Cucumber

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[scientific name]

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Quick Reference

Optimum Soil Temperature
Days to Germination
Days to Harvest
Direct Sow or Transplant
Distance Apart
Soil pH
Annual/Biennial /Perennial 

History

Native to India – dating back well before 600BC

Astringent – used to tighten pores, soothe itches and sunburn.

Botanically they are a fruit

Like good soil with a relatively high pH.  Lots of warmth and water.

Do best in temperatures over 21 degrees C

Seeds need warmth to germinate

Start inside in individual pots or use bottle cloches

Plant out once two or three true leaves appear

Water – like a good soaking

Pick regularly and vine will produce over a long time

Cucumber

Cucumis sativus

Gerkin, Apple cucumber

Cucumbers must have heat and sun

Frost tender

Hate wet and boggy soils

Popular in glass houses

Need support and frotection from winds

Raise in pots and transplant

Free draining soil and ventalation

Fungus – remove affected plants

Cut cucumbers when they are ready.  THe move you harvest the more you’ll get

Growing

Storing harvested cucumber:

Seed Saving:

Maintenance

Feeding:

Fun Facts

Problems

Botrytis, grey mould – flowers and fruit rot.  Usually strikes in humid conditions

Downy mildew – leaves become blotched and yellow, sometimes mould will appear on undersides. Can be worse in cool, moist conditions.

Wilting of leaves – large leaves loose moisture in warm weather. Mulch and water frequently.

Excessive leaf growth – excess Nitrogen

Fruit yellow and bitter – over-maturity

Leaf spot – water soaked spots on leaves, leaves crack. Immature fruit may fall. Crop rotation. Destroy diseased leaves and parts of plant.

Anthracnose – Brow-black spots on leaves. Crop rotation (four years)

Shortage of fruit – Poor pollination. Lack of bees or weather too cold. Hand pollination may be possible

Predominance of male flowers. – stress conditions, poor nutrition, low light, low temperature, low water. Ensure plants have food and water.

Damaged skin with pale discoloured patches – Fruit exposed to wet, damp soil. Place a tile or hay under the fruit.

Lack of flavour – not ripe enough.

Pests

Whitefly – undersides of leaves covered with white insects that fly when disturbed. Control may be difficult once a population has build up so best dealt with early on.

Mites – leaves yellow (stippled or mottled), dehydration, fine webbing on underside of leaves. More severe in warm weather.

Companion Planting

BasilBeans, Bush Beans, Borage, Cabbages, Carrots, Corn, Dill, Lettuce, Marjoram, Nasturtiums, Radish, Sunflower, Tansy

NEVER Potatoes, Sage