Yes this post title is a horrendous pun – you’ll see why later…..sorry in advance.
I planted my cucumbers this week (a bit late really they can be planted out from about September onwards in Melbourne), or rather I planted a punnet of Lebanese cucumber seedlings this week that I bought at CEREs. I have also sowed a few (just germinated) seedlings from seeds which were very helpfully labelled ‘Cucumber’ – it will be interesting to see what eventuates. I usually grow Lebanese cucumbers for flavour, size and texture and last year they were far and away the best performing of all the crops I grew. I had a couple of ripe cucumbers ready to pick each day from about December until late March. A perfect amount for salads and my favourite cucumber based preserve – Bread & Butter Cucumbers.
This is how I grow them:
Yes those are black tights (hence the pun) wrapped around three tomato stakes about 30cm apart at the bottom and meeting at the top. As the cucumber plants grow I simply put the growing tip up through the tights and that is sufficient support to keep the plant upright thus saving considerable growing space. Here is a picture of them growing from last year, apologies for the washing in the background – sometimes my peripheral vision when taking photos isn’t great….
These plants are obviously looking past their best but as I mentioned earlier they were fabulously productive. I plant one plant at the base of each stake – so 3 in a row and that’s it. I do feed and water cucumbers pretty regularly throughout the season, usually applying a thick layer of compost mulch after a couple of months of productivity.
This year I have planted out 5 plants – 3 here and a couple elsewhere in the garden, plus I have a few more seedlings to come. I want plenty this year as I ran out of Bread and Butter cucumbers in about July after the kids realised they love them – a sugar and salt thing…..