I love the differences in nature.
Remember our garden? It was so great that the neighbor rodents were enjoying the cucumbers more than us! We would leave the cucumbers to get just a little bigger, and then they'd disappear overnight! The biggest ones were getting to be about half of the size of grocery cucumbers:
I was getting very frustrated. Right around the same time, MaryAnne at Mama Smiles posted about keeping animals away from your garden with pepper. I tried it, and we got a few more cucumbers, but these animals were relentless. I finally got frustrated enough to buy netting. We put it all around our planter and made a few holes, which we tied up with twisty ties (so we can access our produce easier). The sneaky animals have found a way to eat through the mesh, but we tied that up those holes too. The last two weeks, we've been having a lemon cucumber and a regular (almost store size) cucumber a night.
The animals don't like our green beans (they are missing out because they are awesome right off the vine - we're a raw veggie kind of family). They also haven't touched our green peppers. I'm thinking they like the cucumbers due to the water content. The cucumbers seem to go missing on very hot days.
In terms of other problems we've encountered in our garden:
1. Our leaves turned yellow: the internet says this can be caused by basically anything, like over watering, under watering, not enough nitrogen, not enough iron, disease, bugs, etc. We tried not watering and watering more with no change. We bought plant/vegetable food from the local hardware/garden store and fed our plants. They were looking much greener two days after the food, which included nitrogen. Our box of plant food says to feed every 7-14 days. We went 21 days since the last feed and decided to do it again since the leaves were yellowing.
2. Our cucumber leaves got crunchy and died: this seems to be part of the life cycle of the cucumber. This is different than the yellow colored leaves. We are still producing quite a bit of cucumbers, so I'm not worried.
3. We were afraid the green peppers in the back of our planter wouldn't get enough sunlight, but they are producing peppers now. Last year we tried the peppers in an upside down planter. We got 5-6 small peppers. They turned red while we were waiting for them to grow bigger. That's when we learned that red peppers are just ripened green peppers. This year's pepper plant grew much taller and so far has 3 peppers which are all larger in size than last year. It looks like more peppers are possible.
How is your garden growing? J usually gets first dibs at everything. It's so exciting to see him so willing to munch on a handful of green beans and offer beans and cucumbers to his neighborhood friends. We've introduced a few families to the wonderfulness of lemon cucumbers.