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Cooling with the Cucumbers

So I desperately wish I was able to cool down outside in the patch of cucumbers but with temperatures in the upper 90’s and well over a 100 degree heat index (as of this very moment it is a heat index of 113 F) doesn’t that just sound pleasant?  And the heat is not supposed to break for the next few days.  So what does that mean in regards to the garden? Run outside see if it needs water, water if necessary, run back inside and hide in the air conditioning.

Though this last run outside also included some harvesting and some picture taking. First up…cucumbers!  If you have never grown cucumbers or this is your first year growing them be warned…the produce a lot.  It’s that time of the season where I will begin to have cucumbers growing out of my ears and will be desperately trying to give them away to friends.  Don’t get me wrong, I love cucumbers, but I can only consume so many so figure sharing the wealth with others is a kind thing to do. It is right thing to do right? You know so that the cucumbers don’t come find my in my sleep.

So it begins…

Cucumbers

There will be more.  This crazy garden sprout has 4 total cucumber plants – 2 slicers and 2 picklers.  They could most definitely multiple out of control.

So then what does one do with large amounts of cucumbers.  This year I’ll be trying my hand at making pickles.  I’ll share a recipe and let you know how to do it after I figure it, which could prove interesting.  As for the slicers, tonight I plan on making up some tri-color rotini pasta mixing in some italian dressing and then tossing in slices of cucumbers.  It’s too hot outside to do much else.  I’d love to here what you do with your cucumbers and I’ll gladly share with all the readers.

Here’s another great use….toasted bagels, cream cheese, and cucumbers.  Yum.

As for other status updates, the first eggplant is finally forming.

Forming eggplant

This variety is bambino and develops into 3″ size fruits, so nice and easy and small.  If you see some small holes on the leaves in the pictures those are caused by insects called flea beetles.  It is more damaging to young plants where minor damage to foliage can be detrimental.  You can spray for them, but even the organic registered pesticides of rotenone and pyrethrines must still be handled with care. I do try to not use pesticides as much as possible, and it’s been a few years since I used anything.  I think the last time I used anything was insecticidal soap for dealing with aphids on peppers. Sometimes you can’t avoid using chemicals especially for some exotic and invasive insect pests, but other times proper cultural care can reduce insect populations.  There is no one perfect answer to handling insect pests, but various methods can help.

And I’ll leave you today with one last parting shot.

Ripening summer squash

Yellow summer squash!  Already harvested a zucchini too.  🙂

Happy gardening!  Stay cool.

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