Welcome to my blog

I was born in Guernsey (but now live in Brittany) and our main industry was growing tomatoes although that industry has now virtually disappeared. Growing tomatoes to a Guernseyman is like wine to a Frenchman, it's in our blood! I do not profess to be an expert, but I have picked up a few tips and techniques which work for me.


Sunday, 17 April 2011

Planting Out Cucumbers

It is said that  'a picture is worth a thousand words' and I think I remember more by seeing than reading. Pictures do seem to imprint on my brain more than words. Which is why I try to include pictures into my post so often. Even the simplest thing like a hole in a pot, you will remember  easier. Which is why you will see a simple picture just like that in my  post today.

So let's start with the hole in the pot, which I am using to plant my cucumber in. Cucumbers are quite susceptible to damping off or root rot. This is sometimes caused by the young delicate stem being too moist. In fact, in last year's post on cucumbers, I had one starting to wilt. I piled up compost around the base of the stem to encourage new roots, and hey presto, in a few weeks my plant had recovered. Which is why I have decided to plant in a pot, with the bottom cut out. I can then water mostly from the bottom, when the roots have grown down into the soil, keeping the compost around the top of the stem slightly drier. Well that's the theory.
I have buried the pot well down into the soil, the only thing  that I should  have done was to make a few holes in the side of the pot, which I will do with the melons that I will plant out later, using the same system.





I did get a slight scorch on the tip of a leaf after transplanting one cucumber. In fact, I thought that I was going to lose the plant, as it wilted slightly for a few days. So I kept it shaded and misted it with water a few times a day to keep it cool. Luckily, as you can see above, it seems to have recovered well. 





If you remember in a previous post, something had eaten the stem of my cucumber, so I had to dump it. Well, what I had not told you, just in case it didn't work was that I potted the head of the plant, and kept it cool and out of the sun. I looked at it a few times, and I was going to dump it a couple of day's ago as it was not looking too healthy, and to be honest I didn't expect it to survive.
This is how it looks this morning, lovely and healthy, and fingers crossed I have saved the plant, well part of it.

3 comments:

  1. I have decided not to do cucumbers this year as in previous years they have always been very bitter. One year someone said to remove the male flowers, I did this and they were still bitter, another friend who grows lovely cucumbers gave me some spare seedlings and they still tasted horrid when grown in my garden. All my tomatoes, courgettes, melons etc are planted outside in our sunny potager. Any ideas as to what I am doing wrong? Thanks.

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  2. Hi Jucqui
    It could be because they are grown in the garden, cucumbers like constant heat, so a bit of a cold spell can give bitter cucumbers. The other thing is uneven watering, or too little water.
    Some varieties it recommends that you should remove the male flowers on the stem. I like Telegraph F1 , which always seems to be fine. Also some varieties are for pickling, the shorter fat ones. I tend to avoid this type just in case, as they can be bitter.

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  3. Thanks for this Steve - it could have been any or all of these! A cold spell and possibly too little water, as it is water butt and watering cans only we do treat them a bit mean, tomatoes and courgettes don't seem to mind, the cucumbers do!

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