Cool as a cucumber! Your guide to growing themon
Cucumbers really ARE cool. They’re the subtle and refreshing taste of summer that we all love, either in a salad, on a sandwich, or even in a gin and tonic. (Just a slice in your G&T mind you. A whole cucumber in your glass might look a little odd.) With all this cucumber love going on, you’re probably inspired to grow some. There’s no time like the present!
November is a great month for sowing cucumbers. At this time of year when the sun comes out and the days are longer, the soil becomes warm enough for the seeds to germinate with no trouble. Once they germinate, the growing begins, and cucumber plants really thrive during the hot months of December, January and February. They like it fairly dry, with low humidity and good airflow around the plants. Too much moisture on the leaves is not a good thing, so be careful where you aim when you’re watering them. Infrequent and deep watering is best,and as sprinklers can spray water everywhere, including the leaves, you’re probably better off doing some targeted hosing when it comes to irrigation. An application of mulch around the base of each plant is a good idea as well.
Keen on doing some companion planting? Cucumbers grow best besides beans, celery, lettuce, sweetcorn, cabbages, sunflowers, dill, fennel, coriander, and sunflowers. However,as many experienced gardeners will tell you, cucumbers are not too happy when they’re growing in the vicinity of potatoes or tomatoes.
Something else to take into consideration when growing cucumbers is whether you should stake them, or grow them on a trellis. Both growing methods have their advantages, and whatever you decide on, the team at Get Growing can help. We can provide you with garden stakes, made from pine sourced from renewable New Zealand plantations, or trellis panels.
Staked cucumbers are easier to harvest, and many gardeners use our garden stakes for this reason. As the natural tendency of cucumber vines is to climb, placing a stake near each plant as it begins to grow will allow the vines to wrap around the stake and snake up it.
Because cucumbers require quite a bit of room to grow, and if space is limited in your garden, then you might want to use trellis instead of stakes. As cucumbers are climbers,this sort of growing arrangement suits them down to the ground, so to speak.With cucumber vines growing vertically up the trellis, more air can circulate around the plant thereby deterring powdery mildew.
Follow all these steps, and you’ll be harvesting in as little as eight weeks. Cucumbers are prolific growers and each plant can produce anywhere between 10-15 plants. Cucumbers taste best before they get too big, so avoid the temptation to grow giants just to impress your neighbours.
Remember, Get Growing can help you grow healthy and delicious cucumbers with our garden stakes as well as our trellis products. When it comes to quality and durability, they’re pretty cool…nearly as cool as your average cucumber.