Posts tagged “cucumbers

The Constant Gardener

Posted on May 21, 2014



Garden update: I don’t want to jinx anything, but my tomato plants were getting pretty heavy with fruit. So, as much as I love vine ripe tomatoes, I harvested some and have them ripening in the kitchen window.  Pictured above: Half my haul. And also? A cayenne pepper. There’s plenty more where this came from.

Again…not to jinx anything.



Another dispatch from the “not to jinx anything” department: The season’s first squash blossom. In my previous house, I tried to grow summer  squash, but never made it very far because of this strange wilt disease that hollows out the stems of the plant and leaves a fungus on the leaves. Once that happens, you can kiss the whole plant goodbye. I saw the first signs of this menace yesterday and treated it with Neem Oil. So I’m hoping that does the trick. Knock wood. If you have any tips on how to foolproof ways to keep wilt disease at bay, please let me know in comments.

cantaloupeThere’s a similar wilt disease that attacks cantaloupes. But I’ve been working hard to prevent it, too. I have three cantaloupe plants growing along the garden fence and two more that I’ve tried to start from seed. I’m hoping that I’ll have nice, honey-sweet melons within the next couple of months.



Although that same stinking wilt disease attacks cucumbers, I’ve had far more success growing these in the past. As much as I love fresh tomatoes, I have to say that nothing beats a freshly picked cucumber in the summer months. I’ve got three varieties growing in my garden now: a seedless, snack-sized variety; a larger variety known as a Marketmore; and a long green improved cucumber from the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants. In the background, you can see organic pellets for fighting off red ants. This is the second time I’ve been under siege in the past month. Those little you-know-whats need to find another vegetable garden to invade.



And finally: eggplant. I am the only one in the house who will eat these willingly. That’s fine with me.


Signs of Summer

Posted on May 31, 2012

cucumberbudOne of the really exciting things about having a vegetable garden is that sense of change and renewal you get as one plant runs its seasonal course, only to give way to something new. Although it is hot as the face of the sun here in South Louisiana right now, the backyard box suggests we are merely on the cusp of summer. Creole tomatoes hang from the vines, plump, but not quite ripe for the picking. Early green beans hang like little needles. Serrano chiles? Oh how I wish they’d hurry up and grow so I can make fresh salsa. And, as pictured above, cucumbers are starting to emerge from cascades of yellow blooms. Within a week, I may have more of them than I can rightly handle, but it’s a good problem to have. Cukes are such a refreshing summer staple, and can be used in anything from salads to cold soups like this one from

What are your favorite signs of summer and why?