How to Grow the Easiest Cucumber that Produces the Most Fruit

How to Grow the Easiest Cucumber that Produces the Most Fruit


[Music]
Alright, this is John Kohler with GrowingYourGreens.com. Today we have another exciting episode for
you, coming at you from my front yard garden and today I want to show you guys a cucumber
that’s performing astronomically for me actually. It’s so crazy, this cucumber as you saw
on the title of this video, a cucumber that’s so productive it grows like a weed. No, it doesn’t grow like cannabis, it grows
like a weed meaning it goes crazy like everywhere man and, it produces hundreds of cucumber
fruits for you guys to eat. Now, where I’m sitting right now is actually,
on my raised bed and in this raised bed I have two rows of peppers on the outside and
then, in the middle I have this trellis that goes up and I got cucumbers up this whole
trellis like every six to eight inches on the bottom and then it just basically trellis
up. I’m growing a number of different varieties
this year, I’m growing Persian cucumbers, I’m growing Japanese cucumbers, I’m growing
Armenian cucumbers, I’m growing lemon cucumbers and, I’m even growing the standard market
marked cucumber that I actually don’t particularly care for. Here’s one of the cucumbers that’s actually
doing quite well, this is one of the Japanese style, check it out, nice little cucumber
there; this guy’s going to get turned into juice and I’m going to drink it up by tomorrow. But, I’m not going to talk about any of
these cucumbers today, we’re going to go over to a special cucumber that you probably
never heard about and this is the one that literally grows like a weed here in my garden
and, it even self-plants itself so I didn’t have to. So, the cucumber I want to show you guys today
is growing like a weed in my garden and as you guys can see, basically the majority of
the green you’re seeing behind me is trellis and the leaves look like this. This is the cucumber we’re going to be talking
about today, if you do grow this you want to give it a lot of space to trellis up otherwise
it’ll sprawl on the ground, cover plants, it’s actually climbing up my fig tree pretty
good and it’s going to grow massively. The vines of some of my regular cucumbers
might be like fifteen feet, it’s so hard to find one vine on this because it’s one
plant that shoots off in many different areas. I’d estimate they’re like fifty, sixty,
seventy, eighty, a hundred feet even. I mean, I just got only a few plants that
sprouted up on their own, and it’s just growing like crazy and you guys probably can’t
see from this far shot but there’s lots of little cucumbers to eat on here. Now, this cucumber’s called the Bolivian
cucumber also known as “Achocha” and I started growing this a few years ago, I grew
like one or two plants. The plants actually produced the fruit, got
lazy, some of them dropped at the end of the season basically stayed in the ground and
next spring they came up on their own, they shot up on their own so, I didn’t even really
replant them ever. Every year after that they’ve always dropped
down, some make it in the ground and may sprout back up so, I always have Achocha or Bolivian
cucumbers now every year in my garden. Some of the things that I’ve noticed about
the Bolivian cucumbers is that, number one they’re more pest resistant than the standard
cucumber so, they don’t tend to get powdery mildew as easily as regular cucumbers. Also, they’re not affected by as many bugs
as the standard cucumbers. In addition, I find that they’re a little
bit, not a whole lot but a little bit more cold tolerant, one year we had a cold spell
and my regular cucumbers were wiped out but these guys were still growing. Now, yes, these guys will still not handle
a frost but they’re a little bit more cold tolerant than the regular cucumbers that I
had growing that year. Next, I want to go ahead and show you guys
some close ups of this vine and what the cucumbers actually look like and then we’ll get into
how to eat them and then, also how to harvest and save the seeds. So, now we’re looking at another area where
the Bolivian cucumber or Achocha is growing and, actually this is in my front raised bed
and these just kind of sprouted out on their own and they started climbing up the trellis. They’re totally like all over, they’re
dominating and they actually also grew and climbed over my Ashitaba which is really cool
and, this is what the vines look like, they just get all kind of crazy, the leaves look
similar to cucumber leaves. Let me go ahead and show you guys a leaf,
there’s like a leaf, they’re not quite as fragile or delicate, if you touch a cucumber
stem it kind of just snaps on you, these guys are way more flexible. Now, I want to show you guys about these little
cucumber fruits that literally makes hundreds, there’s a vine here, I don’t know if you
guys can see that but on this vine there’s one, two, three fruits and then if I go another
four inches or so, there’s even more fruit. So, everywhere along the vine upon it which
is like most of them there’s a little fruit. Now I want to share with you guys how to harvest
the cucumbers, the best time to harvest these Bolivian cucumbers are when they’re a little
small so, let’s see here. This guy is really small so we could harvest
him I mean, this is fine to harvest, this one’s a little too small for me though but,
when we bite it it’s totally solid on the inside and actually it kind of tastes similar
to cucumber, to me it has a little bit more flavor. That one’s a really small one, let’s get
one that’s a little bit bigger, I have so many to select from. Alright, here’s one, it’s a little bit
bigger, I’m going to bite into this one, there you go now, look at it on the inside
the cavity is totally filled up on the inside and the seeds are really small, this is when
they still taste like a regular cucumber that you and I may be used to. And you can play around you know, here’s
