Growing cucumber in the veg garden

 

Growing cucumber in the veg garden

I am obsessed with this particular cucumber called ‘La Diva’ which, as you can see, never gets very long. It’s a big, chunky one that is quite short. It’s very sweet, has thin skins and it’s absolutely delicious. This is the middle of October and, as you can see, it’s just hugely prolific. You will get twenty or thirty cucumbers per plant – it’s just so worthwhile.

To talk you through the year, you start by sowing cucumber seeds straight down, not laid flat, because it’s a big seed and it rots off quite easily. I tend to sow them into their own individual pot or perhaps into a coir jiffy. I do that in the last week of February or through March, anytime in that five week period. The cucumbers germinate and put out these huge leaves (you can see what big leaves they have) which means, on the whole, that they are going to grow very quickly. You must not let it get pot-bound. You can pot it on once into perhaps a little 9 cm pot, then pot it on again into a bigger pot, after that you can plant them in the garden. That’s the beauty of this variety, ‘La Diva’, as well as being extremely tasty it’s also very good at growing outside. I don’t like growing cucumbers in the greenhouse because they tend to draw whitefly to my tomatoes – I like to keep my cucumbers and my tomatoes separate, which is why this one is outside.

It grows, as you can see, right up to the top of this seven-foot frame and now the vines are even coming down again and continuing to crop. So, you can see here, it’s the middle of October but it’s still producing little mini cucumbers. I’ll need to make a big batch of cucumber pickle with these because otherwise we’re just not going to get to eat them and they will get frosted in the next two to three weeks. What a fantastic plant; ‘La Diva’ is the best cucumber in the world.

Happy gardening,

Sarah

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