I have eight cucumber plants in all - four each of "Melen F1" and "Iznik F1" - both Lebanese or cocktail types, whose fruits only grow to about 6" / 15cm in length.
However, the plants are getting quite big now and it is time they were planted out, or at least began their process of hardening-off. I'm feeding them regularly with Baby Bio plant food, because there can't be much nutrition left in the compost in their tiny 3" pots.
Last year it took my cucumbers a long time to get going, because I think I planted them out too early and they hated the cold conditions, so this year I'm being more careful. I had been hoping to put them out in my big Woodblocx raised bed, this weekend, with protection from some bell-cloches, but with night-time temperatures still in single figures I think this might be premature. Instead I will put them outside in one of the mini-greenhouses during the day and bring them in at night, for at least a while longer. Maybe by the end of next week things will have improved?
In due course I plan to have two sets of 3 plants each, growing up wigwams of bamboo canes, with one plant of each variety held back in reserve - as is my normal practice. Last year my "Iznik" plants grew a lot taller than the info on the seed packet had led me to believe, so this time I will probably provide them with 6-foot canes instead of 4-foot ones. (That's if I have any canes left over after building the wigwams for the beans!).
On a totally different subject, since several of you expressed an interest in Good King Henry when I wrote about it the other day, I would like to show you some photos of it being prepared for culinary use. (Just don't build your hopes up concerning its culinary merits!)
|As harvested. Lots of leaf - use like spinach|
|Trimmed - stand the shoots in water until ready to use. They wilt quickly|
|Ready for cooking- stems are a bit like PSB|