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Growing Cucumber in Victoria

Introducing Cucumber

Cucumbers are a delicious warm-season crop. They are best grown vertically in rich soil. Plant them in a spot where they’ll have some protection from the afternoon sun and try to keep their leaves dry.

Classic Mistakes

Cucumbers are prone to fungal diseases, so try not to water their leaves. If you must water the leaves, do so in the morning, so that that can dry quickly as the day warms up.

Sunlight

Grow in: Partial Shade - Partial Sun

Cucumbers like a lot of sun, but the fruit can get sunburned if the temperatures soar too high. They’ll appreciate some shade during the hottest parts of the afternoon.

Soil Preparation

Dig in some compost and well-rotted manure. Cucumbers are happiest in rich, well-draining soil. They’ll do well in almost any soil as long as it doesn’t become waterlogged, but the better the soil is to start, the less feeding they’ll need through the season.

Sowing Seed

Sow seed: September-January
Sowing depth: 10-20mm

Cucumbers can be grown along the ground or vertically. If you’re growing them on the ground, then they’re usually grown on mounds to help with drainage, but during the hot, dry Victorian summers, drainage isn’t usually a problem. If you’re growing in raised beds, then the vines can also be allowed to trail over the edges of the bed.

If you’re planning on growing them vertically; train them up tee-pees or lattices. Space the plants according to the instructions on the package. Plant two or three seeds into each hole. Once the seedlings are up, thin them out and only keep the strongest ones.

Planting

Plant seedlings: September-February

Take care when handling the seedlings and water them in well to help them settle in. Cucumbers can be grown along the ground or vertically. If you’re growing them on the ground, then they’re usually grown on mounds to help with drainage, but during the hot, dry Victorian summers, drainage isn’t usually a problem. If you’re growing in raised beds, then the vines can also be allowed to trail over the edges of the bed.

Care

Train your plants onto the structure you have chosen. In some cases you may need to tie the vines in at first to help them up their supports. Pinch out the growing tips to encourage them to branch out more.

Watering

Cucumbers need lots of water, but they do prefer the soil to dry out a bit between waterings. Where possible, water only the roots and take care not to wet the leaves. Cucumbers are prone to a range of fungal diseases and keeping the leaves dry and well-ventilated helps to avoid infection.

Feeding

Cucumbers are heavy feeders. Give them a balanced, organic fertiliser every few weeks.

Mulching

Give cucumbers a thick layer of organic mulch. This will help to keep their roots cool and moist. Lucerne, sugar cane and pea straw are all good options. Remember, you should only add mulch once your seeds are up and the plants are well established.

Harvesting

Harvest: 8 to 10 Weeks After Planting

Different types of cucumbers are harvested at different stages for their specific uses. Harvest your cucumbers as soon as they are ripe, Regular harvesting will encourage your plants to produce more. Use a sharp knife to cut the ripe cucumbers away from the vine.

What to Plant Now

What to do about Powdery Mildew?

Milk spray or baking soda solution work well and can be sprayed on affected plants.

What to do about Snails and slugs?

Lay down grit, like eggshells or silica sand or create barriers around your plants. Remove any slugs or snails that you see.

What to do about Aphids?

Spray with soap spray weekly until the problem is under control.
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