Over the past few weeks I’ve been munching cucumber with everything: sliced discs in sandwiches, matchstick pieces in salads or diced and dipped in vinegar or fish sauce, lime and chilly for a simultaneously hot and cool side.
This year I grew four cucumber plants from seed, burpless outdoor varieties (burpless = with thinner skins and a slightly sweeter taste, makes them easier to digest), but with the arrival of my new greenhouse decided to split them and test their growing capabilities both under “glass” and in the great wide open.
I’ve always previously kept cucumber outside (no other option was available) and I am familiar with their British summer growing pattern: they put on a spurt when it’s hot and cower, unmoved, during the cooler days. A week ago we finally got some heat and, at last, those uncovered plants hit their first surge of the year, but a harvest is a long way off.
So my cucumber glut is down to the greenhouse. They may be outdoor varieties but they much prefer the comfort of their warm interior surroundings.
Such has been the speed of progress that I’ve been required to tend to them in ways I’ve not needed before. The long central stems had their advances halted with a ruthless snip of their tips. Side shoots, running amok over the tomato plants and chilies, have each been curtailed after forming two fruit each. And I’ve fed and watered them repeatedly.
My reward has been a continuous supply of long, green cucumbers–crisp, fresh and tasty. I’m not going to bother growing them outside again, but I will be on the hunt for new ways to eat them.