Our cucumber plants are taking over the allotment. Spurred on by their own, private cloches they’re now roaming untethered into neighbouring plots and chucking out yellow balls willy nilly like a tennis ballboy high on orange squash.
But hang on. Cucumbers are long and green, aren’t they? Not on our patch…
We’ve grown two varieties from seed – ‘crystal lemon’ and ‘crystal apple’ – and one plant of each is plenty. So far we’re only harvesting the lemons, but with the apples not far behind we should be able to compare them soon (if there are any differences between the two – they’re looking pretty similar right now).
The fruits are best harvested at snooker ball size and come covered in tiny black spikes which rub off easily (and also deter slugs). They’re crisp, crunchy and juicy with a slight sweetness and no hint of bitterness. They taste great with a splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt. And they’re also considered a better option for those cucumber crunchers who struggle to digest their long green brethren. In short, we see a big future in the cucumber kingdom’s crystal balls.
Seeds sown: Cucumber crystal lemon, Kings seeds
Cucumber crystal apple, Thompson & Morgan heritage collection