Friday, February 24, 2023

The Gele Tros

This was an interesting variety I thought that I could try. In a whim, I decided to try grow a yellow cucumber cultivar. The source for my seed was Baker Creek Seed, which described this variety as a Dutch variety with a slight enjoyable bitterness.








I started the plants in 10” hydroponic baskets and transferred them to the garden at the offices where I work. Despite receiving a consistent water supply, this variety performed very poorly. While the soil conditions could have been one factor, I believe that the cultivar itself is primarily confined to performing well in a cool moist climate.


Though the texture of the Gele Tros is quite pleasant, to say that the variety exhibits a slight bitterness would be quite an understatement. While I would not say that it is the most bitter cucumber that I have ever tasted, the bitterness was quite bracing in all of the fruit I tried.


So – to summarize, the Gele Tros is a wonderful yellow cucumber, if you are only interested in how a cucumber looks. However, if consumption is your goal, I would steer clear of using the Gele Tros as your slicing cucumber of choice.



Friday, February 17, 2023

All Good Things at the Chicken Garden

After several years, lots of work and constantly investing my time and energy into improving the soil, I decided to finally hang my hat up at the chicken garden – at least as it pertains to growing cucumbers in the infertile rocky soil. Additionally, there were often issues with consistent water and my plants were often having to compete with other transplants that were put into the spaces all around where my plants occupied.





























Part of the issue involved the decreasing production of the plot. When I, as the gardener put more inputs into a garden and get less out for multiple years in a row I can feel frustrated.


















While there is still a possibility that I will be able to grow plants in this area again in the future, for now I will not be growing anything in this keyhole garden. Unfortunate as it is, sometimes continuing to put significant investments into something that is not paying back is not worth the effort.

Friday, February 10, 2023

The Shintokiwa Cucumber

One of the primary reasons I decided to grow the Shintokiwa cucumber variety was because other had told me that it was very good. It was apparently introduced to the greater seed community by the Richard Everett Farm. People tended to really like it, so they have continued to offer it through Meadowlark Hearth and through selling to other seed vendors. The Everett Farm shared it with Uprising seeds, where I sourced my seed from.























So, Shintokiwa is a lot like Diva. It is a Beit-Apha-ish kind of cucumber. Very similar to an Asian or Lebanese cucumber when small and very similar to an American cucumber when larger. Fortunately, it lacked the freshly cut clover flavor of some other Beit Alpha varieties and the texture and taste were rather pleasant.
















From the pictures, you can see that a large portion of Shintokiwa cucumbers did not turn out very straight. Honestly, I would fault the soil for this issue. The soil I was dealing with tended to make plants underperform, including the Shintokiwa – but the plants continued to do alright. The Shintokiwa did exhibited significantly less catfacing then Diva. I am sure we still had a lot of wind this summer and the skins were not that thick, but perhaps the Shintokiwa has a little thicker skin than the Diva. In any case, if you live in a windy location, I would stay far away from varieties that have catfacing traits to their tender skin – because it will be very difficult to harvest a marketable crop if you grow them.




















Overall, I would have to say that the Shintokiwa did a lot better than some of my other regular cucumber varieties that I have grown. Much better than a lot of picklers, for sure – but not definitely not in the same league as the carosello. If I could grow this variety again, I would prefer to try cultivating it in more fertile soil in better conditions to see how well it does.