How to Grow Cucumbers Outdoors

How to Grow Cucumbers Outdoors

How to Grow Cucumbers Outdoors Cucumber is another crop that is easier to grow than you would think. The only problem is that outdoor cucumbers tend to have much tougher skins than greenhouse varieties. Being on the borderline of hardiness, cucumbers always do best when grown against a sunny wall or fence. One of the best ways of growing them outdoors is in a growing-bag; two or three plants per bag. Pots or tubs filled with potting compost is another good way.

Soil requirements

Not a great success in garden soil unless it is more or less 50:50 soil and compost or manure.

Possible yield

If you’re lucky, 18-20 cucumbers per plant.

Time from Sowing to harvest

3 – 4  months.

Varieties

‘Marketmore’ and ‘Zelna’. Sowing As with tomatoes, even outdoor varieties of cucumber have to be raised in heat in the greenhouse or indoors. Sow two seeds per 2-3in (5-7.5cm) peat pot in mid-April using a good, peat-based seed compost. Pot on into larger pots as necessary.

Transplanting

Because of their susceptibility to frost, cucumbers shouldn’t be planted outdoors until the risk is over -usually late May or early June. Harden the plants off before planting out.

Allow 24in (60cm) between plants growing in the open garden or three plants per standard growing-bag. Plant so that the top of the rootball is half an inch above the surrounding earth or compost, so that the risk of neck rot is reduced to a minimum.

Cultivations

Cucumbers need even more water than tomatoes. Never allow them to dry out. Feed them according to the instruction on the feed packet, or at least twice a week once they start fruiting.

Train them up canes as a single stem until they get to about 6ft (1.8m) tall, then nip the top out to make sure that they don’t over-exert themselves at the expense of size and quality. Another good training system is to fasten bean netting to the wall or fence behind the plants and train two shoots up instead of one. This will mean more feeding and watering of course. If growing the plants along the ground, lay straw down first or cover them with cloches or tunnels. Two shoots per plant are best with this system. These can be encouraged to form by ‘stopping’ (cutting off) the main stem at seven leaves.

Pests and diseases

Cucumbers suffer very few pests or diseases – mildew is likely to be the worst.

Harvesting

Pick the cucumber when the skin has lost most of its wrinkles and before the fruits start to go pale and yellow. They will keep for over a week in the drawer in the bottom of the fridge.

16. March 2011 by admin
Categories: Organics, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: , | Comments Off on How to Grow Cucumbers Outdoors

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: