All About the forgotten flavours at the end of the list…this month we are talking cucumbers
Yes, even though cucumbers are the staple of summer, and hundreds of you agree this is an essential plant to grow, there remains one part of our listing which is largely ignored. You have guessed it is the last three alphabetically. So, it is time to turn things around and start off with
White Wonder: perhaps it is simply the word white that makes you skip over and think about a green one…you are missing out! This is an heirloom with over 100 years of history behind it and, believe me, no variety stays in production for that long without a very good reason or two. Well heirlooms are renowned for their flavour – White Wonder doesn’t disappoint. It is exceptionally crisp and superb choice for fresh eating – it is a beautiful pale creamy-white, perfect for slicing or dicing for tasty salads. Contrast this with some of the darker green leaves or the brilliance of tomatoes for a visual and tasty delight. Pick young and pickle some to take you through the darker seasons. Plus this variety copes really well with the hot weather that can strike our gardens when we least expect it (I am talking about British summers of course!). That is more than one or two reasons to chose White Wonder this coming year.
White Pickle Mini: another white choice and this time the word pickle might also be putting you off – please look a little closer: picking these fruits at just 7cm length truly gives you taste that will fit in the palm of your hand. No bitterness, just flavourful dinky little cucs. The plants are mini too…with a maximum vine of 1m this is the variety to go for if you only have a mini sized plot where every inch counts. And count away as this variety is prolific. The ‘pickle’ bit is simply an option – yes you can pickle then – they don’t need pickling to be enjoyed as a perfect snack sized fresh bite.
Telegraph Improved: this is a puzzle to us why this languishes, it can only be that you have selected another by the time you get to it, lovely Telegraph has a delightful old-fashioned flavour. It enjoys an unheated greenhouse or will scramble around a cold frame when all the other seedlings have moved on. It will also grow quite well outdoors. This has luscious long fruits, between 30cm to 45cm, these will hang and grow perfectly straight if the plants are grown on a trellis: they will be curvy without room to dangle!
Go on, try a variety from the end of the cucumber alphabet and you might discover a new favourite!