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 Post subject: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 7:46 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
This is my National Pickling Cucumber plant.

Image

It did quite well, initially, and produced at least 3 or 4 quarts of pickles which got consumed very quickly!

Then production kinda dropped off to almost nothing...
Now, I can see where at least 10 more are forming and I'm concerned they're just not going to make it because the plant looks so bad!

Is this the potassium deficiency???

...and I realize it's probably too late, and all the browned leaf should probably be trimmed off... but I don't want to set the plant back so badly...

:-) always something more to learn about in the garden!
rc


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:15 am 
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Location: West Tennessee
How old is that plant rich ?


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:09 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Gosh tater.. maybe some time in june???
Maybe I can go back and look through pictures...

I was messing with it today... got a lot more nubbie little pickles on it, less than an inch long. lol
And that plant has the roughest, coarsest, scratchiest leaves I've ever felt on a plant that was not cactus!

Very strange...

and the pickles we got were really good!

I'm sure I'll get some seed, and try it again, next year, in a different location.
rc


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:01 pm 
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Location: NE Washington
"Is this the potassium deficiency???"

Probably not. The plants are just old and have run their course. Different varieties of pickling cucumbers give different results. Last year we grew Snows Pickling Cucumber. The produced very well and all ripened in one big batch and produced almost nothing after that. Snows cucumber is best if you want to do your pickles in one big batch and be done with it.

This year we grew a variety called Chicago Pickling Cucumber. They produced extremely well but are spread out a little more over the season. There was one big batch ready at about the same time the Snows matured, but the Chicago's continued growing and blooming after that and are still producing a few new cucumbers.

We started harvesting our seed cucumbers this week. We made 20 quarts of pickles back in late July. Cucumbers are fun. You let them grow until they turn completely orange. Then you cut them in half and scoop out all the middle and put that into a bucket. When the bucket is about 1/3 full, you add water until it is about 2/3 full and stir it around. Then you set the bucket in a warm place to ferment. Cucumber seeds are encased in a gelatinous coating that must be broken down to free the seed. Fermenting breaks down the coating. After a couple days the bucket of cucumber guts starts to grow in the bucket and form bubbles and foam on top. It needs a good stirring every day for the first 3-4 days. At about 7 days, depending on temperature, a nice moldy scum will form on top and it starts to smell a little unpleasant. That's when they are done cooking are are ready to clean.

To clean them, I dump a bucket into a large plastic tub and fill it with water. I've found that our large wheel barrow also works well. I can dump 2-3 buckets at once into it. Once filled with water and given a good stirring, the good seeds will begin to separate from rest of the gunk and sink to the bottom. Most immature seeds tend to float and are flushed away with the other remains by adding more water and letting it overflow. After a thorough washing, the sinkers (good seeds) are spread out on a screen to dry. After drying they are winnowed to remove the rest of the immature or undersized seed. There always seems to be a certain percent of seed that doesn't fill. They are full sized but flat. Those are lighter in weight and can be removed with careful winnowing. Tomato seed is done with this same method.


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 9:59 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Thank you Sky!

This was National Pickling Cucumber.
And pretty much as you say, it dumped a bunch of cukes on us, then stopped. Now it's putting them out here and there.
Difficult to decide if I should let them hang out in the fridge, or not, until there re enough to mke a single jar of refridgertor pickles... so we are mixing them up with the lemon cucumbers...

Wow! Thanks for the advice on how to collect the seed!
Did not do it that way, last year, and that's probably why only one plant germinated out of the bunch.

To date, I have just taken a couple of them and sliced the sides of them with my handy razor knife so they dry out well.
I was gonna gather seeds once they dried.

...OK, I will do it as supposed to do for tomatoes!

Thanks!
rc


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:05 am 
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Location: West Tennessee
Yep i was thinking they looked old and played out. Melons like to do the same thing with the seconds.


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:05 am 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Hey, Tater,

lol
There's a lot I need to learn about melons, too!
One more thing on the list!!!

Seems they all grew vines all over the place, really healthy looking, but fruit production seemed low, except for of few of them. None were notably large, but that's OK by me... Problem I have is how to tell when they are ripe!
Picked more than a few that were not quite there.

I'll try and take melon pics this morning when I open up that curing pile again.

