Cucumbers & a Heat Wave…

It’s been pretty hot here in the Atlanta area for the past two weeks.  The day time highs have been getting up into the mid 90s and over night lows have been in the mid and upper 70s. Way too hot for me! I haven’t been doing outdoorsy stuff as much as usual – just walking to the mailbox can make you break into a sweat!

I have been tending to my cucumbers, though, and worrying that the heat might make them grow too quickly. But all has gone well and my first attempt at growing cucumbers has produced fruit! It’s been a lot of fun to watch the plants grow from a few inches tall to climbing up a trellis that is more than a foot-and-a-half taller than me. And the tendrils on a cucumber plant are amazing. If you’re patient you can actually watch them reach for the trellis or anything nearby that they can latch on to.

Below are a series of photographs from early May up until just a couple of days ago:

Cucumber Plant New I

The day after being planted on May 3rd.

Cucumber Plant New II

May 22nd – After being thinned to one plant per cluster (otherwise they fight for root space).

Cucumber with Trellis

May 29th – After getting a trellis. The tendrils started to grow almost immediately.

Cucumber Tendril I

Holding on

Baby Cucumber

May 29th – The first baby cucumber!

Cucumber Tendril II

Curly tendril looking for somewhere to go…

Looking Through

Looking through the trellis.

Baby Cucumber & Flower

A female cucumber flower and a tiny cucumber. The male flowers are just a stem and a flower and the female flowers are a stem, a tiny cucumber and a flower. If the female flowers are pollinated correctly then the tiny cucumber grows into a big cucumber. Otherwise it will just turn yellow and fall off.

Cucumber Flower

Another flower.

Cucumber Growing

June 13th – Some significant growth!

Tendril

Tight crop of a classically-shaped tendril.

Cucumber Growing More

June 16th – the larger of the two cucumbers that are growing at this point; you can see the top of the smaller one at the bottom of the frame.

Another Tendril

Some tendrils just seem to reach out towards nothing, but they look really neat.

Second Cucumber Growing

June 16th – Another shot of the smaller cucumber.

Close to Full Size

June 19th – both cucumbers, shot with my phone.

Look, Another Tendril

June 23rd – A tendril holding on to one of the two trellis extensions. I didn’t realize the plants were going to get so tall!

Looking Up

June 23rd – Looking up, close to two feet above my head when I’m standing outside the vegetable garden.

Final Tendril, For Now

June 23rd – Tightly coiled!

My First Cucumber!

June 23rd – Finally ready to pick! It’s 6.25″ long and weighs in at 10.05 oz. I might have picked it just a little early, but I was excited. This is a “Straight Eight”  cucumber and should grow to about 8″ long. I’m strangely attached to this cucumber. I took a lot of pictures of it. Maybe I need another pet. (shot with my phone and then edited)

Ready to Eat

June 25th – I actually cut it open and ate it – and it tastes and looks just like a cucumber should! (photographed with my phone while in the middle of making a salad)