Plant this now: Heirloom Cucumbers

May 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm 1 comment

poona kheeraCucumbers are usually one of the easiest things to grow, but heirloom cucumbers can be a challenge. They are more susceptible to pests than the genetically-modified frankenfood variety you’ll find at at walmarts and home depots of the world that’ll grow through a nuclear bomb attack. But growing heirlooms is so worth it, and over the years, I’ve discovered a few that are resistant to mildew and pests, naturally (what a concept).

Dating back more than 3,000 years, cucumbers come in so many different varieties, shapes and colors. Here are a few I’m planting:

Poona Kheera Cucumber (60 days): From India, these cucumbers are my absolute favorite of all the heirlooms, and one of the most resistant/hardy. These guys start out as lighter yellow cukes, and then develop the crackly light brown skin when they are more mature. They produce heavily, and are good at climbing up our front fence.

Lemon Cucumber: (65 days): Very productive, these tasty heirloom cukes are a perfect yellow lemon shape, and great for salads, pickling, or just eating as a snack. You can also grow this in pots. They are so adorable to grow, and really fun for turning into creative hors d’oeuvres at parties (perfect for stuffing wih hummus!)

Growing: I like to have my cukes trellised somehow, so the fruits don’t soften on the ground and to help avoid pest problems.

cucumber interplanted with chard

cucumber interplanted with chard

Companion planting: Interplant with Swiss Chard and radishes (to repel cucumber beetles)

Successive sowing: Keep the cukes coming all summer and fall by planting a new plant every month.

Cucumber transplants are so easy to start, and will come up in about a week , or you can direct sow. I like to get a head start, and they work really well in my recycled egg carton diy greenhouse.

poona kheera transplant about 2 weeks from sowing

poona kheera transplant about 2 weeks from sowing

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Amarae  |  February 18, 2010 at 2:10 am

    this was awesome info- thank you very much for the pictures!

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