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Growing Cucumber

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
                  P P P

(Best months for growing Cucumber in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

October: After risk of frost

  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 61°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 16 - 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Cut fruit off with scissors or sharp knife.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Nasturtiums, Beans, Celery, Lettuce, Sweet Corn, Cabbages, Sunflowers, Coriander, Fennel, Dill, Sunflowers
  • Avoid growing close to: Potato, Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers on plant (commons.wikimedia.org - Rasbak - CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Young plant
  • Female flower with baby fruit
  • Male flower

Cucumbers can be started in small peat pots then transplanted when weather is suitable. A trailing plant which will grow tendrils as it gets bigger. Lebanese cucumbers are best picked about 10 -12 cm (4 - 5 in) and eaten whole. Gherkins are usually picked 5 or 6 cm (2 - 3 in) long and pickled. They have a prickly skin. Apple cucumbers are round with a pale, almost white, smooth skin.

Grow in full sun. Grow up a trellis or framework to save space and keep the fruit clean. Needs ties to support it at first. Water regularly and fertilise to encourage growth.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Cucumber

Pick frequently before the fruit become too big.
Use raw in salads, peeled if preferred.

Your comments and tips

11 Nov 19, Bhaidas Bhula (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Sometimes the cucumber plant only has male flowers. Is this normal? and sometimes the female flower forms a cucumber and shrinks and falls off.Why is this?
11 Nov 19, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Most curcubits (cucumbers, courgettes etc) produce male flowers first. If the weather is cool, no female flowers appear for a while. If the immature cucumber falls off it has not been fertilised. If there are not many bees around, you can use a soft artist's brush or cotton bud, to transfer some pollen from the male stamens to the female flower.
14 Sep 19, Kirsty (New Zealand - temperate climate)
What cucumbers are suitable for growing in hanging baskets?
17 Sep 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
A plant needs a preferred amount of soil (nutrient) to grow a reasonably decent crop. Without knowing what size pot you have I always question whether people use a big enough pot for what they want to grow. For myself I would not try to grow cucumbers in a pot smaller than 500-600mm diameter and 300mm deep.
16 Sep 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
What is the difference between growing in hanging basket and on trellis. Probably grow any kind. Try apple cucumbers - a lot more taste.
07 Sep 19, maxine (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Can Cucumbers be grown in large garden pots?
09 Sep 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Yes - have good fertile soil to start with and make sure you water them regularly.
22 Aug 19, Alicia (New Zealand - temperate climate)
If your harvest is small then you could try hand pollination to ensure a larger harvest, as no pollination means no fruit.
26 Aug 19, Anon (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hand pollen in the morning as the flower is shut in the arvo.
16 Mar 17, Margaret McDonald (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Why are the skins (of Lebanese cucumbers) so tough?
Showing 1 - 10 of 14 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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