Friday, August 20, 2010

Always Learning

I had a few “Whoops!” moments in the garden over the last week.

First and not really surprisingly are a few very overgrown cucumbers:

These were found among the extra plants I planted along the edge of the yard. We have had enough cucumbers this year and I have not been picking them every day like earlier in the season. I’ve made all the pickles we can consume in a year. A few cucumbers are still used for salads. But the last time I brought a batch to work to give away, there were a lot of leftovers. These overgrown cucumbers were added to the compost pile.

The second was my first eggplant that I allowed to over ripen:

The first fruit began forming a few weeks ago. The plants had a difficult time producing as the Japanese beetles were devouring the blossoms as soon as they opened. I watched this fruit form and grow long. Then, I noticed the dark glossy color was gone!

I pulled out the seed package and read that this variety of Japanese Eggplant only grows to 6-inches! I allowed the first one to over ripen thinking that it was going to grow larger. Luckily there are more fruit growing. Below is a comparison of the overripe with one harvested today:

The third was my first two Charantais melons:

The melon patch has two kinds of cantaloupe growing intertwined among each other. The corked skins fooled me. I thought the melons above were Fastbreak and was waiting for them to slip from the vine. Turns out they are Charantais melons and ended up splitting from over ripening. We ate them anyway. They were a little mealy textured.

Hopefully now I will be better at judging the optimum harvest time of these items.


  1. Oops! Hey, it happens to all of us. Any blemished cucumbers of mine get sliced up - then composted.

  2. Overripe fruit is what you need
    If you are going to save seed.

    Hey I just wrote a poem.

  3. Last year most of my Charantais melons either split on me or were picked before they got ripe. That was why I didn't plant them again this year. The couple I got that were perfect were heaven to eat, but they seem to go from not quite ripe to over ripe and splitting overnight.

    I have a big, neon orange cucumber too!

  4. I had quite a few of those large, yellow cucumbers this year. Next year I'm not planting even half of what I did this year. We never keep up with them and we don't pickle.

    I did eat one of those overripe cucumbers. The inside tasted fine to me, but the skin - EYUCH! Bitterest flavor I think I've ever tasted.

  5. Hey, live and learn. Save those cuke seeds!

  6. Wow, those things got huge. Were they once green normal cucumbers? Is that what they look like over ripe? I had never let one get over ripe so I don't know!

  7. I've had the yellow cukes in the past, but I've been good this year keeping up. Well keeping up with picking. I can't keep up with eating.

  8. EG: Yeah, they did get chopped up before composting so they would decompose quicker.

    Jimmycrackedcorn: LOL! I’ve never saved seeds before. Now would be a good time to try it.

    Granny: I don’t think I will plant Charantais melons again. The Fastbreak melons are numerous, consistent in size, and let me know they are ready by slipping from the vine.

    Brandi: I planted way more cucumbers than I planned or needed. I grew from seed and they all germinated, so I planted the extras along the edge of the yard. There are quite a few yellow cucumbers out there right now. I don’t even like pickles.

    Ribbit: Yes, live and learn is how I am looking at it. I’m going to try seed saving.

    Shawn Ann: Yes, these were normal pickling cucumbers before they grew ginormous and turned yellow.

    Daphne: It’s been a good year for cucumbers. Unfortunately, I just can’t keep up with picking.

  9. One of the great things about gardening is that you can learn over and over and over new things. It's never, ever boring! Ha. Makes me think of a professor, when I told her I was fleeing grad school for farming, she said, "You'll be bored." Little did she know. . .