cucumber Mini Munch

Cool as a Cucumber Growing Outdoors

Do you need a greenhouse to grow cucumbers? I would say not necessarily. Some cucumber varieties are bred specifically for greenhouse cultivation, while others thrive when grown outside. More commonly known as ridge types – Marketmore is popular, or another organic variant is Tanja.

A vigorous outdoor grower, Crystal Lemon is a round variety,

For pickling, Gherkin Adam produces abundant small fruits whilst snack sized Mini Munch or Patio Snacker are compact varieties, suitable for pots 30-45 cm. For novelty try Cucamelon, grape-size fruits taste a bit like cucumbers with a tinge of lime.

Outdoor varieties are weather-dependent; planted out later than those grown  inside,  they should  still produce  a good crop  in warm conditions. For outdoor cucumbers, a wigwam of bamboo canes or netting on tall stakes will provide support for the vines (stems) to  scramble up.  These  cucumbers will  also climb up trellis or  wires attached to  a wall  or fence.  Grown on  either freestanding  or  fixed  supports  make  them  ideal  for  small gardens and  patio containers.

In my experience, do cucumbers grow better in pots or in the ground? I've found that cucumbers grown in containers typically have fewer issues with pests and diseases, so planting them in pots can actually reduce potential problems. However, you do need a good size container and quality growing medium as they are thirsty plants so need watering and feeding frequently. Keep the water off the leaves to reduce powdery mildew, I stand mine in a saucer.

Cucumber seeds should be sown on their side, 1-2cm deep in small pots on a warm, sunny windowsill. Outdoor varieties can be sown outside directly in the ground in late May – early June. Choose a warm, sheltered and sunny spot with fertile soil. If you have it dig in some well-rotted organic matter or home compost.

Cucumbers are ready from mid-summer to mid-autumn with a shorter season if outdoors, as they are dependent on the weather. Cut off each cucumber cleanly with a sharp knife to avoid disease. Harvest regularly as that may encourage further flowers and fruiting.

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