If you do not have a heated greenhouse and live in a cooler climate, you can still grow cucumbers if you choose the small variety that can be eaten in salads or pickled.
How to grow ridge cucumber
Dig the land deeply and thoroughly in the autumn and leave it rough for over-winter weathering. Before planting, take out a trench 30cm/12in deep and 45cm/15in wide. Half-fill it with manure and replace the soil to form a ridge. Plants must not be set out until all danger of frost is past. You can raise plants in the greenhouse and set them out in early summer, or sow seeds directly into the ridges at the end of spring covering them with cloches or jam jars. Sow seeds in pairs, and if both germinate, discard the weaker plant. Stop the plants after the sixth leaf and restrict side shoots to the space available. On ridge cucumbers both male and female flowers are needed to ensure fertilization. Water well and after the fruits have begun to set give the plants a high-nitrogen liquid feed.
Harvesting ridge cucumber
Pick cucumbers when 15-20cm/6-8in long fot salads, 5cm/2in long for gherkins.
Pests and Diseases
Cucumber mosaic virus causes mottled leaves and fruits and stunted plants. Keep aphids under control.
Ridge cucumber growing tips
For the hest use of space train the cucumbers up canes. Create a wigwam shape by tieing the canes together at the top. This also keeps the cucumbers out of the reach of slugs. Use soft string, to avoid damage, and tie the plants in as they grow.
– more suitable for large plots
– prefers a sunny location
– sow seeds 1 cm/0.5 inch deep in rows 45cm/18inch apart
– thin seedlings to 60cm/2ft apart
– crop time is 3 months