$300 Cucumber, Explained.

Oh boy. How many of you thinks I’m crazy and insane to pay $300 for a cucumber?

Don’t worry, I can’t see you, you can raise your hand.

Well, truth to be told, I didn’t pay $300 for a cucumber – kinda.

You see, in the beginning of the spring, David and I have built a raise bed using some composite redwood lumber from Home Depot, to make a raise bed that is super low maintenance, because frankly, I see myself planting veggies for quite awhile. Then we have to get dirt, of course, after my research, I can’t just have any dirt! During the winter/early spring time, I did a lot of research on organic gardening and how to combat pests without using pesticides.

One of the book I read was Square Foot Gardening. (link to the foundation) I thought the mix was ingenious! So I set out to find the stuff I need. Of course, Vermiculite is much more expensive than I anticipated. And since the raise bed was 8’ by 12’, we needed quite a bit of material. And from one of the coop I belong to, I got a bunch of seeds really inexpensively. I had the following set in mind:

Broccoli, Lettuce, Muslin Mix, Cucumber, Zucchini, Edamame, Green Beans, Peas, Sugar Snap Peas, Spinach, Calendula, Lavender, Marigold, Chamomile, Sugar Daddy Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Chives, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, Tomato, Corn, Carrots, and Onion. I’m sure I’m missing some items, but you get the idea.

I started out strong, using the toilet paper roll and newspaper to be my seedling cups. My only issue was mold. The water retains moistures too long with the indoor heat, it was not a good combo, despite what Gayle said. I read the Grow Great Grub when it first came out, and I was so inspired! (Hence all the seeds I got!) The Grow Great Grub book is also a great read, highly recommended.

But I was semi-successful, despite the mold, and I planted my young seedlings out in mid-May. BIG MISTAKE. Here in New England, shortly after I set out the seedlings, we had a dip in temp, down to 29 degrees overnight. Needless to say, all my seedlings died. ::CRY:: I was super discouraged by then – here is Little Lady, getting ready to eat her solid food, and I have nothing in the garden.

Fast forward to June. I decided that I need to give it another shot. I can’t just leave the $300 raise bed empty! So I looked through the packets of all the seeds, and pull out some of the heat loving veggies that calls for direct sow in June, and put them in. I think I put in Edamame, Sugar Baby Watermelon, Carrots, Cucumbers and Zucchini. I also sow in some lavender and marigold to see if they will go.

After sowing, I went over a couple of times, and saw that either the cucumber or zucchini had some progress, along with edamame. Although it was just a little progress, I was happy. July came and it has just been one giant heat wave. We went on vacation, and I was pretty sure that none of them survived. Surprisingly, they were all still going strong, along with this GIANT bush – turns out it’s a weed that just feeds on all the nutrient that’s in the soil mix I made up, and became a giant bush!

So last night, David went over to the house where the raise bed is to fix the lawn mower. I had asked him to try to get rid of the “bush” since it’s blocking sunlight for the edamame. Around 9:30pm, he came home, and said to me, “Not sure I’m supposed to do this, but here.” And that’s when he handed me our $300 cucumber – our first fruit.

Now, I need to get over there this weekend to see what else is there!!!!!!  From the picture report from my brother, it looks like edamame died, zucchini and cucumbers are flourishing, and i also have marigold and chamomile!!!!  Will report back when I see it in person!


3 thoughts on “$300 Cucumber, Explained.

  1. I’ve totally been there. Many years in a row. Learned it from my dad (who was such a good sport letting me pick things from the seed catalogs when I had no clue. We tried to grow peanuts one year. Didn’t work.) It’s part of the “joy” of growing your own food 🙂 Love the idea about the toilet paper rolls! I re-used K-cups (what a pain in the A**).

  2. Oh, I feel your pain! I’ve spent so much on gardening stuff, only to have it all die (usually from lack of watering or sometimes too much rain here in the NW) 😦 But isn’t the joy of growing your very own cucumber (and whatever else you get) worth that $300? I think so 🙂 And next year it will be so much easier!

    What a great tip about using the toilet paper tubes for seedlings! Thanks for sharing. I’ll have to remember that next year 🙂

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