How best to grow .
vertically up a teepee or trellis or down the side of a raised bed to avoid misshapen fruit and to minimise the risk of pests and diseases.
When temperatures steadily hit the teens, they’ll start climbing and need little training – once they reach the top they’ll climb back down again.
Liquid feed regularly, surround them with a thick layer of mulch and water them deeply once or twice a week so the plants don’t get stressed and the cucumbers don’t become bitter.
Cucumbers produce both male and female flowers on the same plant. Outside, bees will do the pollinating for you.
If you’re growing cukes in a glasshouse, use a soft makeup brush to collect pollen from the male flowers and dust it liberally on the females (these are the ones attached to tiny proto-cucumbers).
Do this mid-morning before pollen loses viability and the flowers close up.
Cucumbers come in many different shapes and sizes, from pale, round apples to long green ones as well as prickly cucumbers for pickling.
There are many varieties available as seeds or seedlings from the garden centre. ‘Lebanese’ and ‘Diva’ are prolific, don’t need peeling and can be picked small or left to grow without becoming bitter, or try ‘Lemon’, ‘Burpless’, ‘Telegraph’ or ‘Tendergreen’.
Gherkins are prolific pickling
The plants are prolific, so one or two plants a family is usually enough.
Cucumbers produce both male and female flowers on the same plant.