To be quite honest, most of what I do is done on a wing and a prayer. I don't actually know what the "wing" part has to do with anything, but I can tell you prayer works!
Unless you're trying to grow cucumbers inside your greenhouse in the middle of summer.
Which is what I attempted this year. It all started with something I read...
I spend most of my evenings lounging around in my pajamas, munching on snacks, and reading gardening books from our local library. I hope this confession doesn't ruin your glamorous image of me. I only wear nerdy pajamas in the evenings, I promise. Not during the day. And my hair always looks great (not!). Feel better? Okay, back to the story...
So this past Spring I'm reading this great book about greenhouse gardening and the author is telling this story about a guy who grew these fantastic cucumbers in his hothouse all through the summer, even in really hot weather. The secret was an extra layer of manure beneath the soil in the planters, and plenty of water.
So I thought, "that doesn't sound that hard to do..."
I should have thought twice. That's usually where I go wrong.
The next day I rushed out to the greenhouse, filled the planter tubs with some cow manure I had laying around (literally), covered it with soil, and stuck in some cucumber seeds. I felt very accomplished.
To my delight, within a few days the seedlings began to sprout up. I mulched them with some straw and kept them watered with the rain water I was catching off the roof. As the plants grew, I carefully staked them to the peg board behind them and let them vine away.
And then I waited. And waited.
And then.........nothing happened. No blooms, no baby cucs, no nothing.
I waited all summer long. I watered those plants all summer long. I groomed those vines all summer long. And in the end, I got nothing.
So, the other day I went out there and yanked those suckers right out of their tubs.
I showed no mercy. I can be like that. It felt good.
I don't know why my cucumber vines never produced. It could be that the manure caused the plants to put all their energy into vines and then didn't have enough left over to make any fruit.
Or maybe the vines did bloom and I just missed it, but there weren't enough insects inside the greenhouse to pollinate the flowers.
Whatever. I've moved on. You have to with gardening. I replaced the cucumber vines with tomato transplants, and they're doing great! They're forming little tomatoes even as we speak.
So there's a happy ending after all.
And by the way, my Apple Cucumbers outside in the garden did great.
Even after I forgot about them for several weeks! Live and Learn.