Tuesday 31 May 2016

Planting Cucumbers

This year, as for the past few years, I am growing a few of the so-called "cocktail" Cucumber plants - the little ones also sometimes known as Lebanese Cucumbers. They are not huge plants and they produce small (approx. 6" / 15cm) fruits.

Photo from 2013

I don't have a greenhouse, but I find that I can grow these plants quite successfully outdoors, as long as I don't start them off too early. This year I sowed mine on April 19th. Initially I kept them indoors, but after they developed their first true leaves I moved them outside into one of the plastic mini-greenhouses. On sunny days I have had them out in the fresh air, acclimatising. Now I have planted a couple in their final location, which is a big container filled with compost-enriched soil:

I am intending to put in at least one more plant, but for the time being I'm only risking two. I'll keep the others in their pots until I'm sure that frost is no longer a risk. I only have a total of 5 plants, and one of those is definitely not going to be any good. This one is the sole example of "Mini Munch", a leftover from last year. Whether it's because it's an old seed, or for some other reason, this one has not developed properly at all and I think it will have to be thrown away.

In any event, the two Cucumbers I have planted out will have their own protection anyway, because I have made sure that they will fit under one of my biggest plastic cloches, at least for the time being:

In a couple of weeks they will have out-grown that cloche, so I'll remove it and at that time give the plants some support by putting in a wigwam of bamboo canes.

As I've probably mentioned at some stage, I'm also having a go with Cucamelons, but don't hold your breath, they are still very tiny and frail-looking. This is the best of the pair!

It doesn't look good, does it? If (and that's a big "if"), either of them begins to look like becoming anything decent, I'll put it / them in the same container as the Cucumbers.

Who else has grown Cucamelons? Are they normally this frail?


  1. Have no experience with cucamelons, so no info to impart, I'm afraid. The one thing I do know is that cucumbers seem to take a bit of time to settle in and take off (as do most veg), so I wouldn't give up hope quite yet. My cucumbers will be going into their bed this week - I've had one casualty that I've reseeded, but otherwise I'm hopeful that this will be a much better cucumber year than last (famous last words, eh?)

  2. Hi Mark...no experience with this breed, but I love to grow cucumbers so that I can pick them small. Do you generally have to worry about frost this late? Here in N.E. Ohio we can have snow in June.

    1. Carol, it's not unusual for us to have frost in the first part of June, so I'm being careful!

  3. I tried growing cucamelons last year, and from what I can remember, mine looked pretty much the same (if not worse). I think they eventually just withered up and died, though I'm not sure if that was fully the plants fault, as I'd kind of lost hope on them at that point! I hope yours recover!

  4. I grew cucamelons in my polytunnel a couple of years back after reading the James Wong book. They too started off a little weal and whimpy but soon grew on and became huge producing loads of fruits. The fruits tasted dreadful in my opinion and nobody in my family thought they were worthy of eating. Never grew them again

  5. It's not really been cucumber weather here for the past couple of days. We have been converts to Mini Munch since Jo - Through the Keyhole - introduced us to them a couple of years ago. It's great just to be able to pick a small cucumber daily and eat it fresh

  6. Cucamelons definitely look like that! I grew 8 plants last year (about 6 plants too many...) and all started out looking frail and pathetic (like yours!). Give them some support and they will shoot up. One thing I noticed was that they seemed to shrug off the cold but it was sun that they loved.


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