[Market-farming] pruning cukes--pro and con

Andy Fellenz artisanfarms at gmail.com
Fri Jun 24 22:33:08 EDT 2011


Richard,

It really depends upon your space available, labor utilization and marketing
goals as to whether it is worthwhile. For your plain jane American cukes
like Marketmore, Straight 8 and General Lee It is a lot cheaper to grow
cukes in the field and sell the good ones while culling the rest.  For the
designer cukes with expensive seed the straight economics start to move
towards High Tunnel production.

In my case, I don't have the space for extensive plantings, want early
cukes, prefer to keep my small crew busy  when it is too wet to work in the
field rather than sending them home, want to rotate crops in my high tunnels
all of which have led me to trellising and high tunnel production.  Last
year, I end up with very few culls with the trellised cukes (almost every
cuke is straight and uniformly colored) and picked several hundred pounds a
week from ~320 row ft. for 9-13 weeks. Additionally, after the third week of
picking no bending is required to get the cukes as they are well off the
ground.

I grow the cukes from May thru at least Labor Day and sometimes go until the
2nd week of September when the plants are pulled and the house is either put
into a cover crop or a round of late fall/early winter greens.  I start
harvesting before the end of June.  Last year I spent a little over $700 on
labor for trellising and pruning and yielded several thousand pounds of
cucumbers from ~1,000 square feet of a high tunnel.

Andy



On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 8:06 PM, Richard Stewart <rstewart at zoomtown.com>wrote:

> Andy
>
> Can you give us hard numbers?  Plant to pound production or row foot to
> pound production?
>
> I simply do row beds and mulch with straw.  I plant four to eight
> successive plantings and do zero maintenance other than harvest and cull
> dead plants.  I am curious if the return if worth the effort in your type of
> growing.
>
> Thanks for any additional details.
>
> Richard Stewart
> Carriage House Farm
> North Bend, Ohio
>
> An Ohio Century Farm Est. 1855
>
> (513) 967-1106
> http://www.carriagehousefarmllc.com
> rstewart at zoomtown.com
>
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