Thursday, November 3, 2016

Little Leaf Cucumbers in Northern California

For those of you who have neither lived in nor seen Northern California, it possesses a Northwestern wet winter and warm, non-rainy (but semi-humid) summer that is quite different from Southern California. Along with the tomatoes, my Arkansas Little Leaf cucumber variety did very well in this climate. It was strange to be in a place where my plants not only survived, but thrived.



A little leaf cucumber female blossom


Growth continues with the fruit
 
 
 
I love watching the fruit grow.
 
 
 
This is a prolific cucumber variety
 
 
With the warm days and cool nights, the major stressor for this cucumber variety in this climate was the occasional day when my soaker hose timer and the lawn’s watering system turned on at the same time. In wet, humid conditions many cucumber varieties have problems with cucumber mosaic virus or powdery mildew. Luckily, this little leaf variety is resistant to both.
 


Another bunch of cucumbers.

 
 
With the warm days and cool nights, the major stressor for this cucumber variety in this climate was the occasional day when my soaker hose timer and the lawn’s watering system turned on at the same time. In wet, humid conditions many cucumber varieties have problems with cucumber mosaic virus or powdery mildew. Luckily, this little leaf variety is resistant to both.
 
 
 
The cucumbers harvested from a couple vines.
 
 
 
Getting some cucumbers ready to store.
 
 
 
With enough cucumbers to save seed, I was quite hopeful that my bounteous harvest would result in a lot of fertile seed. However, after waiting several weeks to allow the picked cucumbers to mature, I was sad to see that many of the cucumbers had not produced any seed at all. This is one of the major drawbacks when dealing with parthenocarpic fruit when saving seed. You may go through the whole life cycle of a plant from seed to fruit and only when opening it up will you discover that there is no seed. What a waste! Oh well – even wasted gardening projects can result in compost for next season!
 
 
 
The moment of truth...
 
 
 
 

And... no seeds.
 
 
 
 
Here's some more seeds. That's more like it!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fermenting cucumber seeds.
 
 
 

Overall, I did get enough seed to last me for several years – howbeit not a surplus. If you enjoy pickling cucumbers, this is a good variety. As for me, I was not willing to go through the work of pickling cucumbers this year and, when it comes to fresh eating the Carosello and Armenian-type cucumbers far surpass the tough skin and possible bitter taste of a pickling cucumber variety.
 
 
A couple Little-Leaf Cucumbers

2 comments:

  1. Dear Jay,

    Welcome back to the world of blogs! Two years ago I got from you some seeds of Arkansas Litle Leaf Cucumber, but I haven't found the room to cultivate it yet. Is it only for pickling or is it good fresh as well?

    -Giuseppe-

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well... For fresh eating the texture, taste and tenderness cannot compare to a Carosello, but if you want a pickling cucumber that produces well in a pot, then this is the one for you.

    ReplyDelete

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