Wednesday, 1 June 2011

In a pickle

"I wouldn't touch your cucumber, it spawns everywhere." So said my male friend who came round to learn how to get potting.

Off on a wander...

Lying behind this irrational homoerotic fear was an equally common worry. We can all handle an indoor chilli plant. But something more unruly, so cheap and accessible to buy, something so large, well I guess it's too much for some to, er, take.

I only started because my mum gave me seedlings and I had absolutely no idea the plant could get so rampant! But there was a buzz from seeing something more substantial than a few leaves take command of the garden. I felt like a proper gardener.

This year I'm struggling to get my cucumber plants beyond their early stages, possibly still too cold but mostly down to May neglect. So if you're new to cucumbers, I suggest trying to bring the seedlings on in sheltered conditions and plant out when the cold nights have passed. If this works you will be rewarded with a bumper harvest.

Keep an eye on them and pick before they get too big

My cucumbers had tiny little spikes on them - not something you see in Sainsburys eh? And given such a glut, I dug out a recipe for pickling cucumber, Korean style with red onion, chilli and salt.

Home made Kimchi

Incredibly moorish and rewarding. I recommend googling 'Kimchi' and indulging your crop with a bit of heat. I'm even growing red onion and chilli this year purely to go with the cucumber pickle!

Tick the box ' I want to grow' and I'll add to the get potting list shortly as I need to start some more off even if it is a bit later in the growing season I fear.

Cucumber flower


Hanzy said...

Now I am intrigued, I shall put my cucumber outside! Its done well in my greenhouse (plastic from Aldi!)so far and def has a couple of baby cucumbers on it so I hold out hope!What kind of soil do they like?Mine's rather clay-ey but I can bung some compost in if the are fussy?
PS - I've got a couple of pics of my garden to send you.DOn't worry you won't get envy!
PPS - my comment word verification - "grangsta" - definition elderly female mob-member??!

Esther Montgomery said...

What lovely photos. Especially the first and last. And of the first and last, especially the first.


Hapless kitchen gardener said...

Grangsta - brilliant!

Cucumbers were one of my absolute highlights last year. My last seedling went out last week and is now establishing itself much better than the others - there is hope!

Esther - thank you for your comments very kind. Like the use of DH Lawrence for the crow too!

The Hapless Kitchen Gardener

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I only feel hapless because some people make it look easy to grow 10 ft marrows or a banquet of greens whereas my courgettes got nabbed by killer slugs and I only got one raspberry. So tips and stories from people less hapless than I are more than welcome. As a disclaimer though, none of my comments should be taken as expert advice on which you can rely! © Unless stated otherwise, and with the exception of guest content where that guest retains copyright, all photos and posts are the copyright of Tom Carpen and may not be used without permission.