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How to Grow Cucumbers in Irelands Vegetable Gardens


 
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James Kilkelly
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Joined: 30 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:26 pm    Post subject: How to Grow Cucumbers in Irelands Vegetable Gardens Reply with quote

How to Grow Cucumbers!
By Terry Blackburn

Growing Cucumbers
All members of the Cucumber family (Gherkins, Melons, Marrows and Pumpkins) have three major requirements - warmth, moisture and a rich soil containing plenty of organic matter. They are not hardy, though some varieties are suitable for outside growing but it does depend on your area and weather conditions.

Soil Preparation for Outdoor Varieties
Cucumbers prefer soils containing plenty of organic matter; they do best in positions where there is shelter from cold winds and they must have a sunny site. When preparing the ground, add plenty of manure and compost where the plants are to grow. Begin by digging a trench 9 in. (228mm) deep put in the manure then dig another putting the soil from this into the first trench.
This will form a ridge; the cucumbers can be planted into the ridges, 3 ft. (90cm) apart.

Sowing Under Cover
Sow the seed mid March through to late May putting the seeds into trays or small pots ½ in. (12mm) deep, at a temperature of 70 to 75 deg F. (21 to 24 deg C.) germination takes 3 - 15 days at these temperatures. Later transplant the seedlings singularly into 5 in. pots. Gradually reduce the temperature down to 65 f. (18 C.) If you are growing the outdoor varieties begin to harden them off before putting the young plants into cold frames at the end of May. Plant them out after about two or three weeks along the ridges when the chance of frost has passed.

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Greenhouse Growing
When the seedlings have reached the four-leaf stage re-pot into either large pots or grow-bags. If you are using grow-bags allow three plants per bag.
Train the main stem up wires to give the plant support. Stretch training wires from end to end of the greenhouse12 in. 30cm) apart and 12 in. (30cm) from the glass; tie strings every 2 ft. (60cm) at right-angles to the wires, train the leader growths towards the ridge of the house. Tie side shoots to the wires and stop at second leaf; stop sub-laterals at first leaf. Give them shade in sunny weather.


Cucumber, photo / pic / image.

Planting Outdoors
Water the pots well before planting out. Avoid holding the plants by their stems as they are easily bruised causing them irreparable damage. If the weather is cool cover each plant with a cloche for the first week to give them a little warmth and protection. One of the best methods I find is to use a half of a clear plastic 5 litre mineral bottle. Cut in half, the bottle makes two excellent cloches. The top half, whilst giving protection also allows air and moisture through the neck onto the plants.

General care
Cucumbers require plenty of water so that they are able to grow and fully develop, soak the roots thoroughly and regularly. Greenhouse grown plants should be sprayed during hot weather to maintain a high humidity, and fed weekly with a good liquid fertiliser. Those growing outdoors must be given extra protection against the surface roots drying out; grass clippings can be used as mulch. They are generally trouble free if the summer is a good one, however slugs can sometimes be a problem; to be on the safe side position a few slug traps around the base of the plants.

Male and female flowers are produced, but male flowers are picked off as they appear, this is to prevent pollination of the females for pollinated female flowers produce bitter cucumbers with large seeds.
Just as soon as the first fruits are about 3 in. (76mm) long, begin to give the plants a weekly feed of liquid fertilizer.

Harvesting
Cut the fruits as soon as they ready, the size will depend on the variety which you are growing. They can be cut regularly for this will encourage the plant to produce more fruit. Cucumbers keep well, so they can be cut and kept for a while without coming to any harm.

Terry Blackburn. Internet Marketing Consultant, living in South Shields in the North-East of England. Author and Producer of blog http://www.lawnsurgeon.blogspot.com Author of "Your Perfect Lawn," a 90 Page eBook devoted to Lawn Preparation, Lawn Care and Maintenance.

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monkeynic
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PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I planted two cucumber plants that I bought from B&Q (mine never germinated). But they have now died, they were tied and supported but the stem weakened and both have now died. Sad I am contemplating buying another one or two. Is there any advice you can give me? They were in a grow bag and surrounded by egg shell, no sign of slug damage.
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Charles_Dimmock
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good article as always.

I have a cucumber plant and it's just starting to show signs of flowering, how do I know which is male/female?
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monkeynic
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

female flowers have a small cucumber behind them just like courgettes.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a lot of confusion about pollinating or not pollinating cucumbers...

Some varieties MUST be pollinated whereas others SHOULD NOT be pollinated.

I don't know of any definite way of telling which is which, without looking up the variety name, or getting definite instructions from the seed packet. Some of the packets just have generalised instructions that are not specific to the variety in question.

I think in general the smaller bush varieties of pickling and salad cucumbers do need it, whereas the traditional long green vining types do not, but I don't think that's a hard and fast rule.

I'd love it if anyone could shed more light on this.

Thanks!

Andrew

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I planted two cucumber plants that I bought from B&Q (mine never germinated). But they have now died, they were tied and supported but the stem weakened and both have now died. I am contemplating buying another one or two. Is there any advice you can give me? They were in a grow bag and surrounded by egg shell, no sign of slug damage.
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I wonder if maybe you tied the strings too tightly around the plants stems?

If the stems are turning brown / black at soil level you may be over watering the plants, cucumber need a lot of water, but don't like water logged soil.
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