Cucumbers taste awesome when grown in the home garden or allotment. You can grow it in warm sheltered spots and in greenhouses. However, the exact space for sowing depends on the variety of the cucumber.
You can sow seeds both indoors and outdoors from spring to early summer. Moreover, buying young plants from vegetable garden is also a good option.
If you want to sow the seeds in a heated greenhouse, mid-February to mid-March is the perfect time to sow the seeds. However, if you intend to sow them in an unheated greenhouse, it’s better to sow the seeds in April.
- Sow cucumber seeds in pots at a depth of ½–¾in.
- Place the pots in a heated propagator. Make sure its temperature is around 21°C. And then place them into the sunny indoor windowsill.
Late April is the best time to sow the seeds outdoors. Even you can sow outdoor varieties in late May or early June.
- Sow the seeds in a depth of ½–¾in.
- Cover the seeds containing ground with a glass jar, cloche, or fleece.
Outdoors sowing works best in summer and milder southern areas. However, you can also buy the young plants from vegetable gardens in spring.
Firstly, you have to prevent your cucumber plants from getting chilled. You might be wondering what the suitable temperature for growing the cucumber is. Well, 12–15°C is the best-growing temperature for the cucumber.
When the plants become young, you can transfer them into the pots. The right time for transplantation is late March in a heated greenhouse. On the other hand, Late May is the perfect time to transplant in an unheated greenhouse.
Here’re some tips for transferring the plants in pots.
- Make sure the pots to which plants are transferred are 10 inches.
- Put the high-quality compost into the pots.
You can also go for growing bags instead of pots. However, it needs more care, especially while watering.
Moreover, greenhouse borders with garden compost are also an excellent place to plant cucumber. Keep watering regularly to ensure proper moisture in the soil and compost.
In hot weather, you can maintain the humidity of the greenhouse by watering the greenhouse floor. It will help the moisture to evaporate.
Some other tips for indoor growing of cucumber are:
- Apply the liquid fertilizer to the crops every 10-14 days.
- Allow the main stem to grow up a vertical cane or wire
- Pinch out the plant when it touches the greenhouse roof.
- Pinch out the tips when the side shoots reach a size of 2 ft.
Early June is the best time for outdoor growing of the plant. It will be best if you cover it with cloches or fleece.
Below are some tips to make the outdoor growing of the cucumber successful:
- Firstly, choose sunny and fertile soil.
- Dig in the ground and add mulch (two bucketfuls).
- Add general-purpose fertilizer. The 100g per square metre is the right amount of fertilizer to add to the soil.
- Trim the growing tips when there are seven leaves on plants. Moreover, it’s also the time to pinch out the side shoots tips.
- Avoid removing the male flowers.
- Water the around the plants to keep the soil moist
- Avoid watering over the plants
Mid-summer to mid-autumn is the time for the ripening of cucumbers. However, this time is harvesting time for cucumbers grown in the greenhouse. The outdoors cucumbers may ripe earlier based on the weather conditions.
The fruit size is variable and depends on the variety. Therefore, you must check the seed packet. Generally, the fruit size may reach 4 inches for smaller fruit varieties. On the other hand, 6-8inches is the right size for full-sized varieties.
While harvesting, make sure the fruit is green and firm. And there should be a round tip. Therefore, you must check the plants regularly. Otherwise, they may overripe and turned yellowish, soft or bulbous.
Take a sharp knife to cut the stem evenly. Moreover, if you harvest it regularly, you’re encouraging the plants to fruit further.
Whiteflies are small in size. They suck the plant’s sap to secrete honeydew on the plant. The honeydew is sticky, which leads to the growth of sooty mould.
- Use biological control to control the whitefly.
- Use sticky traps in the greenhouse.
Cucumber mosaic virus
The virus restricted the growth of the plants and made them deformed. Here are some other symptoms that indicate the attack of cucumber mosaic virus:
- The yellow mosaic pattern over the plant
- Reduced or no flowering
- Small, hard, pitted and inedible fruits
- Destroy the plants infected with a virus
- Wash your hands after touching the infected parts
Leaves become stunted and shrink as white powdery deposit forms on the leaf surface.
- Grow the plant in colder conditions
- Keep the soil moist
For 77 great recipes using cucumber from your garden, go to Bon Appetit
By the way – there are over 30 varieties of cucumber available. Here are a few you may know, and some that you don’t.
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