My question: We had a low water period this summer, & I took to watering the garden (usually watered manually via rain barrels) with “horse spit”- my euphemism for old horse water that Deb changes each time she feeds the critters. With the low rainfall & not wanting to tax the well, I figured, hey, free water!
After using the “HS” water for a few weeks, my cukes went belly up. Now this was in August, & as I haven’t had a real cuke crop in about 10 years, I’m not sure if they were just “done”, or I killed them w/HS. BTW, the rest of the garden fared very well through the HS episode.
Thoughts? & Thanks! You guys have a GREAT mag…
You’re safe. It wasn’t the horse spit in the water that did in your cukes. Cucumbers produce very well in July, but are about done in August, especially with heat. To make them last longer, keep them severely picked; if you let a few “yellow boats” mature, the vines think they’re all done. Also, when it’s very hot and dry, be sure to mulch those cukes. It cools the roots as well as keeps more moisture on them. Some varieties produce longer, as well. I’ve found that pickling cukes seem to quit and go yellow sooner than say the Japanese climbing cucumbers. But then, I usually make all my whole pickle pickles from picklers and save my long slim cukes for bread and butter type sliced pickels and salad cukes, so it really doesn’t matter in the long run.
The only plants I wouldn’t use “horse spit” on would be greens or others that you eat the plant directly. There could be bacteria in that water you might not want on the lettuce, for instance. Probably not, but it is a possibility. My kids all licked off the horse pasture salt blocks when they were little and they’re all still alive! — Jackie