Growing Cucumber in The Northern Territory
Cucumbers are a delicious warm-season crop that can be grown year-round in Top End. 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.
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. Keeping the plants pest and disease free during the wet season can be very challenging. There are varieties that are more resistant to attacks from pests and diseases which do better during the wet season.
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.
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.
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. 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 cucumbers 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.
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.If you’re growing in raised beds, then the vines can also be allowed to trail over the edges of the bed.
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.
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.
Cucumbers are heavy feeders. Give them a balanced, organic fertilizer every few weeks.
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.
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.
Milk spray or baking soda solution work well and can be sprayed on affected plants.
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.
Spray with soap spray weekly until the problem is under control.
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