Greenhouse Growing: Cucumber
Growing cucumbers in a greenhouse can be a rewarding and successful endeavor, as the controlled environment can provide the optimal conditions for cucumber plants to thrive, letting you benefit from an abundance of these long, green and refreshing salad items.
Popular Homegrown Cucumber Varieties
There are many different varieties of cucumber plants that can be grown from seed, each with its own unique characteristics and features. Some of the most popular cucumber plant varieties that can be grown from seed in the UK include:
This is a classic cucumber variety that is widely grown in home gardens and greenhouses. It is a high-yielding plant with a long, slender fruit that is ideal for slicing and for using in salads.
Burpless Tasty Green
This is a cucumber variety that is prized for its dark green skin, crisp, juicy flesh and mild flavour. It is easy to digest and has very few seeds, making it a great choice for slicing and eating fresh straight as they come.
Boasting great disease resistance, these F1 cucumbers grow mainly female flowers for a large crop. They are smooth skinned, medium sized, with a succulent middle. This is a compact cucumber plant that is well suited for growing in small spaces such as in a pot in the greenhouse. A popular choice for producing shorter, stocky fruit with a crunchy texture and a sweet, refreshing flavour.
If you enjoy making pickles, there are several cucumber varieties that are specifically bred for pickling. These cucumbers have a small, compact size and a thin, bumpy skin that is perfect for preserving. Some popular pickling cucumber varieties include lili F1 and cornichon de Paris.
By selecting the right cucumber plant for your needs, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of crisp, delicious cucumbers.
Step-by-Step Guide to Optimal Cucumber Growing
Here's our simple yet effective guide on the best way to grow cucumber plants from seed with the use of a greenhouse:
- Start by selecting a cucumber variety that is suitable for greenhouse cultivation, such as the ones above. Look for varieties that are designated as "greenhouse" or "plastic tunnel" cucumbers, as these are specifically designed to be grown in a protected environment.
- Fill seed trays or pots with seed compost or a soil-less growing medium, and plant the cucumber seeds according to the packet instructions. Cucumber seeds should be planted about 1/4 inch deep and spaced about 1 inch apart.
- Place the seed trays or pots in a warm, sunny location in the greenhouse and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Cucumber seeds will typically germinate within 7-14 days.
- Once the cucumber seedlings have reached about 2-3 inches in height, transplant them into individual pots or into the ground within the greenhouse. Choose pots that are at least 8 inches deep and wide to allow enough space for the plants to grow.
- Provide the cucumber plants with plenty of light, water, and nutrients. Water the plants regularly, keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged. Use a balanced fertiliser according to the packet instructions, and consider adding compost or well-rotted manure to the soil to boost fertility.
- Train the cucumber plants to grow vertically by providing them with trellis, stakes, or other support structures. This will help to keep the plants upright and prevent them from getting damaged by the weight of the fruit.
- Monitor the greenhouse temperature and humidity levels to ensure that the cucumber plants are growing in optimal conditions. Cucumber plants prefer a temperature range of 18-21°C and a humidity level of around 50%.
- Once grown to a decent size, simply pick the cucumbers as and when you need them, or pick them altogether if you plan on pickling them all at the same time. Either way, enjoy!
By following these steps, you should be able to successfully grow cucumber plants from seed in a greenhouse environment. With proper care and attention, your cucumber plants should produce a bountiful harvest of delicious, crisp cucumbers.