Sunday, 12 March 2017

Growing cucumbers.

Outdoor cucumbers can be sown directly into the soil in late May and early June – or you can buy small plants from the garden centre.
Growing outdoors
Either sow seeds or plant out young plants in early June, ideally under fleece or cloches. Any fertile garden soil in full sun is satisfactory.
Dig in up to two bucketfuls of rotted organic matter, such as garden compost, and rake in 100g per square metre (3½oz per square yard) of general purpose fertiliser.
Pinch out the growing tip when the plants have developed seven leaves. The developing sideshoots can be left to trail over the ground or trained up stout netting. Pinch out the tips of flowerless sideshoots after seven leaves.
Don't remove the male flowers, and keep the soil constantly moist by watering around the plants – not over them.

When planting out cucumber seedlings or seeds, choose a sunny, sheltered spot.
Turn the soil over about 6in deep, adding compost or well-rotted manure as you go.
Leave 15in between each seedling, or put three seeds in each hole and thin to the strongest.
They can grow to 6ft so allow space between rows.
A layer of mulch minimises weeds and helps the soil retain water: cucumbers hate standing in water but the more moisture they absorb the sweeter they will be.
Weed them often but lightly, so as not to damage the roots.
Water weekly.

As far as crop rotation is concerned, ridge cucumbers can be grown anywhere in the garden or allotment. It's best not to grow them in the same position every year but they really don't encourage soil pests or diseases.

Except in very warm parts of the UK the best method for sowing ridge cucumber seed is in pots, indoors.
The best time to do this is in the second week of April 2017.
If you really want to sow seed directly outside:
Sow seed outside in open ground - The third week of May 2017.
Expert advice on growing ridge cucumbers outside:
Sow seeds indoors - The second week of April 2017
Sow seed under cloches outside - The last week of April 2017
Sow seed outside in open ground - The third week of May 2017
Harden off indoor grown seedlings - The second week of May 2017
Transplant plants to open ground - The last week of May 2017
Prune main stem - The second week of June 2017

Harvest ridge cucumbers from - The second week of July 2017 

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