We’re always on the lookout for vegetables that can stand up to our brutal Southwest Florida summers. This summer we’re experimenting with an Everglades tomato bush that we were thrilled to find. It’s doing great in the heat so far and setting fruit like a champion, but it’s not summer yet. Extreme heat usually prevents tomato plants from setting fruit. The true test for the Everglades tomato plant will be in July and August. This special tomato deserves its own post. I’ll be writing one soon.
I want to tell you about another heat-resistant vegetable… the Suyo Long cucumber (Cucumis sativus). Okay, it’s not really a vegetable, it’s a fruit. We’ve been growing this cucumber for several seasons now and the results have been so rewarding. It doesn’t mind the heat at all.
The cucumber package says the Suyo Long originally comes from China and is a sweet-flavored, tender, crispy, ribbed fruit that can grow up to 15′ long. It’s a burpless, non-bitter and excellent for salads or bread and butter pickles. We found this description to be completely accurate. This cucumber is delicious!
We purchased our Suyo Long cucumber seeds from SustainableSeedCo. com. They’re heirloom seeds and definitely worth growing. It’s very important to note that this plant must be watered every day. If it dries out, it’s done. The plants I had in the ground did much, much better than the plants I grew in containers. Sometimes my plants don’t get watered and the ones in the ground always stand a better chance of survival in our garden.
The mustard greens in the photo above are wilted but I was growing them for the chickens. They were loaded with eggs and caterpillars from the Great Southern White butterfly (Ascia monuste). The girls went crazy when they spotted me coming toward them with my arms full of these.
Click here for a good article on when to harvest a cucumber. I can’t give advice on harvesting cucumbers because I don’t count the days from planting. We just pick it and eat it around here. However, I do know that it’s best to let the cucumber turn yellow if you plan on saving the seeds . We do practice this and it works for us.
I’ve been using Theraneem Organix Neem Oil for the Garden and I’ve learned to love this product. I spot spray it early in the morning before the honeybees wake up. (Researchers say neem oil is non-toxic to spiders and pollinating insects). I also use this product around our dairy goats. I mix some essential oils in it for them… rosemary, lavender, geranium and peppermint, in a base of distilled water. The goats actually walk into the mist instead of running away.
Quick… how many Suyo Long cucumber jokes can you tell in 30 seconds? Laughing is the best medicine!
Come grow with us!