Friday, January 30

.. and cucumbers.

Last year I won a packet of Mini Munch cucumbers in a competition run by Jo over at The Good Life. We'd always grown the ridge cucumber - Burpless Tasty Green in the past and most years this has done fairly well. I'd always considered that mini cucumbers were tricky to grow and the seed was expensive so a chance to try some for free was such a good opportunity.

We decided to increase our chance of success by giving the plants a bit of protection. Three plants were planted in rings placed on the top of compost filled, large, square tubs and the plants allowed to sprawl about. 

The cold frame lid was left open (at the setting shown below) and the plants were fed as we would tomatoes but otherwise given no special treatment. One advantage however was that the 'fruits' would be close at hand to harvest fresh.
The Burpless Tasty Green cucumbers were planted as usual.
Usually, Burpless provides us with a good supply of cucumbers - so much so that we end up giving lots away, but not so last year. From six plants we only picked 9 fruits - none of which were prize specimens.

From half as many Mini Munch plants we picked twice as many, albeit much smaller, fruits. However, although small the fruits were juicy and crisp. As a result we are converted to the mini varieties. Jo kindly sent us another packet of Mini Munch this year and we are also going to grow a second mini variety Cucino which like Mini Munch can be grown outdoors or in a greenhouse.

Fingers crossed that we do as well with them this year. Thanks, Jo for showing us the light!

Copyright: Original post from Our Plot at Green Lane Allotments http://glallotments.blogspot.co.uk/ author S Garrett

24 comments:

  1. I've grown Cucino in the past and they didn't perform anywhere near as good as Mini Munch so I will be interested to see how they compare for you. I've grown Burpless previously too and they were ok but Mick's uncle, who also has an allotment, swears by them and grows them every year. Thanks for the mention.

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    1. Thanks for introducing us to Mini Munch , Jo. We have grown Burpless for a few years as it was the one recommended for outdoors as you' say it is Ok. We just preferred the minis. It will be interesting to see how Cucina fares

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  2. I've also bought seeds to try these 'lunch box' mini cucumbers on the allotment this year, so I'll be interested to compare with you.
    Last season, I grew Burpless tasty green too - it was the first time growing cucumbers for some years (I get a good supply from my generous plot neighbours) and was lucky enough to get a really good crop. The modern outdoor varieties are so much better than the old thick-skinned, prickly, slightly bitter ones of the past.

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    1. Some years we have bad a great crop with Burpless and other years not, SandD. I wondered whether last year the spell of poor weather in summer set the plants back.

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  3. I am a convert to the mini cucumbers too. for the last few years I have grown "Iznik F1" which did very well, and "Melen F1" which was very similar (producing slightly longer, slimmer fruits though). Recently, Marshalls have sent me more seeds, including some for Mini Munch, so I will probably join you in growing those this year.

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    1. I remember reading about your minis , Mark. I just hope ours do as well as last year.

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  4. I may have a go with the Mini Munch. Thanks for the information.

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  5. What a great use for your lovely new cold frame! I find mini munch to be an easy reliable plant to grow too...the fruit just kept on coming.xxx

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    1. Let's hope it performs this year too, Dina

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  6. Good to see the results of your comparison test Sue. Wishing you success with next year's harvest.

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  7. I love your cold frame, Sue. Funny we call it 'hot bed'!
    I want to sow more cucumbers this spring to have more pickles. I prefer short, dark green ones that are good for jar.

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    1. The Victorians called them hot beds,Nadezda but they heated them with decomposing manure.

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  8. Sounds like mini munch did well, and it's nice to have small cucumbers that can be eaten in one sitting. I'm a big fan of burpless tasty green as well, but I usually try a couple of other varieties alongside too.

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    1. Burpless is the one to grow outside if you want the normal cucumbers CJ

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  9. Great to hear how the different cucumbers were doing Sue, like others here I also like your cold frame!

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    1. We bought two cold frames last year, Helene this is the smallest. They are great,

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  10. How small is mini? My kids love the baby cucumbers they sell in the supermarket but I never harvest that small from my plants as they get through them too quickly. A heavy cropping baby cucumber plant would be fab.

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    1. The blurb says that you can pick Mini Munch at 8 cm (3"), Liz but we left them to grow bigger,

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  11. I was forwarded an article on cucumbers and a wide range of health benefits they bring, from the B vitamins to relieving bad breathe, so a great little fruit.

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    1. I never thought of cucumbers having health benefits, Kelli

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  12. I looks so fresh! The dark green one is the variety that grow so slow on my garden.

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    1. I always imagine that plants will romp away in your garden Endah

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