Cucumbers – Greenhouse
Plant seedlings in John Innes no.3 compost in 10” pot or grow-bags
Keep temperature at a minimum of 60-70°F. Keep the compost moist but never waterlogged. Keep the air moist and well ventilated. Spray the floor to maintain high humidity.
Train the stem up a vertical wire cane. Pinch out the growing point when the leader reaches the roof. The tip of each side shoot is pinched out at two leaves beyond a female flower. Female flowers have a miniature flower behind them. Male flowers have just a thin stalk. Pinch out tips of flowerless side shoots when 2ft long. Remove all male flowers from ordinary varieties because fertilised fruit is bitter. By choosing all female varieties eliminates this problem. Feed every 2 weeks with a tomato fertiliser once the first fruits have started to swell.
They should be cut when they meet maximum size (will vary depending on variety), do not try to grow huge specimens or it will effect the total yield. Most types are 6– 8” long, gherkins 4” and apple varieties the size of duck eggs. Use a sharp knife to remove fruits from the stem. Good soil, proper care and continuous picking should result in the production of many fruits until the end of September.
Cucumbers – Outdoors
A sunny spot, protected from strong winds is essential. Soil must be well drained and rich in humus. Prepare planting pockets as shown 2 weeks before planting.
End of May-June.
Pinch out growing tip when the plants have developed 6 or 7 leaves. Side shoots will then develop, and these can be left to trail over the ground or be trained up stout netting. Any shoots not bearing flowers
should be pinched out at the 7th leaf. Keep soil moist. Water around the plants, not over them. Mist lightly in dry weather. Place black polythene over the soil in summer before fruit formation. This will
raise the soil temperature, conserve moisture, keep down weeds and protect the fruits from rot. Once the fruits have started to swell, feed with liquid tomato fertiliser. Fertilisation is essential. Never remove the male flowers on the outdoor ridge varieties.