How to speed up the start of the cucumber season? Butter may just be the solution
It may seem too early for cucumbers, but do not be fooled. The traditional and established deadline of May 15 no longer applies, unless you live somewhere in the mountains. It pays to take a little risk when you live elsewhere because you may get an early harvest.
So, when is the D-Day? Our ancestors have already answered the question and here is a clever proverb they gave us – “When half of April is around, cucumbers go in the ground“. So, start sowing on or around April 25th. Just to remind you should only use encrusted seeds.
Cucumber mould as the main culprit
The late sowing date was not a problem before because the harvest was not threatened by the much-feared mould. You can actually prevent the occurrence of mould by sowing cucumbers earlier. Know, that incrustation does not protect cucumbers against mould as some people think. In fact, these are germs of fungi and bacteria that normally exist in the soil and could potentially destroy the seeds before they get the chance to germinate. Young plants on the other hand can deal with the bacteria pretty well.
Our advice: Sow cucumbers in a groove where you have previously poured water. Then cover the seeds with a dry soil. If the weather is warm, cucumber seeds shall come out within a week.
Thanks to a mesh and foil, you may enjoy much earlier harvest. If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, place a small tunnel out of mesh and foil over the rows of cucumber seeds (you may also use white non-woven fabric). The ideal width is between 50-70 centimetres and height between 20-30 centimetres. Cover the open ends of the tunnel with soil and leave the cucumbers to their fate.
Do not remove the soil until mid-May. With a little luck, you may see the first flowers within three weeks. Choose parthenocarpic varieties that are able to produce fruit even without pollination for this type of growing. Nothing will happen if you forget to remove the foil. This applies to all varieties suitable for greenhouses and hotbeds (for example the popular Alhambra, Orpheus or Zuzana).
Our advice: If you do not have enough space to grow cucumbers, try multi-fruit varieties. These plants can produce up to three fruits behind each leaf. These varieties are sold in stores under the name “tassels” and include, for example, varieties such as Corvette or Everest.
Cucumber: Photo Pixabay
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