Grow Cool Cucumbers

Cucumbers are such a versatile vegetable with so many uses – sliced, grated, in salads and soups.  Even used as a beauty product to help tired eyes!  Crispy, crunchy and so cool!

Planting

Plant seeds in a warm garden bed well prepared with manure and organic fertiliser – Qld Organics Blood & Bone is perfect!  To plant seeds make a hole with your finger 1-2cm deep, 50cm apart and drop 4-5 seeds in each hole.

Cucumber should be planted in well-drained soil which receives sun for most of the day. Include some support such as lattice, or tepee structure.  If you are growing in a raised garden bed, plant your cucumbers on the edge so they can trail down the sides.

Fertilise

Once each plant gets to the top of the support structure, pinch out the growing tips to encourage branching. Cucumbers will thrive in warm weather, and they will need plenty of food to keep them going.

Dress the soil with a good controlled release fertilizer such as Organic Xtra.  Cucumbers may need a little helping hand using the provided support, so lift any scrambling vines and guide them to where they need to go.

Bees!!!

Try to encourage Bees to your cucumber patch as they are essential in pollinating the female flowers which will ensure the development of fruit.  Flowers are bright yellow and soft to touch, they closely resemble those of Pumpkin and Zucchini.

Harvesting

Pick your cucumbers as soon as they are ripe, usually around 15-20cm long depending on the variety. Fruit should be picked as soon as it is ripe this will encourage the plant to produce new fruit.  Pickling cucumbers can be harvested when they are over 5cm in length.

TIP: Don’t wait until the cucumbers are supermarket size as they probably won’t taste as nice.

 Australian Cucumber Varieties

Pick the right variety for your yard and climate, you will soon be as cool as a cucumber!

Continental – The longest and thinnest member of the cucumber family. Dark green in colour, the skin has shallow grooves running parallel from top to bottom.

Long White – Fast grower.  White fruit to 18cm in length, with “apple” flavour.

Lebanese – Small cucumbers, similar in size to zucchini. They have dark green, tender skin with juicy flesh and small seeds.

Mini White – Produces an abundance of white, 10cm cucumbers.

Space Master – Nice and compact, won’t take over the garden!