Monday, August 11, 2008

Cucumber Notes

Planted on 5/21:

Straight Eights did wonderful, until succumbing (I believe) to bacterial wilt. Flavor was good, although I thought a tad bitter.

Pioneer Hybrids failed to sprout.

Cucumbers have about a 60 day maturity window.

Assuming a Last Frost Date of 5/14. Since my Straight 8s came up from 5/21, they're probably safe to plant that early.

Assuming a First Frost Date of 9/24, last planting should be in on 7/24. The OSV interpreter did mention they typically harvest cukes after the first frost, so that may be an interesting experiment. The old New Englanders tended to prefer size over taste, particularly since items like cucumbers would just get pickled.

So let's aim in 2009 for a series of plantings, starting with the Straight 8s and maybe trying some bush and/or pickling varieties towards the end. Marketmore 76 recommended as a variety that is disease resistant, plant after frost danger is past.

ALSO, let's try companion plantings of marigolds & radishes with them to see if it repels the cucumber beetles from the young plants!

If I'm not successful otherwise controlling the wilt (see post below), I'm thinking that will help control bacterial wilt issues indirectly. As some cukes die, others will be coming into production.

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