Cucumbers and carrots

Credit: Carolyn Herriot


Japanese cucumbers have become my favourite because they can be so easily grown in a 2-gallon pot or planted in the garden and are so prolific. The crunchy sweet cucumbers are eaten when they are 4” long. They are seedless and never bitter. They are best grown tied up to a cane (counterclockwise) as new growth develops. It’s best to remove any side shoots, because cucumbers are produced from the main stem, but take care you don’t remove any female flowers when taking out the side shoots.

To prevent cucumbers from developing seeds and becoming bitter, remove the male flowers to prevent pollination. You can distinguish male and female flowers by the fact that female flowers have a tiny cucumber on the end, and males are just on a thin short stalk.

Cucumbers grow quickly and should be harvested regularl, before they become bloated and bitter. The plant won’t produce more cukes if they are not harvested, so it’s best to keep mature cukes in the fridge and not leave them on the plant.

“Autumn King” carrots
Autumn King Carrots, carrots

‘Autumn King’ carrots
I planted these ‘Autumn King’ carrots in spring, using the nifty carrot trick below. I wanted to see if they were worth growing and the answer is YES! I am now reseeding some for a fall and winter harvest.

A Nifty Trick For Carrots

  • Fill a four-inch pot with a sterile seeding mix
  • Sprinkle 12 to 15 carrot seeds evenly across the top. Cover lightly.
  • As the seedlings establish, feed them weekly with liquid fish fertilizer.
  • When the foliage has reached four inches high, remove the entire rooted plug, and plant it in the garden without disturbing the roots. The scent of carrot foliage attracts the carrot rust fly. Not thinning the carrots avoids attracting these pests.
  • Plant plugs in blocks six inches apart in all directions. Your carrots will now outgrow the weeds.
  • Harvest the entire bunch of baby carrots or leave the carrots to grow on and harvest them singly at a larger size.

TIP: Mulch the carrot patch with coffee grounds. The strong aroma of drying coffee confuses the female carrot rust fly and stops her from laying her eggs on the carrots.

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