Cucumber sadness

on Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Most of my cucumber plants have finally succumbed to the evil cucumber beetles. I have to say it was record time this year - I just haven't harvest enough cucumbers!! And ZERO pickling cucumbers!

I decided it was time to get lethal and use Sevin (a pesticide commonly used in home gardens) on the dying plants - that's my way of hopefully ensuring the cucumber beetles won't hang around in my garden (yes, I know they're still flying around here and there - I admit it). The Sevin was too late to save the existing plants, plus I have the concern of using this sort of stuff now that I'm selling my veggies to people who're hoping for a more organic treatment. There does come a time, however, when you have to declare war and bring out the big guns if you want any of your crops...

The good news is that there are signs there's at least one cucumber vine still growing - I see the yellow blooms, but that may be a dying plants last attempt to set fruit and get it's seed out there before it's dead.

Better news? I've started new cucumber plants, and they're already starting to leaf out...and I'm guessing they love this combination of heat and rain!

What? No no - the cucumbers are those little TINY plants/leaves above. I'm guessing the large leaves got your hopes up - but I've never seen a cucumber develop leaves THAT big! So what are the big leaves on outrageously vigorous vines that are engulfing the trellis?

Those are gourds! So far I've seen no fruit set on the plants, nor even any flowers, but give 'em time and be patient. If they do as well as last year, we'll have pleeeenty of gourds this year. I'm growing a mixed variety, and don't know which of the varieties I've planted were tough enough to resist the pests - so it's sort of garden roulette. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. Oh - and I may have to thin the gourd leaves or re-direct the plants if it looks like they're going to take over where I want the new cukes - too much shade is not appreciated by cucumbers!

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