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Growing cucumbers

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default Growing cucumbers

Post by Dandelion on 23rd July 2015, 8:25 pm

Having read all the good things about Dragons Egg cucumbers, I thought I might try growing some (or another small variety) next year. I've grown tomatoes for about 40 years, but never cucumbers, so would appreciate some advice. I would be growing them in large pots in the greenhouse - would this be enough soil? And do you have to support them? Any other things I need to know?

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 24th July 2015, 11:24 am

Dandelion wrote:I would be growing them in large pots in the greenhouse - would this be enough soil? And do you have to support them? Any other things I need to know?

Will large pots be enough ? Well, depends how large is large !  I have gradually increased the size of pots I use for various things.  This year I am growing Cuicino (a very successful small fruited glasshouse type) in scrounged 18L pots - previously I have had success with 15L, but I reckon the bigger the better for greedy plants like cucmbers.  It also allows you headroom to top them up when they are looking a bit faded and yellow; I've used a homemade compost with a fair bit of hoof and horn, as sell as seaweed meal added for this.

In the greenhouse I use canes fixed to wires for support; I tie them in to the canes, then train along the wires when they reach the top of the cane.  I let side shoots only grow to a couple of leaves to keep things under control.

My Dragon's egg are in a cold frame in the allotment though with a couple of bush champion; they are doing OK there but I imagine would like to be warmer.  There I have just let them scramble around on the ground without support, which they seem happy to do, but the fruit is less clean and harder to find !

Other tips ?  I have mentioned before that I found some useful hints from Kitchen Garden magazine:  pot on promptly, never allow their growth to stall by becoming pot bound.  They don't do so well on tomato feed (high PK), they do better with a general purpose feed with more nitrogen.  Finally, they prefer a humid environment.  This can be tricky if they share a greenhouse with tomatoes, because you don't want to make it so humid as to favour Botrytis cineria rotting the tomato stems.  If they are grown in a less humid atmosphere, watch out for spider mite, which is fairly likely and causes yellowing and little dead patches on the leaves.  They always seem to get at my glasshouse plants eventually, but usually by then the outdoor ones can take over.
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Post by Dandelion on 24th July 2015, 7:28 pm

Brilliant! Thank you.

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Ploshkin on 28th July 2015, 11:19 am

As a not very good cucumber grower (but doing well this year following the advice of my feeding guru aka Chilli Head) I would recommend starting with one that produces half size fruits. I actually find those more useful anyway as there are usually only 2 of us eating them.
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Post by Dandelion on 28th July 2015, 8:21 pm

Good idea!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Chilli-head on 29th July 2015, 1:14 pm

Ploshkin wrote:As a not very good cucumber grower (but doing well this year following the advice of my feeding guru aka Chilli Head) I would recommend starting with one that produces half size fruits.  I actually find those more useful anyway as there are usually only 2 of us eating them.  

I hope it is my advice that has helped, and not that it just is a good year for cucumbers !

I agree about the half sized cucumbers. Much more useful unless you have a big family. I'm growing 3 types, Cuicino in the greenhouse, Dragon's egg and Bush Champion in a cold frame. All are smaller types, Bush champion being about 3/4 sized, Cuicino about 1/2, and Dragon's egg about 1/4 sized. I'll put the Cuicino and Dragon's egg on the "grow again" list, but Bush Champion, like many outdoor types, is a bit too thick skinned for my family's taste, though good for Tzatziki. where you peel and seed them anyway.

I currently have a drawer full of Dragons eggs in the fridge !
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