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Cucumber- cucumus sativus
Since I was a little girl my mom always was growing her own cucumbers. And they are so delicious, we are just pick them up and ate. Someone may say that cucumber is a just a cucumber but I will not agree to that. The cucumbers from the shop may taste same but you cannot replace the fresh smell of it. And it’s a great fun to grow them. As I notice in most supermarket and vegetable shops you only can find one kind of the cucumbers. I like to grow the little green ones and cucumbers called “lemon” -which look just like a lemon but taste like the cucumbers. They are easy to grow in the greenhouse or outdoor, and you do not need to grow many as just three plants should feed your family. You will find different kinds of the cucumber:
the frame (greenhouse) - this cucumber are most popular and they are sold in every shop. They are large, smooth skinned and quiet long. They are grown in the greenhouses as they need some protection from cold weather. They are grown as a climbing plant and they fruits can hand down.
ridge- those are not so popular and it’s quiet hard to find them in the shops as a fresh ones. They are short, knobby or spiny skin. They are normally grown in the ridges outdoor. They are mostly grown for pickling.
apple- those are novelty variety and as I say “I have not seen them in the shop yet“. They are round and pale, yellowish-white skin and good texture. Those can be grown in pots or boxes outside in a warm part of the garden or etc…
Ridge cucumbers have the male and female flowers on the same plant and you have to pollinate them to produces any fruits. And to do so - just pick the male flower and stick them in to the female flower. The greenhouse cucumbers also have the male and female flowers on the plant but they do not need to be pollinated as a female produces own fruit. But you have to get rid of any male flowers as they taste bitter and they are unpleasant to eat- they normally swell at one end.
To grow cucumber only what you will need is 3” pot, seeds, john Innes seed compost. Some people grow then in the propagators or warm greenhouse, but the widow seal is good as anything. To sow the seed you have to choice only the plump, clean seeds and throw away any which are flat, discolored or very small. Place one seed in each pot- always place them on edge sideways about 0.5 inches deep. The pots with seed need to be water regularly to germinate. When they pop out from the ground, place them in the nice sunny spot. When you notice white roots on top of the compost it will be time to plant them out in the bigger pot about five inch. And when you will see the roots on top of the compost again they should be ready to plant them out to the prepared bed.
The growing cucumbers plant will need a support. If you will be growing them in the greenhouse you will need to train them on wires or string. And if you will be growing them outside you can use a bamboo cane to train them. If you are growing them in the greenhouse makes sure that the atmosphere in it is humid. You should damp down at least two times a day. You should start to feed them twice a week when the fruits start to swell. And do not forget to pick the male flowers every four days- male flowers are growing upwards, female flowers are growing downwards. The outdoor cucumbers will grow in any well drained soil- but not to acidly. They should grow in raise bed. And the seedlings should be plant out in early summer. They should be water frequently in dry weather and feed the plant twice a week when the fruits start to swell. And do not remove the male flowers, as the female flowers must be fertilized before fruits will develop. You should start to harvest greenhouse cucumbers in early summer and it should continue till autumn. The outdoor cucumbers should start to crop in late summer and they continue produce fruits until first frost.
PESTS AND DISEASES:
Red spider mite-it causes the leaves to turn yellow and will kill the plant. I think the best to get to rid off them is to spray the infected plant with soft soap. Greenfly-these insects may turn the leaves in Yellow green color and wither. To control that use a nicotine smoke. There is also: whitefly, slugs, woodlice, root knot eelworm, botrytis, collar rot, mosaic virus, vertically wilt, gummosis of cucumbers, Sclerotina disease, anthracnose.
Cucumber will reduces any heat or inflammation on the skin, it knows that juice from fresh cucumber can be helpful in heartburn, acid stomach, if place on the eyes it will soothes them;
it is to be believe that cucumber come from India, and it has been grown there for about 3000 years, and it had been introduce in England in the 14th century by Romans.
This is my favorite Cucumber in cream You will need one green cucumber, single cream, salt, pepper, white wine vinegar Slice the cucumber in to nice thin slices, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with few drops of vinegar. Leave for ten minutes and then cover with cream and enjoy it.