PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.
Armenian cukes: Are they difficult to germinate? Should I just direct sow or coax them out of their little shells indoors first?
And what about okra? Throw the seeds on the soil, water and wait?
And do these two have any benefit in the concept of crop rotation, the way legues do for example? I have a bed that has been growing tomatoes for two season or more and am thinking of putting either the cukes or the okra there. Does one add more benefit for soil rebuilding after tomatoes than the other?
I'm planning for these two to be my cash crop - will sell to local Indian food restaurants. Someone else locally did this last year with great results. Would like to pay for my gardening hobby from this crop of cukes and okra.
In my experience all cucumbers (including Armenian which is not a true cucumber) are very easily direct sown when the soil is warm enough. Since I am an impatient gardener I usually do some seeds indoors in cups, then if they fail when transplanted, I direct sow- Varieties to grow is a dilemma to me. I am very particular about cukes- mine have to be crunchy, not watery- most of the new *burpless* are very watery and not tasty. I'm not crazy about spines, but have found that most of the old fashioned crunchy ones do have spines. I use picklers for slicing as well as slicers. General Lee is a good one but last year didn't produce well for me. I will do it again this year. Also Marketmore. I have given up on Straight Eight after several failures and negative comments from others. Diva was good last year. I haven't stated any yet- way too early here.
The Armenian tastes wonderful- very crunchy- mils flavor, with thin skin that doesn't need to be peeled. They have a ridged exterior that looks scalloped when sliced. I wish I had some photos- don't let them get too big- the seeds get pretty big. One year I had one that grew in a complete circle- I let it get huge! didn't eat it. They are a lot of fun to grow- beginners should try them. I even pickled some one year because I had such a big harvest. They were really good.
Thanks folks. If you have too much you could try selling your crop. On another board, local to me, someone said their SO took a sample from his garden to a nearby Indian restaurant, asked to see the manager and the manager agreed to buy all this guy could provide. (I've posted this somewhere before, if I'm repeating here, please excuse.) He sold that restaurant (maybe some others as well, not sure) 900 lbs of Armenian cukes. Even at just $3/lb, that a chunk of change.
Okra also loves Texas, but I don't fertilize them and I get a bumper crop every year. When I harvest, if I'm not going to use immediately or if I only harvest a couple of pods, I rinse them off and allow them to dry, then toss them in a bag in the freezer.