EarthBox 2014 Recap — The Cucumbers And Zucchini

by A.J. Coltrane

2013 Cucumber and Zucchini recap here.

This summer, the cucumbers and zucchini boxes both blew/fell over. Nothing was damaged, but that’s the end of “it won’t happen to me” around here.

140810 zucchini

We went with the vining Tromboncino zucchini this year. We were rewarded with 20.5 pounds of fruit, up from 12 pounds of “regular zucchini” in 2013. Ultimately I’m not sure that we like zucchini enough to try to eat 20 pounds per year..

140724 cucumber

Forty-four pounds of Marketmore cucumbers in 2014. That’s down from 56 pounds in 2013, but still well more than we could ever eat. In both years the fruit quality really began to fall after about middle/late August. August 31 might represent a good date to just bag it, pull the plants, and start winter veg. (We got 10 pounds of mostly misshapen produce from September onward in 2014.)

When they’re going good though, they’re very good:

140803 cucumber

It’s my understanding the some commercial growers will do an early and late crop of cucumbers to help keep the fruit quality high. I don’t know how realistic that is with our setup, but it may be worth considering. My suspicion is that for us the net amount of “good” fruit would be very comparable, and that it might not be worth the effort.

Right now I’m leaning towards taking a year off of the zucchini in 2015, though that’s going to be dependent upon finding something we’d rather use the space for that isn’t totally redundant. The Marketmore 64 cucumbers have been very successful both years, though I’d dig it if we could find something with a longer “tail” — a variety that would continue to produce good fruit into September.

In any event, we’re not going to use Ultomato cages for the cucumbers next year. We may wind up using the big trellis for cucumbers in 2015 — that sort of makes sense.

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