Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cucumber Collapse

My volunteer cucumber has outperformed all expectations.  That's not hard to do when expectations were zero.  It was a volunteer after all.  But it outperformed any cucumber I've ever actually planted, too.

It was quite a vigorous vine.  Not growing tall, but spreading out everywhere, especially across the garden path and onto the patio.
Cucumber vine growing everywhere

Two cukes growing on the patio

But this volunteer was not invincible.  As cucumbers in my yard (and in the region in general) always do, it suffered from bacterial wilt.  Actually, a lifespan to mid-August is pretty good.

While it was producing, I harvested 34 cucumbers from July 6 to August 17.  One day last week there were 11 cucumbers in my kitchen.  I gave some away, but I ate most of them.  I averaged consuming half a cucumber per day.  While cucumbers are my favorite summer vegetable, sometimes the daunting task of eating the 6 or so cukes on my counter felt like a bit much.  But I persevered.

And today I took down the vine. I found four almost-cukes, ones that started rotting on dead vines before they were ripe.

Rotting cukes

Well, actually that pickle-looking one on the right hadn't started rotting yet, but it wasn't going to grow any more.

Now that the cucumber vine is gone, I can see just how much the scarlet runner beans were growing up in the same space.  I'm amazed they did so well.  Still no beans, though.

And as I was cleaning up the garden this evening, I found, hidden amongst the peppers and basil, one more edible cucumber.

Number thrity-five

Make that 35 cukes for my vigorous volunteer.


  1. That is a very good performer. Nice to have those "free" veggies.

    1. Thanks, it was. And totally free, as you said (well, except for the water that was going onto the rest of the garden anyway).

  2. I hear your pain. My cucumbers plants succumbed one by one starting the first week in August. But, I got the last one when you did and was able to enjoy a cucumber and tomato salad on occasion.

    1. Oh, I'm not done yet. Another plant has just started producing. But I won't get much from it.