2023 Field Notes

Cucumber -- Cucumis sativus -- Unagi


Sown 4/21
Germination 4/23

Germination counts
4/23, 7pm: 1
4/24, 7am: 24
4/24, 2pm: 27
4/24, 7pm: 29
4/25, 7am: 30
4/25, 6pm: 31

4/21 -- Sown into a 50 cell tray, at recommended depth, using potting mix. Unlike last year, I've put these on the heat mat, next to the Zinnias set to 82 degrees, so hopefully this helps with germination, which wasn't all that good last year with these. I'm using the correct tray size this year as well (50 instead of 38), so hopefully that helps too!

4/23 -- First one spotted!

4/24 -- These are germinating amazingly well - in less than 24 hours 27 of ther 32 sowed have germinated. Way more successful that last year, thanks heat mat!

4/29 -- Final germination count sits at 31/32 for 97%. Remarkable. There are probably two or three of these that won't end up being viable transplant candidates but the rest of them are strong and look fabulous.

5/24 -- Transplanted 14 of these into a 4x8 bed, with full trellis on both rows. Used full 12 inch spacing, which would normally allow for eight plants a side, but the stake in the middle contrains space a bit, leading to one fewer plant per side. Shouldn't be an issue on the supply side if the weather is anything like last year, when we got more cucumbers than we knew what to do with. As with most seedlings this year, I added extra compost to the top of the soil for moisture retention, and watered them in with high phosphorus fertilizer.

5/28 -- Of everything I transplanted this past week, these look the worst - but that was to be expected given what I saw last year, in a bed right next to one I planted into this year. These seems to have a hard time dealing with transplantation but they ended up fine last year. I presume they'll be fine this year too. I'm giving them plenty of water, as the weather is very dry and warm right now.

6/1 -- Story continues to be the same as last year. The initial leaves of these plants look terrible - white, dead or dying. The new growth, however, looks fabulous, and I see some climbers starting to form on the plants, so all is well.

6/13 -- Zero issues here. These look just fine and are growing nicely.

6/16 -- First cucumbers spotted on multiple plants.

6/25 -- Many cucumbers now. The first one is getting pretty sizeable but is probably at least a week away still from being ready.

7/2 -- It's about to be a cucumber eating festival around here. These look very good, and there are MANY cucumbers. I spent time yesterday tying these in again - that's a difference between this year and last year for me, trying to make sure these grow UP, not out. They've needed a lot of help in that regard - wondering if 6" trellis wasn't the right choice. I don't mind tying them in though.

7/3 -- Decided to go ahead and harvest our first cucumber today. The Unagi variety is 9-11 inches, but I harvested this one at about 7, because there are SO many coming. Letting these all go to full maturity means I'll definitely have was more than we can eat. Will probably happen anyway, but we'll see.

7/8 -- Four more harvested over the last few days, so up to five total.

7/15 -- Eight more harvested this past week, although they were largely yellow. This is almost certainly because it has just rained way too much over the last month. Too much water, and maybe also my not harvesting them fast enough, although the group I picked today were yellow and not at size. I did get one that was maybe the best one I've ever harvested, but it was the anomaly. We clearly need some drier weather...but no real signs of that coming.

7/23 -- Have collected another seven of these over the last week, all of them beautifully green and correct size for this type (about a foot). It has still been quite wet out there, but all of these new ones have been off the ground - trellis doing its job - which I think has helped.

7/24 -- Collected another two beauties today, but also found that the deer (there are a pair of them I spot nearly every day) got to two of them as well. This happened last year too, just once, figured the deer decided they didn't like cucumber? Hope that's the case again this year. If I find any more evidence of snacking, I'll have to figure out some protection.

7/29 -- Grabbed another absolute gem yesterday, and more are coming. Nice little lull here to allow us to eat the ones we already had. No further deer damage either, so hopefully we're past that problem. Total harvest count is now 23, with 15 of those non-yellow.

8/5 -- Brief lull in the harvesting here, have only picked one additional cucumber in the last week, but more are coming. More importantly, I decided to protect these, installing some netting a few days ago. I found more evidence of deer damage after my last entry, and since the deer had recently decimated my tomatoes, it made sense to protect their potential next target. Pleased to report that thus far, the protection seems to be doing it's job, and I anticipate more harvesting this coming week.

8/12 -- Another five beauties harvested over the last week, with more on the way.

8/25 -- At least another dozen harvested over the last two weeks, and these aren't done yet. Been a tremendous crop, big success this year, truly happy with these.

9/2 -- Grabbed another three this week, although they're starting to not look their best - both the plants, and the cucumbers themselves. Makes sense - looking above, we're at at least 44 cucumbers for the season so far. There are still more coming - and a few flowers still too - but we're definitely winding down here.

9/3 -- Two more harvested today. I'm guessing we might get another three before these are done for the season.

9/10 -- Two more harvested. Still a couple new ones that look like they'll be harvestable, and then we'll be done for the year here.

9/22 -- Grabbed three more pretty good ones yesterday, and we're still not done! The plants look quite sad at this point but there are two additional cucumbers that still may be harvestable. These never really stopped producing all summer.