Saturday, 12 January 2013

Master of space, master of heat

I love my Space Master cucumbers - they are actually growing and setting fruit, they are actually thriving.

This is a major miracle considering that most other things in my patch have either expired from heat exhaustion -  weeks of heat over 30c, most over 35c and into the low 40s.

I have 7 Space Masters in. I raised them here in Highfield more or less as soon as we got here. I started 8 off and 7 came up and I decided to plant them all out thinking that some might not make it - they all have.

They have benefited from the demise of others. As the beans expired from the heat or failed to develop becasue their growing tips had been nipped out, I re-distributed the grass-clipping mulch for the beans to the cucumbers. This picture below shows the ravaged bean patch. In front of these three cucumbers was once three rows of borlotti beans - now there is only one left and it is just hanging on.

The bed where three more cucumbers are growing is heavily mulched with bark and leaves from  the eucalyptus. This was the only other free mulch available. I couldn't get more mulch from mowing - it was too hot and a fire risk in itself, so I went out collecting the leaves from fallen limbs and the bark that the trees had shed. It has been very effective. The young chillies and capsicums have benefited as well.

I am looking forward to eating the first  produce from these little survivors. It is possible that I will have a glut  with 7 plants all setting fruit. I think this one is going to be a little wonky - I like wonky fruit.

The growing tips of the cucumbers are laden with flowering buds and look beautifully woolly.

What is your best survivor of all this heat? Got any good cucumber recipes or am I getting ahead of myself? It's good to dream that there will be some produce from this garden!


  1. Lucky I keep seeing lovely cucumber flower and fruit but they don't seem to get bigger than a cm or so. I suspect rats.

    My corn and chilli are going gangbusters and the pumpkin is pretty good. Tomorrow looks cooler so the plan is to get stuck into the garden

  2. My snake beans are the heat wave heros.

  3. It's amazing that something like a cucumber, that needs LOTS of water, has done well in this heat wave.

    I have three growing in one pot (which was silly, one should have been enough for the size of the pot) with a climbing frame and I can't believe how well they are doing. I found, much like zucchinis, some really well developed ones that were 'hidden'. How can that be? In a pot!!

    Apart from chucking cucumbers in a mixed salad, I like to have them as a salad on their own, slicing them very thinly with a good pinch of salt and lots of pepper together with lemon juice and olive oil. Alternatively, slice very thinly and dress with soy sauce and a sprinkling of chilli powder - yum!



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