Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11, 2009

The big cucumber experiment!

Tina reminded me that I wanted to mention this.  Mel, and pretty much everyone else, says not to plant cucumbers inside. Instead you direct sow them.  However, for some reason, my brother had "plant cukes" in his gardening planner on February 21.  When I asked him why so early, he said he was going to plant them inside.  I thought, ok, I just bought a new pack of seeds, so I had tons of seeds.  Why not try it. 

I figured since they were planted in soil blocks made of essentially the same stuff as are in my beds, I could plant them as soon anything went wrong.  I really would really like to hold out til later in the month when a possible early Last Spring Frost date for our area could be.  So that means they have to hold out for another few weeks.  Thus the experiment. 

Besides, if this doesn't work, I can always replant in soil blocks a week before my LSF and then plant out two weeks later, or about the time they sprout.  That's what Mel suggests.  /shrug.

Oh, and Tina, don't feel like you're being noesy, I would always like to hear questions about what I'm doing.  Right or wrong, I will at least provide my logic and reasons so folks can pick them apart. 

Another thing I noticed when I was taking a picture of my emerging cucumbers, was this spider-web-like substance between a few of the soil blocks that were crammed together to save space.

This isn't the first time I've seen this.  It may be some fungus that was in the compost.  I don't think it really is a spider web.  Any ideas?  I hope it's not harmful to the plants.  I just planted with it last time.

Well, that's it for now.  If you're joining us after reading the article in the Times, thank you for coming back.  Spring is nearly upon us and things will heat up quickly around my garden.  Enjoy!


  1. You used bloodmeal in your soil block mix - correct? The fungal growth you are seeing is from that in all liklihood - happens to me every time I sidedress my container plantings of greens in the greenhouse with bloodmeal. I just lightly cultivate the soil after it appears and all is good. Obviously you cannot do that with the soil blocks - but I don't think it really is any thing to be worried about.

  2. I was just reading that it is better to start cucumbers early so the plants are stronger to help fight off cucumber beetle infestations. I think it is not widely excepted because they don't like their roots being disturbed and they like strong light. Both problems can easily be fixed so why not start early.

  3. I betcha DoubleD is right...if it gets worse, or you get more, you can always spritz with some regular old hydrogen peroxide.
    Thanks for answering the cuke conundrum!

  4. Sinfonian - I did it both ways last year...cucumber transplants, and sewing seed directly in the garden. I'll be direct sewing this year, because it worked better for me that way.


  5. I had mixed about a bushel of soil using DB. After planting my peppers, the container sat on the floor in an unheated shop. When I planted the toms a week later there was fungus in the container but not on the blocks in the chamber. I just stirred the soil and continued planting. As of today there is no fungus in the chamber. I wonder it your SBs are too cool?