EarthBox 2013 Recap — The Cucumbers And Zucchini

by A.J. Coltrane

Previous post here.

The cucumbers and zucchini were some of the best, and some of the most disappointing plants of 2013. The disappointing portion was due to a good dose of “user error” of course. Onward:

June 30.
June 30.

Patty-pan squash — 1.7 pounds.  In terms of expected output vs received output, the patty-pans were at or near the bottom of the 2013 list. About the time that they swung into gear the issues with mold started, and it was all downhill from there. These were trained vertically in an Ultomato cage, which may not have helped. More on that in the next paragraph.

Cocozelle zucchini — 12 pounds. The cocozelle zucchini shared a box with the patty-pans. I think that both plants would have benefited from trellising, rather than the Ultomato cages. I had read somewhere that the cocozelle could be trained up a cage, and it didn’t work out well. There wasn’t adequate support all the time, and there was some critical vine breakage right when the plant should have been cranking out fruit. I’m of the suspicion that the cramped cage also contributed to the start of the mold.

The patty-pans won’t be seeing a return visit in 2014. The cocozelle will likely get tried again, with a trellis this time. I’m also inclined to try the Trombocino (rampicante) variety. They’re supposed to be relatively mold resistant and pretty low-maintenance overall.

August 4.
August 4.

Lemon cucumbers — 15.3 pounds.  One plant that was purchased by accident, it was actually very productive. It was tolerant of the Ultomato cage and was easy to train. We may not do them next year, simply because of how productive the Marketmore cucumbers were. We had *way* more cucumbers than we could eat.

The whole box is listing to the right a little bit. September 2.
The whole box is listing to the right a little bit. September 2.

Marketmore 76 cucumbers — 56 pounds.  The most productive single EarthBox. Four plants that were trained into two squares of Ultomato cages. This is something like the weight that I expected to see from the zucchini box. A no-brainer winner for next year.

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