<b> How to grow cucumbers <b>

How to grow cucumbers

  • Fitfit Garden

How to cultivate cucumbers Cucumbers,

renowned for their crisp texture and sweet flavor, are a delightful addition to summer dishes like salads and sandwiches. While cultivating cucumbers demands some attention and care, the outcome is immensely rewarding. To embark on this journey of cultivating cucumbers, let's delve into our comprehensive guide. Before long, your summer meals will boast the refreshing taste of home-grown cucumbers.

Selecting the appropriate cucumber varieties The cultivation of cucumbers begins with choosing between indoor and outdoor varieties, each with its unique characteristics.

Indoor cucumber varieties typically exhibit elongated shapes with smooth skins and necessitate greenhouse cultivation to shield them from fluctuating weather conditions. On the other hand, outdoor cucumber varieties are more resilient, often featuring shorter lengths and textured skins with ridges or bumps. Requiring less maintenance compared to indoor types, outdoor varieties serve as an ideal option for novice growers.

Consider the following cucumber varieties:

Indoor Cucumbers

  • Cucumber 'Emilie' AGM Cucumber 'Femdan' AGM Cucumber 'Carmen' AGM Outdoor Cucumbers Cucumber 'Marketmore' AGM Cucumber 'Burpless Tasty Green'

    Essential Equipment for Growing Cucumbers To kickstart your cucumber-growing venture, you'll require:

  1. 9cm pots for sowing seeds
  2. Dibber
  3. Multipurpose compost such as Miracle-Gro Premium All Purpose Compost
  4. Long canes or other supports
  5. Spade
  6. 25-30cm diameter pots for indoor-grown cucumbers
  7. Compost or farmyard manure for outdoor cucumbers

How to grow cucumbers

For indoor cucumbers, sow the seeds in heated greenhouses from late winter to early spring. If your greenhouse lacks heating, wait until mid-spring to sow the seeds.

Outdoor cucumbers should be started indoors by sowing them in pots in late spring. Alternatively, you can sow them directly into the soil outdoors in early summer. Ensure the outdoor location is sheltered, sunny, and the soil is of good quality.

How to Sow Cucumber Seeds

  1. Fill 9cm pots with multipurpose compost.
  2. Using a dibber or a pencil, create a hole about 2.5cm (1in) deep in the center of the compost.
  3. Sow one seed per pot, positioning it in the hole on its edge to reduce the risk of rotting.
  4. Cover the seeds with compost and water thoroughly.

When sowing cucumber seeds directly outdoors, plant them at a depth of 2.5cm (1in) and cover young seedlings with cloches or horticultural fleece for protection in cool weather.

Planting Cucumber Seedlings Once the seedlings have grown sufficiently (typically 3-4 weeks after germination), transplant indoor cucumbers into individual 25-30cm diameter pots filled with multipurpose compost. Provide support for the plants by placing a long cane in each pot.

For outdoor cucumbers started indoors in spring, harden off the seedlings for a week before planting them outside. This involves placing them outdoors in their pots during the day and bringing them inside at night.

Prepare the outdoor soil by incorporating compost or well-rotted manure, then apply a general-purpose fertilizer and rake it in. Space outdoor cucumber seedlings 90cm (3ft) apart and water thoroughly.

Caring for Cucumbers To ensure optimal growth and flavor of cucumbers, follow these care tips:

  • Water regularly to maintain soil moisture without waterlogging.
  • Avoid watering the leaves to reduce the risk of fungal diseases.
  • Once flowers appear, feed the plants every two weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
  • Train greenhouse cucumbers up canes or other supports for increased yield.
  • Pinch out plant tips to encourage fruit production rather than foliage growth.
  • Remove flowerless side shoots as needed.
  • Male flowers should be removed from greenhouse cucumbers to prevent bitter-tasting fruits.
  • Outdoor cucumbers require pollination by insects for fruit production; do not remove any flowers from outdoor plants.

Harvesting Cucumbers Cucumbers are typically ready for harvest between July and October when they reach 15-20 cm (6-10in) in length. Use a sharp knife to cut them from the plant, picking frequently to encourage continued fruit production.

Dealing with Common Pests and Diseases Cucumbers may encounter several pest and disease issues, including powdery mildew, cucumber mosaic virus, wilting, glasshouse red spider mites, and glasshouse whiteflies. Implement appropriate preventive measures and treatments, such as improving soil quality, selecting disease-resistant varieties, maintaining proper ventilation, and utilizing biological controls or pesticide sprays when necessary.

    Key features of cucumbers

    Flowering season(s) Summer
    Foliage season(s) Spring, Summer, Autumn
    Sunlight Full sun
    Soil type Loamy
    Soil pH Neutral to slightly alkaline
    Soil moisture Moist but well-drained
    Ultimate height 30cm (12in)
    Ultimate spread 30cm (12in)
    Time to ultimate height 3-4 months

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