Cooler WX now... no more shorts in the morning as the sun comes up!
That will probably slow the ripening of what's presently growing.

Oh! I just found a seed packet tht says, "Gold Seal Burley, 2009 Seeds".
...Guess I'll need to plant some of those next year to assure the stock stays viable.

.


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:42 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
here's the honeydew melons...
Image
if not now, they should be ripe very soon!

And this is the cantaloupes, which are not even close to being ripe, but we have eaten a few of the watermelons. :-)
Image
they were pretty good!
rc


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:20 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:41 pm
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Location: NE Washington
"Seems they all grew vines all over the place, really healthy looking, but fruit production seemed low, except for of few of them. None were notably large, but that's OK by me... Problem I have is how to tell when they are ripe!"

Melons are a different animal from cucumbers. Yours sound pretty normal. They always seem to produce less fruit than you think you should get because of how many blooms they have. On average, one 1 flower in 10 will set a fruit. And you tend to find them in clusters for some reason. There will be 5-10 all together in one small area and then nothing but healthy looking vines for several feet. Bees are very important for a good melon harvest too. Naturally pollinated melons have a 3-5% higher rate of setting a fruit than the most carefully hand pollinated flowers do. Many people have tried to increase the rate of flowers to fruit but all have failed to beat the bee.

You can tell when they are ripe by the color. When they look like what you see in the stores they are ripe enough, but are really still about 10 days away from peak ripeness. Most cantaloupe varieties will turn a little yellow when fully ripe. Melons will also detach from the stem very easily when ripe. Unlike cucumbers, melon seed is at its best when the melons are ripe for eating. All you need to do with the seed is clean and dry it. No gelatinous goo to ferment off.

We just started harvesting ours this week. We will be up to our armpits in them by this time next week. Got 2 varieties this year. Last year we had one variety and had over 500 melons. By this time next month I won't be able to stand the sight of one. lol


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:30 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Tnx Sky!

I check in with the apicultualists from time to time...
IMO, my bee count is low this year, for unknown reasons.
...and I DO have any number of plants specifically to draw them in, and provide for them... not least of which is the budleia bush.
Furthermore, I have noted more bees walking, and dead, than I ever have before.

I have never attempted manual pollination of ny plants, though perhaps I might, next season.
Best
rc


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:01 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
So I guess this might be 'deficient tomatoes' !
blossom end rot? on two of them???
Image
rc


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:35 pm 
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Location: NE Washington
Man, I dunno what that is. You got a lot of weird things there. Is your place built on top of an old toxic waste dump site? lol


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Well, Sky, I guess it is...

It goes like this.

We're near the bottom of the slope. Just downhill from the old King's Highway.
About a mile of drainage off El Camino Real runs to that creek longside my garden.
So anything that dropped or dripped, leaked or was dumped off horseback, wagon, tractor, or motorcar over the last hundred years or so is gonna pass by this place, and a certain amount will remain in the alluvial soil.
Probably for a long time!

Of course the city uses roundup to keep the drainge channel clear of weeds, periodically.

It's Kalifornia... whatcha gonna do?

Best
rc


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:41 pm
Posts: 874
Location: NE Washington
rustycase wrote:

It's Kalifornia... whatcha gonna do?



Move to Idaho or Montana. Just stay out of Washington or Oregon. They are nearly as fucked up as Cali is now :D


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 Post subject: Re: deficient pickles?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Oh, I'm moving pretty slow, anymore... Kinda run out of steam!
It would kill me to relocate. Literally.

Years back I went up to Hailey, Idaho, to work as a residential electrician for a nice company when there was plenty of construction work. All union, up there...
They were to start me at a 3rd year apprentice wages.
That evening I discovered everything to live off was darn near Kalifornia prices.
The 'good ole boys' were pretty well set with the best jobs and business good will.
New people had the newer high expenses to deal with, and lower wages.

I woke up to get to the jobsite early on my first day, and kept on driving... all the way back to central Cal !

Almost the same thing when we looked at dirt up around seattle, then down around Portland, Or.

I could pull down far better money here, and did so for another 10 years before everything crashed.
Stuck it out for another 5yrs 'til I came down sick.
Now I'm darn near worthless! lol
...Hindsight...

Best
rc


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