The Enchanted Cucumber Forest
Since 2010, we have been growing cucumbers in the greenhouse. They like the environment, but more importantly, it is another way to utilize
all that wasted space berween the ground and the sixteen-foot ceiling. By mid-summer, it is absolutely fascinating to watch them grow and vine before our
very eyes as they climb the ropes and strings to make their way to the top. They are accompanied by gorgeous morning glories that hitch a ride up on their own.
It becomes a mystical experience by late summer!
The first step begins as the cucumbers are ready to be transplanted along with the morning glories. Morning glories self-sow readily in the greenhouse, so they are all over the place, but are mostly open-polinated varieties, like the deep purple "Grandpa Ott's." For more specific colors, new ones are planted each year, along with Cardinal Climbers, with their long trumpets and small, bright red flowers.
Once the plants are in the ground, they grow amazingly fast. Ahh, that first tendril. It's kind of like baby's first tooth, and signals even more rapid growth and speading vines, which means it's time to get the twine out.
Along with cucumbers, the greenhouse environment is perfect for eggplants, peppers, and pineapple tomatillos. Here, some eggplant seedlings get an early start. The rapidly growing cucumbers are gently tied with twine to a web of anchors that have been thrown over the beams and fastened to the hanging shelves. It doesn't take long for the baby cucumbers to arrive.
Morning glory seedlings grow as fast as the cucumbers. They don't need to be tied—they hitch a ride on their own. These are both hybrid and open-pollinated varieties.
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