growing them in a greenhouse, which not only excludes the pickleworm moth but also honeybees, I'm growing a parthenocarpic variety. This is a variety that produces cucumbers without needing pollination. The one I choose to try first is called Socrates. It's a winner for me. I plan to try other parthenocarpic varieties, but it looks like Socrates will be a regular resident here. I'm also trying a standard pickling type that I am hand pollinating, but frankly it's too much bother. 

I opted to go for a full blown greenhouse for a couple of reasons. I wanted to grow a lot of cucumbers. So I needed the space. Could a home gardener have success with something smaller, say a small screen cage? Probably. It would be worth a try. 

I'm still working out the kinks of growing cukes in a greenhouse. I've got the trellising down ok, but I'm still working out the watering/fertilizing thing. And wondering when powdery mildew will show its ugly head. 

1 comment:

  1. Lactic acid bacteria seem to prevent the growth of powdery mildew. I have had good success spraying a dilute solution of live whey or sauerkraut juice.