The cucumber has been around for some time, the Indians
have been using it in cooking for around three thousand
When growing cucumbers it is worth
bearing in mind that quite a lot of space is required,
if space is limited young shoots can be trained along
wires, rather like tomatoes.
Although once a tricky grower because
of the male/female pollination process, the arrival of
F1 hybrid varieties has made it much easier. These
varieties produce only female flowers, fruits that are
fertilised by male flowers are bitter tasting.
Follow the germination guidelines on
the back of the seed packet or use the technique below:
Sow seeds singly in 3" pots filled
with a good quality potting compost. Place the seed on
its edge, sideways, half an inch deep. The compost must
be thoroughly damp as the seeds have a very hard casing,
not enough water will lead to no germination.
Cover the pots with plastic (cling
film or bin liner) and place in a warm room at least 15°
C, or ideally 18- 25°C, a heated propagator is ideal.
After germination remove the covering
and place in a light position on the windowsill or in
the greenhouse. These plants are quick growing and will
need staking with a cane. Keep the temperature as
constant as you can, trying not to drop below 15° C,
especially at night.
Pot them on after 3 weeks or when the
roots appear around the rootball. Use bigger pots (5''
When the pots are full of roots and
four leaves have fully expanded, nip out the growing
These are now ready to be
transplanted to their final position. Use a 12" pot if
growing in a container. Erect something for them to
climb up e.g., bamboo canes at an angle or wires
attached to the greenhouse roof.