Growing Tips

Cucumber

The cucumber has been around for some time, the Indians have been using it in cooking for around three thousand years.

 

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- 25C, 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'' to 6").

 

When the pots are full of roots and four leaves have fully expanded, nip out the growing tip.

 

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.

 

 

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Cucumber

Cucumber Problems:

Symptoms

Probable Causes

Leaves turn yellow. Silky webs on plant.

Red spider mite

Leaves turn yellow. Small green insects.

Greenfly

Clouds of tiny insects.

Whitefly

Holes in leaves or stems. Slime trail.

Snail / Slug

Leaves discoloured, plant collapses.

Root knot Eelworm

Grey fluffy growth on stems, fruit and leaves.

Botyritis

Leaves wilt, dark stem, plant dies.

Collar rot

Leaves mottled yellow, wilting.

Mosaic Virus

Leaves turn yellow from base upwards.

Verticillium wilt

Sunken, oozing spots on fruit.

Gummosis

Wet dark wounds on stems, leaves and fruit.

Sclerotinia disease