My cucumber and I

Cucumber - your days are numbered!

Balconista
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I really mean it this year! No more messing around! CUCUMBER! YOUR DAYS ARE NUMBERED!

For three years I've been nice to you, always given you a second chance, tended to you, cared for you and provided you with everything you could wish for. I tried everything to make it work between us. But you! You died every year and left only questions in your wake, sometimes more than others. What was wrong? OK, it was partly my fault, but part of it was definitely down to you!

Here is the story of our troubled journey:

In the first year we were separated by blight. After you proudly yielded no less than three cucumbers, the blight came and carried you off. And as I noticed too late that the pesticide from the garden centre sadly wasn't working, you were doomed to die. There was no hope for you and I pondered on how it would never happen to me again.

I quickly found the answer in the second year: cultivated varieties — blight resistant! Found, bought, and planted on my balcony. The anticipation of a successful harvest was high. The first yield came, followed shortly afterwards by a long weekend away from home. After returning home I got the biggest shock: aphids! Masses of them. How did these critters even get up to the first floor? They can't even fly properly! Regardless, gloves on and an attempt to control the situation through manual removal. Extremely time-consuming and only recommended with gloves on (rubber-lined). None of it helped and in the end the only thing to do was to buy organic pesticide. That did help, but you never really recovered. Dutifully, I kept caring for you and watering you, but there was no real yield to speak of.

Near the end of the season, it began to occur to me that my balcony would remain cucumber-free.Third year It would never amount to anything between us, I thought. But then, shopping in the garden centre, the cucumbers smiled at me again. Were they taunting me? Cucumbers, tomatoes, salad; those are the vegetable basics, anyone can grow those, I thought. So into the trolley it went and back home on the balcony. This year would be the one, I could feel it. And it came to... NOTHING. And I can't blame you this time. Your death was slow and dry. The summer was hot, I was away for longer than was good for you and the person in charge of watering the plants was ill. In the end, all I could do was throw you away.

And now I've had enough of cucumbers. I'm breaking up with you. It's not me, it’s you! Or maybe not? Oh whatever. In any case, your days are numbered, but I’m giving you one last chance.

And this time I’m doing everything right. Because somehow I like eating you.