Before planting out cucumbers, make sure to dig plenty of compost into the soil down to about spade-depth.
You can start your plants off indoors by sowing in biodegradeable
seedling pots that will ensure roots are not damaged when you plant out the seedlings. Do not plant out before the last frost. Leave a gap of around 40cm between seedlings. If growing from seed you can group sow 3 seeds in each hole to increase chances of germination success. Seeds should be planted 2.5cm deep. If you are planting more than one row then rows should be spaced at around 90cm.
Cucumbers need a good amount of sunshine and warmth. They are a
green house favourite. Ensure that you have adequate space as Cucumbers can rapidly reach around 6 feet. Where space is limited train the plant against a wall, stake or trellice. They may also spread over the ground if you have the space.
A well drained soil is important for cucumbers and so they are often planted in raised beds around 6 inches high. Cucumbers will thrive in a sandy loam soil. Ensure the soil has a good amount of organic matter within it, manure will give the plants the nutrients they require.
Weed regularly but be careful not to go below a couple of cm's with your hoe as you may damage the root system which will slow down plant growth.
Water the cucumbers well each week if you want them to be juicy and firm! Especially while flowering and fruiting otherwise the fruit will be very bitter. The cucumber fruit itself has a very high water content. The plant has both male and female flowers and the female flowers give rise to the cucumbers. You can aid pollination and increase the fruit count by using a cotton bud to transfer pollen from the male flowers onto the centre of the female flowers. The female flowers distinguished from the male flowers as the females have a tiny cucumber at their base.
You can harvest the cucumbers when they are a suitable size, this is normally around 50-60 days after planting. The skin should be dark green in colour, do now wait until the cucumbers have turned yellow as this indicates that they are over ripe and their quality of flavour will decline. Twist the cucumbers off the plant or cut the stalk just above the cucumber tip.

The major insect pests that attack cucumbers include cucumber beetles, aphids, and spider mites. Cucumber beetles can cause the most damage, particularly to seedlings, and carry wilt disease from plant to plant. A floating row cover placed immediately over emerging or transplanted seedlings will decrease cucumber beetle damage by keeping the moths from laying eggs on the plants. Be sure to remove the cover when cucumber plants blossom to allow pollination. Applications of pyrethrum or rotenone will also significantly reduce pest damage.
Cucumbers are susceptible to vine crop diseases including anthracnose, bacterial wilt, downy and powdery mildews, mosaic, and scab disease. Most hybrids today have great disease tolerance. If you do have problems with diseases in your cucumber patch, next year select only disease-resistant types. Also, be sure to keep the area around the cucumber bed clear of plant debris and refrain from working in the patch when the leaves are wet and more susceptible  to fungal and bacterial diseases


    Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.


    April 2013