Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Have Dumb Cucumbers

I plant my pickling cucumbers on either side of two long trellises. The idea being that the cucumber plants will latch onto and climb up the trellises as they grow saving garden space, keeping the to-be pickles clean and enabling easy upright picking for the harvester. That would be me.

Each year when the vines start to grow, they turn directly away from the trellises and run in the opposite direction. This means that I have to go down the row of young plants tying each one to the trellis (creating kind of a hostage situation) so they get the idea and start to climb up the trellis.

It's a job that is slow, extremely awkward crawling along on my hands and knees bending nearly to ground level to grab the little buggers and tie them up. I don't relish the task.

This year I decided to show the cucumbers who was in charge. No more hand coddling. The vines were going to have to learn to climb on their own.

Uh-huh, sure. Just look at the mess I've got. Although a small (very small) percentage of the vines were smart enough to grab onto the nice trellises provided, most of them have formed this matted mess on the ground between the trellises that I have to painstakingly pick my way through when harvesting the cucs.

Now, of course, I'm kicking myself for not taking the time to tie up the vines. Sometimes I just fall off the learning curve.

13 comments:

Judy said...

Oh dear! As old as we are, we still have to learn some things the hard way. Have fun with your vines. :)

Susan said...

Our cucumbers must be related. I provided mine with their very own trellis, which they completely ignored and decided to "join" with the tomatoes on theirs. It's a mess. And it makes it difficult to find the behemoth cukes in the vine jungle until they're an alarming size...I feel for ya.

Mama Pea said...

Judy - I guess if we keep learning, that's the important thing. ;o)

Susan - Maybe we should form an organization: Society for the Education of Recalcitrant Cucumbers?

The Apple Pie Gal said...

LOL! Dumb cukes indeed...guess they showed you! Did you yell at them?

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Mine might be dumber. They all up and died after producing two. TWO! It obviously couldn't have had anything to do with the gardeners. Right? Right.

Mama Pea said...

Apple Pie Gal - No, I didn't yell at them. But I am stepping on quite a few. ;o)

ThyHand - Our fault? Nah, no way. Next year, let's be sure not to buy dumb seeds again.

Erin said...

They may be dumb, but they are laughing now, at you! I don't envy you in that mess, I had to hack away half of my cucumbers because I planted them too close to my Roma tomatoes, and in that battle, the tomatoes will always be a priority, they are the lifeblood of the pantry in winter while the cucumbers are well, just pickles LOL! Was it Apple Pie Gal that was going to investigate the double sided planting? - oh not so fast, huh? LOL

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Is my dunce hat on straight? HA! :) Good one Erin!

Mama Pea said...

Erin and Apple Pie Gal - No, no, no! Honest, guys! The double sided trellis planting works fine . . . WHEN I take the time to tie up the cucs when they're little. Big lesson learned for me this time around.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

No worries, but it was a great laugh! I don't think we could ever consume that many pickles in a year anyway with just the two of us...so there will be NO double sided trellis in my future regardless. Now the peas are another story for next year! That-I will do! :)

Mama Pea said...

Apple Pie Gal - Aw, come on! Where's your sense of adventure? You could inflict pickles on everyone you know for Christmas! ;o)

Leigh said...

And to think I've been lamenting not providing something for my cucumbers to climb on. :o

Mama Pea said...

Leigh - Be happy about all the work you saved yourself! :o) Up until this year I could never figure out how one picks cucs when they are trailing all over the ground. Now I know. It ain't easy! (But I do feel bad as I step and trounce on vines, flowers, and cucs as I'm making my way through. And those little cucumber voices ("Ow! Ouch! Eeeek! Yikes!") bother me. ;o)