Thursday 9 June 2016

Support for the Cucumbers

I think we can now safely discount the possibility of a late frost (famous last words...), so today I have removed the cloche that was protecting my cucumbers, and erected a wigwam of canes for them to climb.

I have used 7-foot canes, because that's what I had. Actually, by the time you subtract the 18 inches or so that the canes are pushed into the soil, it gives the cucumbers about 5 and a half feet of climbing space. I know from previous experience that they will use all of it! The types of cucumber I grow these days produce small fruits, but the vines themselves can get quite big.

I have used four canes, though at present my container only contains three plants - one "Diva", one "Passandra" and one cucamelon. I'm planning to add another cucumber plant when it's ready, and the second of my cucamelons when it gets a bit bigger.

This is the second cucamelon - still very tiny:

I haven't given up completely on the "Mini Munch". It's definitely alive, and has now produced a leaf! Who knows, it might eventually get big enough to be useful...

The other possibility is this:

This one is a sort of "accident". I had received a pack of mixed cucumber seeds from a friend, and I didn't think there was any chance of me growing them because I had plenty of cucumbers already, so I packaged them up with some other seeds that I was sending to another friend. Later on, once the package had been despatched I found just one seed (obviously a cucumber, judging by its shape) on the floor near my chair. I thought "This is serendipity. That seed is destined to live!" So I sowed it and now I have a mystery cucumber plant to add to my collection. If it looks like being any good, it will occupy the 4th cane in my cucumber container.

You will notice that I have run a line of string around the canes, about a foot above the surface of the soil. This will serve two purposes: first, to help support the plants until they begin to grip the canes; and second, to dissuade animals from digging in the container.

The delicate little cucamelon plant is also protected with a couple of short sticks, for the same reason. It looks so fragile, I'm sure a cat's paw could easily crush it.


  1. I`m not into cucumbers Mark but those raised beds of yours really do look the business I may copy them on my veg plot as bending is getting a problem

  2. A mystery seed is so exciting - I can't wait to see what you get from it. My cucumber plants look to be at about the same stage as yours - well, perhaps a bit smaller than those in the large tub - and I'll be putting up their trellises this weekend.

  3. Your cucamelon is the same size as mine. I must do a post on them soon. I hope your mystery plant survives.

  4. I can't wait to see how your cu amelons get on. I have planted 3 over the last few years and I got vines aplenty but only 2 fruit! I'd suggest planting a few pollinator attracting flowers nearby.

  5. That cucumber may be the best one out of the bunch, Mark and you won't know what sort it was. Have you grown cucamelons before if so what did you think of them. We grew them last year.

    1. Yes, that's the problem with a mixed pack at the best of times - let alone when you have just one random seed! And No, I have not grown Cucamelons previously. I have heard mixed reports of them.


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