Despite not having been too successful at growing cucumbers last year, … this year, I am growing more than one type of cucumbers. I know, I know … I am too ambitious for my (small) balcony garden … and for my own good! hehehe … 😀
But it was hard to refrain myself from ordering some of the seeds that I saw when I went through the various seed catalogues online … especially whenever I would come across a variety that I had never seen or heard of! And so, I ended up buying a few varieties of each type of vegetable: peas, beans, salads, radishes, peppers, eggplants, etc.
And this was also how I ended up trying to grow four different varieties of cucumbers this gardening season. As a consequence of the extended cold spell this winter and spring, many of the cucumber seedlings that were sowed in late winter died before they could be planted outside. So I had to re-sow most of what are now growing on my balcony and some even in situ. And amazingly, they are doing reasonably well … especially now that summer has turned warmer and drier.
So far, three out of the four varieties are flowering … and two have started producing cucumbers. One of them in particular is producing not just one or two cucumbers … but several of them! But of course, the cucumbers are still very small. Nevertheless, they look promising lah!
I look forward to being able to taste freshly picked cucumbers from my balcony garden … soon … hopefully soon. I cannot wait!! 🙂
So, growing in this IKEA storage box, I have cucamelons, also known as Mexican sour gherkins, growing at the back … and cucumber ‘spacemaster’ growing in the front. The small plant in the middle is a hot pepper plant that is sharing the container with the cucumbers … which by the look of it, could well have to be moved elsewhere!
Cucamelons are tiny cucumbers that look like a tiny watermelon (hence the name) and they are supposed to be good for pickling. The first time I read about these tiny cucumbers last year, I fell deeply in love with them. So although the earlier seedlings that I had sown kept dying off (the ones above are the plants from my third sowing which I finally decided to sow in situ in late spring) … I continued to sow the seeds so that I could get my hands on the cute tiny cucumbers this summer! Happily, they have started to take off and are beginning to climb up the support.
Ideally, I should remove the extra seedlings … but … I think I shall just let all of them grow lah.
The cucumbers ‘spacemaster’ in front are the usual green cucumber. … but they are supposed to be of compact variety, and therefore good for growing in containers. The one on the left was directly sown into the container in late spring … while the one on the right was sown indoor much earlier before being transplanted outside. Looking at the size of both, it seems that I might be better off sowing them in situ in the future! Especially since both seem to be starting to fruit at the same time. I spotted this tiny cucumber on the plant on the right only this afternoon!
Finally, after flowering for a few weeks, it is finally starting to bear a cucumber. About time, I would say!
For this really tiny cucumber on the plant on the left … I really had to look hard to find it. I did not notice this plant flowering … so this teeny tiny cucumber comes as a very pleasant surprise. 🙂
Hopefully, these tiny cucumbers will continue to develop into full-grown cucumbers and will not dry up half way … which was what happened to the cucumber plants last year! But this year, I am planting all of them in self-watering containers … which I hope will ensure a more consistent watering for these thirsty plants.
And growing in the next IKEA box are miniature white cucumber plants … with more pepper plants growing in the front. As the plants continue to grow up and branch out, I had to add the bamboo sticks in front of the plants so that I could tie the growing plants to the sticks!
The plants started flowering 1-2 weeks ago … but unlike the cucumber ‘spacemaster’ …
… they are fruiting lots … yeayyyy!! These are the small developing cucumbers from the plant on the left …
… and these are the ones from the plant on the right. It looks like I shall be able to pick quite a number of mini white cucumbers soon … provided they do not suddenly shrivel or fall off lah! 😀
And after transplanting the scallop squash into its own separate container and so with more space for their roots to spread …. these two crystal lemon cucumber plants seem to have grown by leaps and bounds! The same could be said with the ‘Slenderette’ green bean plant in front. It has grown taller and bushier after I had removed the bullying scallop squash from this wooden crate. In fact, it is flowering a lot and has started forming green beans!
Unfortunately, although the crystal lemon cucumber plant on the right has been flowering a lot for the past one week …. I have spotted no tiny cucumbers so far!
However, since the space on the right is a little cramped with the green bean plant thriving in front of it … I have spotted some powdery mildew on the leaves! Haizzz … please do not tell me that I shall have to remove the green bean plant as well!!? Now you can see … why I am always having to move and shift things around … and why my work on my small balcony garden never seems to slow down!
But … if all my cucumber plants are to succeed in blessing us with their bounties … then, this year, the hubby and I shall get to enjoy not only green cucumbers … but also a white, a lemony yellow as well as a watermelon look-alike cucumbers! I lurveeee …. 😀
Entries related to my balcony garden in July:
- Balcony garden in July … serpent radish …
- Balcony garden in July … summer squash …
- Balcony garden in July … ripening raspberries …
- Balcony garden in July … after the looong silence …