Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Leaf - the dual purpose cucumber

When I first read
the description for Little Leaf cucumbers I admit that I was skeptical. A cucumber that is parthenocarpic, disease resistant, grows either in the garden or under glass, and, can be used as a slicer or for pickles seemed too good to be true. I might add that this variety is open pollinated, and the seeds are plentiful and inexpensive. In other words, a real winner, so I am glad that I decided to grow them!

The greenhouse plants produced quite well, but they have run their course and were removed. New plants are in place and they are just beginning to produce male flowers. I expect, though, that it will be three or four weeks until I begin to see cucumbers forming. Fortunately, the plants in the garden are humming right along, so we have had a continuous harvest for several weeks now, and hopefully, will have until sometime in the fall.

Today, I picked nine fruit from the garden; using the smaller fruit for pickles, with the larger fruit to be used slicers.
As can be seen in the photo, the fruit gets blocky, or has more bulk, as it gets larger.

Ava and I continue to make small batches of pickles every few days, but it is getting harder to keep up with the demand. She gets here at about eight thirty in the morning, and she wants to have a pickle shortly after she arrives. Add two or three pickles with lunch, and the garlic smell on her breath, when her mother picks her up at three, is strong enough to wilt an oak tree. She really enjoys helping me make pickles, and she told the mother that it is so easy that even she, meaning her mother, could do it.


Lorie said...

I have a question- I planted Little Leaf seeds as well as Lemon Cucumber. Both types were transplanted into my little greenhouse. This morning, I harvested 4 little, yellow oblong cucumbers. Delicious, but not really lemon cukes and apparently not Little Leafs either... since they were yellow. Do you have any experience with something like that?

admin said...

I am wondering if they could have been cross pollinated. If you have insects in your greenhouse I guess it would be possible. It is best to keep cucumbers, squash and their relatives separated by some distance as they will cross pollinate. Then again, who knows, you may have developed a new cucumber.

Lorie said...

Yippee! now I am a geneticist!

Thanks for your explanation. We do have insects in the greenhouse (I planted nasturtiums to be sure they would come in!) and I thought that may have happened, but I didn't really realize that it would affect the phenotype of the fruits. I thought it would just produce seed that was neither one or the other... Oh well, at least they are tasty!
Happy Gardening!