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The first cucumbers...

Posted by mulberryknob z6OK (My Page) on
Thu, May 24, 12 at 12:27

are Poona Keera (1) and Marketmore (2). I just love the Poona Keeras. I think they have the best cucumber flavor ever. It took me a year or two to pick them at their best though. I kept waiting for them to get bigger and by then they are turning brown and tough. They are the sweetest little yellow things when they are picked small.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The first cucumbers...

Dorothy, that is a new one to me. How big should Poona Keera be when you pick them? I planted a pickler and a slicer and while both are blooming and looking good, I haven't had any fruit yet. I directed seeded mine so I'm not surprised I don't have any yet.

That is the bad thing about being so far north, it seems everything is later. Of course, now that so many OK members have greenhouses and hoop-houses theirs are even earlier. I need to go pick beans and peas again. The first peas I planted are brown on the bottom of the vine but still producing, but I will probably take them out in a few more days. The ones planted a couple of weeks later don't look quite as bad so maybe I will get another week from them.

I forgot to hit submit and Al and I went out and picked stuff. It seems odd to be picking Sugar Snaps and pole beans at the same time. We have been eating green beans everyday, but today's pick is probably more than we will eat at one meal. The bush beans are starting to bloom and the last poles are just beginning to climb, so I will be freezing or canning soon, I think.

I don't think my broccoli heads are going to be big because they are not growing very fast. I have several today that are about 4 or 5 inches across but look close to ready. This is my second year for Packman and it hasn't gotten big either year. I think I have several hundred seeds to use up, but I think I will plant more than one variety next Spring.


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RE: The first cucumbers...

Poona Keera is our favorite too. It is one of the famous cucumbers grown around the Poona region. We too harvest before turning brown. This have two advantages, one is flavor and other is when we harvest before turning brown will encourage plant to put more blooms. They are the first to start producing and last to finish. That means lot of cucumbers through out the season from spring to fall. Oklahoma heat does not bother them either. Another close to Poona Kheera is Armenian cucumber in terms of of the heat tolerance and production.

here is before turning to brown;

How they looks when they turn brown;

-Chandra


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RE: The first cucumbers...

Carol, don't we love Chandra's pics? I'd say about 4 inches is ideal. They aren't a long burpless type as you can see. Kind of chunky. For the second year in a row, my Armenian cucs have had something get them. This year it looked like something laid on them. They were flattened out from the middle and all but one broken. I started over but don't know if they will make. I am getting so discouraged with the lack of rain. If it doesn't rain within the next couple weeks, we're going to call it quits for the year except to water a half dozen tomatoes and peppers. We have too many perrenials to water to afford to water both the garden and them.


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RE: The first cucumbers...

My cukes are finally blooming so I guess I'll be pickling soon. I've only planted one pickling type and I tried to avoid planting too many because I wanted to avoid being overwhelmed with too many cukes at one time.

Dorothy, I am sorry to hear that the drought is threatening to bring a premature end to your warm-season gardening. I sure hope some decent rain falls soon so you don't have to call it quits.

After I stopped watering last July, some tomatoes and peppers continued to produce, as did watermelons, okra, summer squash and southern peas. Even the Piricicaba broccoli held on and survived and produced in fall through winter. However, the garden looked awful. I know that the appearance of the veggie garden isn't important and that what is important is how well it is producing, but I hate it when the garden looks bad. It does not look too bad yet, but then it is only May and we had a good rain about 10 to 12 days ago, though we still are abnormally dry. I expect the appearance of the garden will begin to decline soon without rainfall.

I planted Armenian cukes so they would climb the garden fence. I planted far too many of them because sometimes the wild critters eat the plants that I have climbing the garden fence. They are looking pretty good considering the lack of moisture. I probably should have watered them more in April and May than I have because they're definitely stunted.

Dawn


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RE: The first cucumbers...

Dorothy, Carol, and Chandra, those are the cutest little cucumbers. Will have to remember that, and they look virtually spineless.

Please, no more talk of drought - I am putting my fingers in my ears and repeating, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, so I don't hear anything about drought. I prefer to be in heavy denial............

IF, however, I DO have to face reality say, late next month, I will probably do what you are going to do, Dorothy, and just pull stuff up and dump a lot of pots and bags, except for a couple tomatos. Even the peppers will go. Squash, beans, okra, gone. My tomatos aren't doing too good all of a sudden anyway. I think I have some disease issues, pest issues, and geez, how do you guys do it? I can't arm myself with chemicals because of my beloved cats. Oh, BTW, I found my first tomato hornworm and an egg on one of the tomato plants this morning. I just moved him to the Datura.

Tomorrow I will plant out a few more ornamentals/natives, like Pollansia/Clammyweed, which is an excellent bee plant, if anyone is interested. Mine are about 6" tall, and the honeybees were fighting to try to get to those tiny plants this morning, white 4 o'clocks, morning glories, Family Jewels Milkweed, zinnia and Mexican sunflower seeds, and be done with planting anything for the season, well, until Fall, if things look better.

Susan


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RE: The first cucumbers...

Susan,

Ignoring drought won't make it go away, so I'd rather be a realist and deal with what I see happening. Am I disappointed that we're seeing so much heat and drought so early in the year? Sure, but it seems to be the trend in recent years so we just have to adjust however we can.

It is hot, dry and miserable and that seems to be exactly when all the tomato pests and diseases arrive. Every year, during the week I am looking at my tomato plants and thinking to myself "Oh my, they've never, ever looked this beautiful before", that is the exact time I also say to myself "and they never will look this good again". For me, that week was the first week in May and it has been a quick trip downhill for some of the plants since then. I am sure the others will follow. All are blooming well, setting fruit well and ripening it, but they are being attacked by spider mites, potato leafhoppers and various other pests, and fungal disease issues. It is typical for this to happen around the 2nd or 3rd week of June in an average year. In my garden, this is the second year in a row the tomato troubles have arrived early, but then the heat arrived early so I expected the troubles to arrive early too.

I have been removing the diseased foliage when I have time, but I haven't had much time because the harvesting and putting up of the produce is taking all my time. Today I am slogging my way through processing 7 gallons of green beans, and I didn't even pick all the ones that were ready. I picked 3 rows out of 5 that have harvest-ready beans. When I finish processing those beans, I'll go out and pick the other two rows. I ever get all the diseased foliage removed, I'll spray thetomato plants with a fungicide. I almost never use a fungicide. I'd almost rather let the disease kill the plants than spray them with stuff. The plants don't look as good as they did a month ago or even two weeks ago (and some of them still look fine, but not all of them do), but they are producing ripe fruit which is all I care about. A long time ago I decided I needed to accept that the foliage would look like crap some years, and it wouldn't matter as long as I was harvesting tomatoes.

I'm going to try to water through the end of June, but will stop if the heat and drought are so intense that I cannot keep everything producing.

Today the big harvest is beans, tomorrow it will be corn, squash and tomatoes and a few peppers. I am happy to get what we're getting because in the current weather conditions, the watering cannot go on for long and that's a hard thing to accept when the garden still looks so good and is producing so well. I hope to at least fill up the big deep freeze before I stop watering. Time will tell if that is a realistic goal or not.

After last summer, I promised myself I would not spend outrageous sums of money watering the garden and I intend to keep that promise. I do hope that June will be kind and we'll get a little rain so our gardens can keep producing a while longer.

The last few years, it seems like the extreme heat and drought are compressing our warm-season gardening into ever-smaller blocks of time.

Daw


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