By Janice Brown of On the Grow
Beat the summer heat with this exotic cucumber! Suyo Long cucumbers are a great variety of cucumber to try because they won’t turn bitter like their American cousins sometimes do when we get to extreme temperatures. Suyos are from China which can be hot and balmy like Texas. Although it looks different with its ridges and curved, long, thin form, it’s noted for its sweet and crisp flesh. This is helpful for us because our heat can make other late season cucumbers bitter.
Another fine trait of this cucumber is that it is more resistant to downy mildew. Downy mildew and powdery mildew can often run rampant in our humid climate. Downy mildew which affects cucumbers particularly will cause leaves to become yellow, then brown and brittle. Also, the fruit may be small and pointy on the blossom end when troubled by this mildew. The disease usually sets in during the hottest parts of summer. Most times the plant will keep producing so if there are no other cucumbers close, you can keep growing it to try to get more produce. You can treat it with a fungicide, especially if caught early. However, if you have other vines close, that are uninfected, the best bet is to pull out the vine. But in the case of Suyo Long, you shouldn’t have to worry about this.
Because we have a long growing season, you can still grow these cucumbers and get a decent harvest before winter sets in. Give them some compost mixed into the soil and room to grow because vines can get up to 8 feet. A structure to trellis them on is also a good idea rather than letting them grow on the ground. Trellising allows for better air circulation which is important in our climate. Keep them watered well and try to water early in the morning as opposed to evening because mildews often begin on leaves that remain damp overnight. And as with all veggies, keep them fed every couple of weeks with a quality organic liquid feed to replenish nutrients. Expect a harvest in a couple of months. Most cucumbers can be quite prolific and Suyo Long is even more so. They will continue producing until the first frost which for us is not until around mid-December. So continue enjoying the fresh taste of summer for Thanksgiving and maybe even Christmas! Ah, the joys of living in Texas!
On the Grow is a garden coaching service launched by Janice Brown to teach people how to be successful gardeners in the sometimes difficult, Gulf Coast climate. On the Grow provides garden education for the home gardener, children in outdoor classrooms, neighbors in community gardens, and employees in workplace gardens. Whether you want a new idea for a girls’ night out, a new way to engage children in nature, or want to implement a fresh wellness program in your company, On the Grow is here for you. Your coach will take you step by step teaching you the basics, while presenting you with a fresh perspective by helping you experience the healing benefits of gardening. Our mission at On the Grow is to help everyone experience the joy of a garden and build a greater connection to Mother Earth. Connect with One The Grow on Facebook and Twitter!