Cool as a cucumber
Few foods are as cool as cucumber and the fruits have traditionally been used to heal and soothe an irritated skin, whether from the effects of sun, wind, or otherwise.
Since ancient times the juice has been used to make the skin white and soft, while today cucumber juice is still used in commercial cosmetic preparations. But it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. A quick remedy
| for puffy eyes and eye strain is to place a slice of cucumber over each eye and rest in a darkened room for 5-10 minutes. Your eyes will thank you, especially if you spend hours in front of a computer screen, and you can forget about expensive and largely ineffective commercial eye lotions.
Cucumber juice can be safely applied to the skin, so the next time you find yourself fossicking through the cupboards for something to relieve sunburn, remember nature’s cooling fruit. Relief may be in your fridge.
will climb up to 2m high with support. Without training they sprawl along the ground in all directions!
The first year I grew cucumbers they took over my greenhouse. Now I train them to grow up strings, pinching out any lateral shoots from ground level up to about 50cm. It’s much tidier, uses space better, we get better fruit, and there’s less disease thanks to more air circulation.
Initially I tie them to the string, but after that the tendrils do the work for me. They can also be trained up a trellis.
Side shoots are best nipped out at 15-20cm long, allowing cucumbers to develop. Check them at least twice a week.
Bush cucumber varieties are slightly earlier to mature and easier to care for and harvest, spreading to just 60-100cm, eg Spacemaster.