Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cucumbers on Sunday

I have never grown cucumbers successfully.  I plant the seedlings in the ground and they grow feebly, winding their spindle vines reluctantly upward.  At most I get one or two fruit from each plant before they give up the ghost.  A few years ago I stopped trying to grow them at all.  I must have a cucumber curse, I thought.  Either that, or my soil was missing something the plants needed.

Well, this past winter while dreaming over seed catalogs, I spotted a variety called 'miniature white' and heard the siren song.  Such lovely, small, pale cucumbers would look so nice in a pickle jar.  And taste soo good on a summer salad.  Okay, I decided, I'll give it another go.  They will probably all die like the others, but what the heck.

Holy Moly!  I don't know what I'm doing right this time, but these little guys are going gang busters.  Yowza!

I've got two 5' wide cattle panels leaning up against each other, A-frame style, along this long bed.  The catalog said the vines would only grow 3-4 feet but some have already exceeded that length. 

Such perfect little fruit.  Crisp and fresh, with no hint of bitterness.

I can't keep up with them.  My frig is overflowing.  Yesterday I made relish, with dill from the garden and a few cloves of last year's garlic.  I scooped out the seed guts and then chopped the flesh by hand.  I've used a food processor before, but I prefer hand chopping.  The processor tends to mash the liquid out of the pulp.  And, I prefer the larger, cube-shaped chunks I get with a knife.

Nine pints of pickle relish done.  I went out this afternoon to the garden and picked a dozen more cucumbers.  I swear they've grown an inch in diameter overnight.  If this keeps up, my whole family is going to get pickles for Christmas this year.


Carolyn said...

Pickles for Christmas, what a treat! Make mine Bread & Butter!

Glad you finally found "the one"!

Erin said...

Oh, thank YOU for this recommendation! I have had problems this year with the same thing on my cukes and have been thinking of something different to try, since I'm having to fill my "pickle jars" with peppers and all sorts of other stuff to get a full jar! They are beautiful!

Leigh said...

I love your idea with the cattle panels! I'm trying to use broom corn for mine. It's going so so. There are lots of good pickle recipes to try, aren't there?

Anonymous said...

Atta girl!


Karen said...

I heard that comment, Jo...! Pickles for Christmas isn't such a bad idea! Find a few baskets, fill them with pickles, wax beans, whatever else you have in abundance this year and TaaaDahhhh!!! Instand Present!

Marcy said...

I have some mini whites too and am wondering if they are supposed to have orange and yellow coloring also. They started out white. We planted ours in early June, so are they ready to pick? Any and all info is greatly appreciated.

Jo said...

Marcy -- the miniature whites can be picked when they are white, or when they are slightly yellow. Dark yellow/orange indicates they may be over mature. The flesh will still be good, but the seeds will be large and a bit tough to chew. That's my experience with them, at least!