26 Aug Why my cucumbers are freaking me out
Think it’s only cats that are scared of cucumbers? Think again.
Most of the marketing standards for supermarket fruit and veg are ridiculous. I mean does it really affect your cauliflower cheese if the cauliflower isn’t perfectly white or if your carrot is a bit knobbly?
It baffles me and I can’t imagine whose interest these regulations are in, if it’s of little positive benefit to the consumer and has huge negative impact on the farmer and environment. However, there is one regulation around cucumbers that I do understand.
This is my first year of growing cucumbers (successfully) and apparently cucumbers are prickly. I don’t care how straight they are or uniformly long they are, but the prickles are getting to me.
So I did some investigation as to why they are prickly and the only thing the Internet has come up with is as a protection from predators. Like a hedgehog. Apparently, outdoor cucumbers have prickles but indoor ones don’t, so perhaps they are onto something.
Basically outdoor cucumbers are the tough guys, they develop a thicker, prickly skin so they can withstand the low temperatures, compared to their softer skin friends that are grown indoors and have a more delicate skin with no prickles. The supermarkets only sell the indoor ones, so we’re all living in this perfectly smooth world where veg is good-looking and friendly.
So it was a bit of a shock. Look at him…
A few things I’ve learnt about growing cucumbers
They know how to climb. They are very happy in a container with three canes and regular watering. They have these little curly arms for support and yellow flowers that are really quite pretty.
Pests don’t care for them. The pests are far more interested in the other green stuff in the garden, so maybe the pest-resisting prickles have a point. Get it.
I feel mean typing this (close your ears cucumbers) but there are other home grown treats that will reward you with amazing colours and big flavours. There is no doubt that growing anything is rewarding and the plants are beautiful and quite chirpy, but you won’t be marvelled by your new found love for the cucumber. It is still just a cucumber.
Pickling however, is a whole other plan… I’ll let you know how I get on.
Burpless Tasty Green ~ My favourite.
Marketmore ~ Reliable, but very prickly.
La Diva ~ Small ones, don’t let them grow to big.
“Despite the gardener’s best intentions, Nature will improvise.”
Michael P. Garofalo