EarthBox 2015 Recap — The Cucumbers And Zucchini

by A.J. Coltrane

2013 Cucumbers and Zucchini recap here. 2014 here.

The Tromboncino produced 26.0 pounds this year. The 2014 total was 20.5 pounds. A 27% improvement!

150726 tromboncino1

(For reference – the trellis squares are 8″ x 8″. The fruit is 28″ long.)

Being the closest container to the west side of the house, the Tromboncino have been getting 1-2 hours less sun per day than some of the other, more favorable locations on the patio. Next year we may move them to the northwest corner of patio (the photo below was taken facing west, the northwest corner is at the the top right of the picture – that’s where the late morning sun hits first each day). If we do move the box then we’d turn the trellis 90 degrees so that it would run along the north edge of the patio. The difference in sun might help both the yield and with powdery mildew.

150809 overview

We grew two boxes of cucumbers this year — 8 plants total. I don’t think they liked the unusually hot weather. The cucumbers peaked early and disintegrated rapidly after that. In addition, they all became blocky, instead of long and pretty and straight. Bummer.

EarthBox #1 contained four Marketmore 76 cucumbers — the same thing as each of the last two years:

2013 yield – 56.0 pounds

2014 yield – 44.4 pounds

2015 yield – 28.6 pounds

Hopefully in a “normal” year we’ll see 40-50 pounds or so. That seems reasonable, and it would still be about 15 pounds per square foot of growing medium. I won’t complain if that’s the case.

Interestingly, I didn’t think the Marketmores were very photogenic this year. The last photo happened on June 15:

150607 cucumbers

EarthBox #2 hosted two varieties of pickling cucumber (Calypso and National Pickling), and two Lemon cucumber plants.

Mixing two types of pickling cucumbers with very different maturity sizes was a bad idea. It was basically impossible to tell if we were looking a small National Pickling cucumber (which grow to a 6″ maximum) or a full-sized Calypso (3″ maximum). Together they produced 10.6 pounds. Not great.

The Lemon cucumbers did much better — 20.0 pounds from the two plants. I wish they were a little easier to process after harvesting; it’s way easier to peel a regular cucumber, in contrast to a slippery orb:

150802 lemon cucumber

All up, box #2 yielded 30.6 pounds.  Between the two boxes we got 59.2 pounds of cucumbers(!) It’s too much, really. We’ll likely return to doing one box of cucumbers next year.

Now we just need to figure out what we’ll do with the “extra” box..

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Visit Dave at Ourhappyacres, host of Harvest Monday.

 

4 thoughts on “EarthBox 2015 Recap — The Cucumbers And Zucchini

  1. I had a similarly bad cucumber year – didn’t realize that the hot weather may have played an important role in that. Lucky you, harvesting so many tromboncino squash – I only harvested one this year, but considering it was planted so late, I suppose I should be thankful for that (and I am!). And I’m sure you will have NO problem utilizing your extra box – us gardeners never seem to have enough growing space.

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  2. I’ve got Tromboncino on my list for next year. It’s been a couple of years since I last grew it, and it did great here. They did vine all over the place though. I’m impressed you can keep yours under control!

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  3. @ Margaret — I don’t *know* that the heat effected the cucumbers, but I don’t really have a better answer. So far as I’m aware we did everything else the same.

    & Dave — Attempting to control the Tromboncino is why we built the 8′ trellis. We just keep feeding it through the netting as it grows. It still manages to escape after awhile anyway..

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  4. It’s weird hearing about the cucumbers because ours did the same thing this year. Last year we had so many cucumbers I was overloaded with them, but this year they were fairly easy to deal with and made about 8-10 jars of pickles, nothing compared to last year. Also I found them rather on the small size this year. We had some blistery hot days here in NYC so I’m going to blame the heat on it.

    PS. I love that you keep track of everything. :D)

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