I never knew I could grow cucumbers in Dallas dirt.
I bought 2 baby cucumber plants at the nursery last month and they are growing in Dallas dirt!
They were so small I figured they would take up little room among my 3 tomatoes.
For that matter, I thought my tomatoes would remain inside the framework of bent pipe and bird netting but my now I have learned a lot about how large these two plants can get.
It seems that the cucumber is a lot like a vine, and similar to tomatoes in the way it grows. It can be planted in the same space with tomatoes and if you have the tomatoes inside those cone shaped wire cages you will find that after a month or more that by late June these would grow much larger.
One thing I failed to become aware of before I started my two baby cucumbers ... They need to be picked, aka, harvested before turning yellow and later turning orange. I ate sliced orange cucumbers a few days ago because they were peeled and underneath that orange exterior they were sliced and placed in a jar of bread and butter pickle juice and added pepper and salt and placed them inside the refrigerator. You have to eat these up before they get soggy. a day or two in the refrigerator is too long.
I had no idea the cucumber plants became harvestable within a week of growing from a tiny quarter of an inch long bud at the end of a yellow flower to about a 2 or 3 inch long green and edible fruit.
Did I just say fruit?
Well, any how. I learned that in spite of the fact it was Dallas dirt these grew in, they would be great for pickling. Since it was the first time I ever planted one I learned quite a lot in a very short span of time.
What I mainly learned is that they have male and female flowers and they have to be cross pollenated and in most cases this is done by bees and butterflies. The stems grow like a vine and have tiny tendrils that grasp anything they can to catch hold of. They can grow on a trellis or a tomato cage and the cucumber can fully develop as it hangs from it's stem without falling off even though the weight of the average cucumber is pretty heavy considering it is hanging from a very small stem on the vine.
I hope to grow more cucumbers and learn to harvest them when they are green and not after they become so overripe that they turn bright orange like a bell pepper. But even though they can be eaten at this stage only they are preferable to be picked when green. I am pretty sure the Dallas dirt could use some help with mulch and compost added to help the soil retain moisture as the cucumber, like the tomato, require frequent watering.
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/cucumbers-vegetables-eating-kitchen-849269/