Monday 26 October 2020

In My Seed Box for 2021 - Cucumbers


In the past I have grown a number of different cucumbers but the ones I keep coming back to and grow each year are Burpless and Marketmore. In 2018 I was introduced to Esmarald from Mr Fothergills as John had started off a load of cucumbers and was looking to distribute the love, by giving his babies to anyone on the plot that was happy to give them room rather than compost them. 

I have to say Esmarald out grew Burpless Tasty Greens in 2018 and thankfully John had an excess again in 2019. I saved seeds in 2019 and will be growing from saved seeds, which is good because at the moment Mr Fothergill's web site says sold out.

Cucumber seeds if kept in ideal conditions should last between 10 - 15 years.

Review Of Seed Stocks in Zippy Bags

Achocha Fat Baby - from Seed Circle saved 2014
Akito F1 - 8 Seeds - Lidl -  Sow By 12/2015
Burpless Tasty Green - Kings Seeds - Sow by 09/2016
Burpless Tasty Green - 15 Seeds - Seed Parade £1.39 - Sow By 06/2022
Esmarald - Self Saved 2019 Original seed from Mr Fothergill's - Say Sow by 2022
Marketmore - Suttons - Suttons Seed - Sow By 2013
Marketmore - Mr Fothergill - On Magazine 2017

Review Of Seed Stocks in Packets

La Diva - 10 Seeds - £2.99 - unwins - Sow By 9/2018 
La Diva - 10 Seeds - £1.00  - Wilko - Sow By 2021
Saladin - 5 Seeds - On Magazine - Marshalls Best before 7/2017

Removed from the seedbox and will be offered to other plot holders who may want to give them a go. 

The reason these cucumbers have not been used historically is because you have to remove the male to prevent pollination which may cause bitterness and quite frankly I would not know how to identify the male and female and it seems extra agro when there are varieties that don't need this to be done   

Socrates F1 -  3 Seeds - £ 3.00 - Johnsons (Wilko 30p Sale) - Sow By 2021  
Swing F1     -  5 Seeds -  £ 2.55 -  Mr Fothergill's - Sow By 2023 
Suprina F1   - 5 Seeds -  £ 2.99  -  DT Brown       - Sow by 12/2024

New!  Cucumber Suprina F1  - A remarkable variety that performed very well in trials. Suprina F1 is the first outdoor 'Beth Alpha' type to be predominantly female. Bred to provide an abundance of top-quality flavoursome fruit, which has shiny smooth skin and average 12-14cm in length. Plants show good resistance to common diseases including powdery mildew. Pick regularly to encourage further fruits.

New Cucumber Passandra F1 - 4 Seeds - Organic Gardening Seeds -  £3.99

Alphabetical Listing
                                                  Sowing        Plant Out      Harvest
Achocha Fat Baby                     Mar - Jul                            Jun - Oct
Akito F1                                     May                                    Jul - Oct
Burpless Tasty Green                Feb - May                          Jun - Oct
Esmarald                                   Feb - May                          Jun - Oct
La Diva - unwins                        Feb - May                          Jun - Oct remove male flowers
La Diva - Wilko                          Feb - May        Jun             Jul - Oct remove male flowers
Marketmore - Suttons                Apr - May        Jun              Jul - Oct
Marketmore - Mr Fothergill        Feb-Apr Indoors                 Jul - Oct
.                                                  Apr-Jun Outdoors              Jul - Oct
Saladin - Marshalls                    Apr - May        Jun              Jul - Oct remove male flowers
Suprinja F1 - DT Brown             Feb - May    May June        Jul - Oct                        

Germination 7 - 21 Days

Growing in the greenhouse

Start cucumbers off by sowing seeds from mid-February to mid-March if you have a heated greenhouse or similar environment, or in April if you have an unheated greenhouse. Sow seeds on their side, 1cm (½in) deep in pots.

Sowing outdoors

Sow seeds 2.5cm (1in) deep indoors in late April. Alternatively, sow directly outside in late May or early June and cover the soil above the seeds with fleece, a cloche or glass jar. This method can work well in southern regions and in warm summers.
Young plants are also available from garden centres in spring.

Growing indoors

Transfer young plants to 25cm (10in) pots of good potting compost in late March (heated greenhouse), late May (unheated greenhouse). Keep the compost evenly moist – little and often is the best way. You can also use growing-bags but plants will need to be carefully watered and looked after.

Train the main stem up a vertical wire or cane. Pinch out the growing point when it reaches the roof. Pinch out the tips of sideshoots two leaves beyond a female flower (recognisable by tiny fruits behind flower). Pinch out the tips of flowerless sideshoots once they reach 60cm (2ft) long.

Keep the humidity high by watering the floor and, once planted out, feed every 10-14 days with a balanced liquid fertiliser.

Growing outdoors

Either sow seeds or plant out young plants in early June, ideally under fleece or cloches. Any fertile garden soil in full sun is satisfactory.

Dig in up to two bucketfuls of rotted organic matter, such as garden compost, and rake in 100g per square metre (3½oz per square yard) of general purpose fertiliser.

Pinch out the growing tip when the plants have developed seven leaves. The developing sideshoots can be left to trail over the ground or trained up stout netting. Pinch out the tips of flowerless sideshoots after seven leaves.

For the varieties I grow, Don't remove the male flowers, and keep the soil constantly moist by watering around the plants – not over them. 

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