one, I think this one’s maybe a little bit bigger, let’s go ahead and try this one. It’s still pretty solid on the inside but
it’s getting a little bit hollow, that one’s still good to eat. Alright, let’s go ahead and get a bigger
one. Gee, my dinner, this one’s a little bit
bigger go ahead and bite in that, still lots of stuff on the inside, still tastes pretty
good. I think the younger ones were kind of more
sweet, on this one the seeds are going to be a little harder to eat, once it gets chilly
the seeds even if they get hard. Now, if the seeds are black on you then, they’re
getting a little more mature you probably still could eat them, I wouldn’t eat them. This one’s on the side of, I’d probably
let this go to get larger and either use it for seed or eat it a little bit different
way so, now I want to harvest one that’s actually a little more mature, that’s not
good for eating fresh off the vine like a cucumber, it’s different, it’s actually
more like a pepper believe it or not. Let me go ahead and grab one up here, so as
you guys can see they’re definitely getting bigger, I’ve had ones probably like up to
that big and on these guys what we’re going to do is we’re going to go ahead and take
this in front of you guys and tear this in half for you and look at that on the inside. It’s kind of hollow actually on the inside,
it’s a little bit hollow but there’s still a lot of flesh on the inside but the flesh
is kind of receding because what happens is at this point is that the fruit gets more
mature and then, the fruit now is there to create seeds and that’s what’s happening
right here. It’s basically created a little stem with
the seeds in the middle there. So, now at this point I would use these to
save the seeds and the fruit still can be eaten. It’s alright. Not quite as delicious but still edible. Now, if you get the seeds out like this, in
this stage, these seeds may not be fully mature because this is still a fairly middle aged
cucumber. Next, let’s go ahead and find a cucumber
that’s a little more older with more mature seeds to show you guys what they look like. So, now let’s go ahead and take a look at
a little bit more mature fruit, let’s see here’s a vine right here with the two older
ones, let’s see here. As the fruit starts to get ripe or ripe in
terms of the seeds, if the seeds are ready or not, it turns from a green to like a yellowish
tinge. I’m going to go ahead and open this guy
up for you guys, show you guys what it looks like on the inside and as you guys see inside
here it’s much more hollow and it’s got the more mature seeds so we’re going to
actually save these. And, if you guys look on this one the flesh
is much more thin, kind of like a bell pepper or something like that and these ones traditionally
are used for stuffing so you can actually stuff it with some stuff and then eat it. I like to dip them in guacamole and salsa
and eat it. These ones are a little more drier, I mean
still edible but, I really like when they’re really baby and small. Last, I want to show you guys this guy up
here, I don’t know if you guys can see it here but this guy basically is dried on the
vine, it’s basically fully mature and it’s ready for you to harvest the seeds. Now, when they get this old it’s kind of
like they turn all yellow and actually even starting to turn a little brown, at this point
I don’t eat them anymore like you probably could eat them but I don’t recommend it. Probably going to be really hard in fiber,
there’s not a lot of water content anymore so at this point same for seeds so, we’re
going to go ahead and rip this guy open for you guys. I really like how on the bottom of these there’s
like a little stem and it just has all the seeds attached like on a little tree, it’s
so cute. But, yeah, there’s all the seeds, now, I
basically take these seeds and sun dry them and then you could plant them for next year
or share them with friends. These guys are best grown when you plant your
tomatoes out so, if you live in a non-tropical climate when you would plant your tomatoes
after the last frost plant these out. These are fairly well germinating and once
they do germinate be prepared, they start to grow and they start to make a vine and
the vine may grow twenty maybe even thirty feet and then you’ll be like, John! It’s not making any cucumbers yet but, just
be patient the vine needs to get to a certain length and more mature and when it’s ready
at it’s full maturity then, it’ll start putting out fruit like crazy. Of course, it’s also going to be very important
that they’re pollinated and I have the birds and bees to thank for that, mostly the bees
and insects, I do no hand pollination for this and I get significantly more yields on
the Bolivian cucumber than even my standard cucumbers so, if you want to have longer yields
grow a new kind of fruit that’s actually quite tasty and delicious you’re going to
want to grow the Bolivian cucumber. Now, the last thing I want to show you guys
is the stem of this plant compared to a stem or where it comes out of the ground of a standard
cucumber approximate the same age. So now, at the base of one of my cucumber
plants here, got lots of cucumbers this year nice, big ones and this is what a standard
cucumber looks like at the bottom. These are the fleshy stems, fairly brittle
and it’ll crack on you which I think I cracked a couple when I plant them and lost them but,
that’s how this one grows, it’s a little bit more fragile and delicate and now let’s
go ahead and show you guys the Achocha. Alright, here’s a front shot of my raised
bed, nice giant eight ball squash here coming up and then, I got some Ashitaba, it’s flowering. Then, at the back you guys are seeing all
those little leaves that’s all the Bolivian cucumbers or Achochas. Alright, here’s all the Achocha leaves Bolivian
cucumbers let’s go ahead and show you guys the stem down here, you go down you guys can
see right at the bottom there, there it is, this is it right here. I mean it’s actually quite hard, not breakable
