Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm a vegetable murderer

Aren't these lovely squash? The only problem is that they're not squash, they're cucumbers from my garden.

They're HUGE and lacking that certain greenness that cucumbers are supposed to have. At the beginning of spring, I planted 2 cucumber plants, 3 tomato plants, 2 strawberry plants, 5 lettuce plants, and a handful of red onions. Fastforward many, many hot Tennessee days later, and all of the plants except for the tomato and cucumber plants have died. Actually, one strawberry plant is hanging on for dear life and has produced 5 strawberries the size of dimes - does that count?

I had some hope for my lettuce plants, but when we went on vacation to Pittsburgh for a week in June, this is what I came home to:

My heads of lettuce had bolted. I had never heard that term before, but from Googling "my lettuce plant looks like a mutant," I discovered that "bolting" basically means my lettuce plants thought they were going to die so they decided to flower, which makes them grow upward and flower. Unfortunately this means the leaves become bitter and inedible. Which meant I got to add to my compost pile.

I had some hope for my cucumbers, so when they were growing in humongous proportions, I looked past the fact that they were yellow instead of the typical green cucumber-y color. After realizing that they had yet to green up, I picked one and cut it open to see how it tasted.


It was bitter and had this gross white inner rind. After visiting my friend Google again, I found out that cucumbers weren't supposed to get this big (oops) and that the yellow color probably meant that they had some crazy plant virus or that the weather was too hot. Sigh.

So now I have a big pile of these cucumbers the size of my calf that taste like a shoe. Anybody want one?


  1. What a great way to start my morning, thank you for the very funny post! I think this is what would happen if I planted a garden!

  2. Haha! This is why I just visit the farmer's market and pretend I am a gardner :) Herbs, can you kill them?

  3. This was hysterical! I am so very sorry for the less than perfect garden mishaps you've had this year but it does make for a funny story!

    I hope you have better luck next year...if it makes you feel any better, I got 3 berries from my strawberry plant this summer too! So much for that strawberry shortcake I had dreams of making! And yes, I too managed to kill basil, peppermint and rosemary in my little garden box.

  4. I've done that to my little patio garden. I neglected it, and everything died. Your lettuce looked so neat, too bad it was bitter.

    I cheat too, I get farmers market veggies instead.

  5. This made me laugh so much!! I may well have nightmares about mutant lettuces now :) Don't fancy the cucumbers much though, the thought of that bitter taste is yuck! Better luck next time. (My neighbour gave me some courgette plants and I managed to kill them in a couple of weeks, while his are flourishing. So not fair!)

  6. So...I follow Christian singer Kim Walker-Smith on Twitter...and she posted basically this EXACT SAME tragic cucumber story, complete with repulsive pictures. So, the good news is, you're not alone. The bad news don't have any decent cucumbers. At least you can stilll buy local and support slightly more

  7. Your story makes me feel better about my black thumb :) I too have tried to grow things. The funniest is pumpkins. For 3 years I got big, healthy, beautiful plants with bright yellow flowers. But never pumpkins. I too have a friend called Google. He says I don't have any bees to pollunate the flowers. Who knew my pumpkin plants had to consumate their marriages in order for me to have pumpkin pie? Geesh!

    Thanks for making me smile today :) Good luck next year.


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