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Cathie Rowand | The Journal Gazette
Cucumbers grown in a pot from a cucumber bush plant.

13 other reasons to add a cucumber plant to your garden

I always include cucumbers in my garden because they are one of my favorite summer vegetables. If my plants produce more than can be eaten, then I will pickle and can them to eat during the winter. An email from a friend gives some these other uses for an over abundance of cucumbers which I find intriguing.

1/ Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, folic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

2/ Grab a cucumber instead caffeine. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and carbohydrates that can provide the extra-energy need.

3/ Try rubbing a cucumber slice along a mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4/ Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5/ Photochemical in cucumbers tightens the collagen in your skin and will firm up the outer layer reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too.

6/ Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium.

7/ Cucumbers have been used for centuries as a quick meal to thwart off starvation.

8/ Rub a freshly cut cucumber over a shoe. Its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9/ Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10/ Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that reduces stress.

11/ Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12/ Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the metal surfaces you want to clean. Not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13/ Use the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the ink in writing mistakes. This method also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls.

Journey through gardening season with Rosa Salter Rodriguez (feature writer) rsalter@jg.net, Anne Gregory (Web editor and writer) agregory@jg.net, Frank Noonan (copy editor) fnoonan@jg.net and Cathie Rowand (photographer) crowand@jg.net.

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