easily it’s kind of flexible here and, it basically kind of curves around and then it
ends up going up right there and then out of this one stem comes basically, just the
little individual vines. So, it’s like a little plant or a little
vine that produces and so I would think that maybe in the tropics this may be perennial
and just take over, I don’t really know because I grow it in zone 9A but definitely
really hardy and strong plant that’s going to do better probably for you than standard
cucumbers. So, one of the last things I want to share
with you guys about the Bolivian cucumbers or Achochas is that one of my goals is to
kind of grow more not even just heirloom fruits and vegetables but even grow more even beyond
heirloom there’s like wild fruits and vegetables. These are the plants that our ancestors have
eaten before we got into plant hybridization, before we got into heirlooms, there’s all
these wild foods like the Ashitaba is one of them it’s an amazing wild food with very
beneficial healing properties. In my opinion, in a lot of heirlooms and even
hybrid foods we’ve actually bread out some of those really good healing properties to
make the plants more mild tasting and edible, for example lettuce, right? Lettuce there’s like medicinal lettuces
and they kind of get you high or something [laughs] And then now we got the standard
lettuce now that’s really easy to eat and stuff and I think more wild foods are excellent
foods to grow because, guess what? They’ve had to deal with nature out in the
wild and because of that they create their own vitamins and minerals and more importantly,
biochemicals and bionutrients AKA plant compounds that help protect it against nature whether
that’s the sun, the pests, the bugs, funguses, mildews, whatever it is and then when we eat
the plants we get these specific nutrients in us plus, wild foods are really cool because
not many people grow them. I don’t want to grow things that are so
common that you can pick up anywhere I mean, you can’t go to the store and buy Bolivian
cucumbers unless you’re at the farmer’s market in Costa Rica and other South American
countries where they actually sell them down there and actually that was the first time
I’ve seen the Bolivian cucumbers myself. So, I encourage you guys to grow some Bolivian
cucumbers and make sure you leave some comments down below for me on how they grew for you
because for me they’ve always grown quite well. We’re going to go ahead and harvest this
last one right here and show you guys the seeds, this is another one that’s prime
ready for seeds, you can see it’s a little bit green and turning really yellow here at
the top. I really like how they kind of get hollow
on the inside and this is the stem end on the top here and on the bottom is actually
where it grows the seeds so, rip that open and the bottom end is where it actually grows
the little tree of seeds. Now, I have a limited supply of seeds available
and I will be making these available for you guys so be sure to check the link down below,
goes to GrowingYourGreens.ecwid.com which is my seed store. All the seeds that I sell in my seed store
I personally grew myself and hand harvested myself [laughs] Although my girlfriend’s
helping me out to do the filming since I got too many things to do so, I’m glad she’s
helping me out with that. You’re going to get some of these seeds
so you guys can grow the Achocha too and let it become a volunteer in your garden and it’ll
come back year after year so make sure you plant it in a space where you want it and
the other thing, very important, make sure you give it something to climb up. I have a huge trellis here and it’s easily
covered the whole thing so give it a lot of space I mean if you’ve got a hurricane fence
that you could see your neighbours growing up the hurricane fence it’s going to love
it but give it a lot of room to grow. I mean, grow it up at the base of some tree
that you don’t care if it climbs up in the tree and harvesting the fruit is going to
be a little bit hard, give it a big trellis space because it is going to grow a lot. If you guys enjoyed this episode hey please
be sure to give me a thumbs up, I love doing videos specially on some of the weird exotic
different kinds of fruits and vegetables I’m growing that I really want you guys to grow
because as Americans we eat this really confined small diet and this is even worse if you only
eat processed foods. Processed foods are made out of maybe less
than ten different main foods like corn, soy, and wheat are some of the dominant food that
people eat and I want you guys to really expand your horizons even beyond just standard fruits
and vegetables to wild vegetables that are only known in certain cultures or certain
areas where they were traditionally grown and used so, I’m really into that. Thumbs up if you like this, I’ll do more
on some unique wild and exotic fruits and vegetables that I’m growing. Also, be sure to share this video with somebody
that’s always having problems with growing cucumbers, they could try growing some Bolivian
cucumbers probably aren’t going to have the same pest problems as standard ones. Also, be sure to check out my past episodes,
they’re a wealth of knowledge, I have over 1200 videos at this time sharing with you
guys all aspects of how to grow your own food at home and also be sure to click that subscribe
button right down below if you’re not a subscriber. If you enjoyed this video you’re going to
enjoy my other videos. I’m always trying to give you guys a wealth
of knowledge and share my growing and gardening and life experiences with you in each and
every video. So, once again my name is John Kohler with
GrowingYourGreens.com we’ll see you next time and until then remember, keep on growing. Alright, this is John Kohler with GrowingYourGreens.com
we have another exciting episode for you and I’m happy to be at the National Heirloom
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