Cucumbers & Tomatoes

Growing Cucumbers & Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Cucumber can be grown indoors, in a greenhouse environment or they are right at home in the outdoors veggie patch or even in pots for some varieties!

Sowing:

Sow directly where they are to grow in clumps of 2-3 seeds, or indoors in a seedling tray, transplanting in the garden after the risk of frost has passed. Thin to strongest 1 or 2 seedlings per position.

Growing:

Keep the soil evenly moist - little and often is the best way. Ensure the soil has been well-prepared with organic matter & compost. Build the soil into low mound & sow at the top of the mound. Feed plants every 10-14 days once planted out with a balanced liquid fertiliser, changing to a high potash one once the first fruits start to set.

Pinch out the growing tip when the plants have developed five or six leaves. The developing side shoots can be left to trail over the ground or trained up stout netting. Pinch out the tips of flowerless side shoots after five or six leaves. Don't remove the male flowers. To prevent powdery mildew, avoid watering over the leaves; water only at ground level.

Male flowers will develop first; followed by the female flowers. Hand pollination may be necessary if fruit is not setting on the female flowers.

Varieties:

Burpless F1, Crystal Apple, Lebanese, Long Green, Marketmore, Pickling Gerkin, Spacemaker.

Harvesting:

Cut the fruits when they are about 6-8in (15-20cm) long using a sharp knife

 

 

 

Tomatoes

One of the most popular garden vegetables - and not surprising due to the numerous varieties available now. From the small-fruited cherry types to the monster beefsteak forms; tomatoes come in all shapes, sizes & colours – there is a variety to suit every kind of garden.

Sowing:

In temperate climates, sow indoors from mid-winter using either seed trays, peat pellets or small pots. Once two true leaves have formed they can be planted out, provided the risk of frost has passed. For outdoor cultivation sow in late September to December.

Growing:

Transfer to 23cm pots, growing-bags or plant 45-60cm apart outside when the flowers of the first truss are beginning to open; plants for growing outdoors should be hardened off first. Tie the main stem to a vertical bamboo cane or wind it up a well-anchored but slack sturdy string. Remove the side shoots regularly when they are about 2.5cm long. Some varieties (such as Tiny Tim) are grown as bushes requiring no pinching out of side shoots and no support; Marmande is grown as a bush but does need support. Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. Feed every 10- 14 days with a balanced liquid fertiliser, changing to a high potash one once the first fruits start to set. Remove yellowing leaves below developing fruit trusses. Once the plants four trusses remove the growing point of the main stem at two leaves above the top truss.

Varieties:

Big Beef, Black Russian, Grosse Lisse, Moneymaker, Mortgage Lifter, Roma VF, Rouge de Marmande, Sweet 100, Tiny Tom, Tommy Toe, Black Cherry Organic, Cherry Roma Organic, Siberian, Moneymaker organic, Tigerella Organic, Tommy Toe Organic

Harvesting:

Start picking when the fruit is ripe and fully coloured. At the end of the growing season lift the plants with unripe fruit and either lay them on straw under cloches or hang them in a cool shed to aid ripening. Or you can pick the green fruit and store in a drawer next to a banana.