The heat that's still lingering on must be working wonders for the germination of my seeds. In less than three days, the cucumber seedlings have burst their way through the soil and are standing tall and proud.
I am growing two varieties of cucumbers- Marketmore and Armenian Cucumber or Kakri, as it is known in the subcontinent. Marketmore is a home growers slicing favourite perfect for sandwiches and salads. I did grow some last year although having left the planting too late into the spring, I had a brief but beautiful harvest before the plants succumbed to the heat. The produce disappeared all too quickly into egg sandwiches and a couple of green juices.
Kakri is a vegetable from my childhood. Botanically, it's classified as a melon but tastes and looks somewhat like a cucumber. It had a very brief season in the Karachi winters. When Ammi used to come back from the market, the long, ribbed kakri would be peeping out from the bags and would be sliced or cut into sticks immediately to be eaten with a bit of salt and pepper. If a rice dish such as kichdi or pea pulao was on menu for lunch, Ammi grated the Kakri into yoghurt for raita. Yumm. During my years in London, I completely forgot about it but am looking forward to introducing my kids to it.
Some tips about growing cucumbers:
1- They are very thirsty plants, right from when they germinate. If you see the seedlings droop, they are coming under water stress. I have been watering mine at least twice a day.
2- As soon as they spout their first true leaf, I'll be looking to transplant them into bigger pots. This will ensure availability of more nutrients and also greater moisture retention due to size of pots.
3-When you transplant them into the final pot, make sure a trellis or net is already in place for the vines to climb.