490: Jay Tracy on Cucumber Melons.
Admiring the most commonly pickled vegetable in all its varieties.
In This Podcast:
Do you know the difference between a cucumber and a cucumber melon? Neither did Jay Tracy, but a conversation with a desert gardening guru helped him discover this tasty, drought-tolerant plant that is easy to grow in hot climates. Learn all about how to grow cucumber melons, how he avoids cross-pollination, and why landrace varieties are more resilient. Jay also shares some of his favorite varieties, his secrets for pre-sprouting vs direct seeding, and how to win some seeds!
Jay began gardening in 2006 in Tucson Arizona, then moved to Fairfield, California for cooler weather and health reasons. In Fairfield he has three large garden beds – one at home, two at nearby friends’ houses – and one greenhouse. His blog Scientificgardener.com is where he records his experiments and discusses his love of gardening.
Early in his gardening life he found an interest in growing cucumbers and has experimented with common and not-so-common varieties, and with each success, he expands to even more rare varieties. Over time this hobby has expanded to a small business known as the Cucumber Shop.
Listen in and learn about:
- The conversation with a desert gardening guru that helped set Jay on his path
- The difference between a cucumber and cucumber melon
- How he avoids cross-pollination between his different varieties
- His favorite cucumber melon
- How easy it is to grow cucumber melons and best practices for growing them
- Direct seeding vs pre sprouting
- How to avoid creating hybrids
- Soil, watering, and heat needs of cucumber melons
- Carosello cucumber varieties
- What a landrace variety means and why they are more resilient
- His future plans for the Cucumber Shop and what his stock and prices look like
As well as:
His failure – Missing out on saving seeds from a one-time opportunity.
His success – Taking the long view and keeping his eye on the long-term goals.
His drive – Finding new varieties.
His advice – Do what’s most important in life.
Jay’s Book recommendations:
The Big Book of Gardening Skills by Garden Way Publishing
The Garden Seed Saving Guide by Jill Henderson
How to reach Jay:
YouTube: Cucumber Shop
We are collecting responses and will advise all winners when we have received 50 responses or within the next 45 days, whichever comes first. We say “Thank You” to Jay and the Cucumber Shop for this offer.
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