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Botanical Name: Cucumis sativus
Common Name(s): Cucumbers
Categories: Fruits and Vegetables
When grown naturally outdoors, cucumbers are warm-season vegetables that utilize crosspollination to produce fruits.
Botanical Pronunciation: KOO-koo-mis sa-TEE-vus
Common Pests and Diseases
Aphids, red spider mite and pumpkin fly. (To control pumpkin fly, use a bait solution of Malathion combined with 100g sugar per litre of water.) Powdery and downy mildew in moist weather conditions.
Fruits should be ready for picking 8-10 weeks after sowing.Pick regularly, before the pips start to harden.
Recommended variety: Sweet Crunch is very productive, with smooth-skinned fruit (12 - 15cm long) and a superior flavour. It is mildew-tolerant.
Interesting Planting Ideas
Cucumber can be grown up fences, over pergolas, up sunflower stalks, and love to be near beans, lettuces, radishes and green peppers. Also, they release a root secretion which inhibits weeds.
Keep basins free of weeds and water well during dry weather.Feed every two weeks with liquid fertilizer once flowers appear.
Sow seed directly into the soil where they are to mature.Sow four to five seeds in each basin or planting station and cover with 15mm of soil.When seedlings are ±100mm tall, thin out to three to four plants per basin.They are creeping vines that generally need a trellis or supporting frame, but can also be grown in rows or basins 300mm across and ±1m apart.If grown on a trellis or fence, tie the young vines to the trellis until the tendrils have developed enough to cling on their own.
Prepare the soil well by digging in plenty of compost and/or well rotted manure, plus a handful of general fertilizer per basin or running metre of row.
Cucumbers are used in salads and sandwich fillings.
Medicinal - High in potassium, beta carotene and an enzyme known as erepsin which aids the digestion and helps to dissolve the uric acid that causes kidney and bladder stones, it also regulates blood pressure and is a natural laxative.
Six plants should yield enough for a family of four.Sow every six weeks in the season.