In a classic example of my garden engineering without considering the possible results, I built what I thought was a pretty clever high rise trellis for the cucumbers.
Basically, it’s four 5-foot poles with a flat piece of weld wire fencing zip tied to the poles at the corners every couple of feet up. The idea was the cucumber vines grow upward through the wire using it for support, and the cucumber fruit would hang below where it’d be easy to pick through the open sides.
That worked for the first couple of weeks.
What I didn’t count on, however, it that the cucumber vines would grow horizontally as well as vertically, essentially closing off the open sides.
I also didn’t take into account that cucumber fruit is the same color green as the leaves making them hard to spot in the mass of plant.
Oh, and these cucumbers are picklers so they have spines on both the stems and fruit. Sticking your hand into the middle of the trellis without gloves and shirt sleeves is like sticking your hand in a beehive.
Anyway, I did pretty good for the first couple of weeks of harvest, picking cucumbers each day to keep the three plants flowering and fruiting. I got enough to make a couple gallons of spicy dill pickles before it got hot in early July and the cucumbers stopped flowering while riding out the heat wave.
Naturally, I stopped checking them for a bit. And, naturally, the cucumbers took advantage of the situation by churning out a bushel or two of fruit.
They’re all way past prime now. Overripe, the size of small blimps, turning yellow and orange.
Fortunately, we’ve got flocks of chickens and ducks who love a fresh cucumber salad and don’t care the cucumbers are fat and the wrong color, so at least they’ll be appreciated.
Now that it’s monsoon season, we should get some cooling and the cucumber plants will have a change to bounce back for flowering and fruiting round two. This time I’m going to stay on top of the harvest.
Or I won’t. We’ll see. I’m sure the poultry are rooting for the latter.