The Cucumber is classed as an annual vegetable vine. It is fast-growing and an easy to grow warm season crop in temperate and subtropical zones. For the tropics, the dry season is preferable.
Usually grown as a sprawling vine, the cucumber, with its tendrils will also happily grow up a trellis or teepee. This is advised as the fruit can be spoilt if left lying on the soil. It also helps to maintain good airflow around the vine, which will in turn prevent any fungal problems getting a hold. Train your cucumber vines by pinching out the apical bud and encouraging more side shoots.
Full sun, good drainage, a soil pH of 6 to 7.5 along with a compost-enriched soil (ActivGrow Soil Improver is ideal) are essential for maximum cucumber production. Cucumbers also require consistent watering.
Picking your cucumbers often will encourage more flowers and fruit. If you leave them on the vine too long, they will become hard, dry and bitter.
High humidity and shaded growing locations are the main causes of powdery mildew on cucumber vines. Make sure plants are grown in airy, sunny positions and avoid overhead watering in the afternoon/evening. Use a registered organic fungicide if an outbreak occurs.
Did you know?
The term cool as a cucumber: meaning calm and composed, self-possessed. This idiom may be based on the fact that in hot weather the inside of the cucumber remains cooler than the air and cool to touch. This may be due to its high-water content.
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