Newsletters & Company News
Greenhouse Newsletter - Growing Cukes in the Greenhouse
July 1st, 2006:
IN THIS ISSUE
Weren't we just shivering through a cool Spring? Suddenly, a sweltering July is upon us and I'm still trying to get caught up in the garden. My greenhouse has been thoroughly cleaned and emptied for the summer months. This Fall I have decided to grow organic.tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers will all be grown in my greenhouse beginning in September. In our June Newsletter we gave tips on raising greenhouse tomatoes. Read on for tips on raising cucumbers in your greenhouse. Coping with allergies can be difficult for gardeners and we have supplied a list of plants that are allergy friendly.
Cucumbers can easily be grown in your greenhouse as they are rapid growers and early producers. Seedless varieties are best suited to greenhouse growing because they do not require pollination. The pickling and slicing cucumbers normally grown outside are not good choices for greenhouse growing as they require insects for pollination. Seeds should also be selected based on space and use requirements. It's important to purchase the proper cucumber seeds to begin with.
Seeds should be started in their permanent pots. Recommended pot size is 2 to 5 gallons, and as always, use a good quality soil and clean pots. Cucumbers do take up room and you will need to allow 6 to 9 square feet of bench space for each plant.
Temperature for germination must be near 80 degrees F, and after germination at 70 degrees F.
Remove all lateral branches, flowers and tendrils until the plant has 8 to 10 leaf nodes. Train the plant to a single stem and remove the bottom leaves as new leaves form. Train the plant to grow up a trellis that measures about 5 feet for best results. Once the plant reaches the top of the trellis, it can be allowed to grow another 30 inches and hang from the support wire.
Feed your cucumbers weekly. The amount of water the cucumbers need will depend on a variety of factors. In mid-winter, the plants may only need to be watered every 10 days, while plants in mid-summer may need up to ¾ gallon of water daily. Use warm water (not below 65 degrees F) if possible as cold water can chill the roots and slow plant growth.
If all goes well, you can expect 15-25 lbs. of fruit over a 4 month harvest.
If you are like me, a trip to the garden can trigger a sneeze, a runny nose, irritated eyes and itchy skin. Millions of North Americans suffer from allergies and the main culprit is the yellow pollen dust released into the air by plants.
Most allergy producing plants are males, and they are widely used as they don't make a mess with seeds, fruits or pods. Choose female plants instead, not only are they valuable because they don't produce pollen, but they also clean pollen from the air.
Always wear gloves, avoid rubbing your eyes, and wash your hands as soon as you are finished your yard work. You may want to use separate clothes for gardening and it's a good idea to shower and change clothes as soon as you can.
Here is a list of allergy friendly plants from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:
Apple, Azalea, Boxwood Cherry, Dogwood, Hibiscus, Magnolia, Pear, Plum, Roses, Viburnum, Alyssum, Begonia, Cacti, Clematis, Columbine, Crocus, Daffodil, Dahlia, Daisy, Dusty Miller, Geranium, Hosta, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Impatiens, Iris, Lilac, Lily, Narcissus, Pansy, Petunia, Phlox, Snapdragon, Sunflower, Tulip, Verbena, Zinnia
Here is a list of trees to avoid:
Alder, Ash, Aspen, Beech, Birch, Box Elder, Cedar, Cottonwood, Cypress, Elm, Hickory, Juniper, Mulberry, Oak, Olive, Palm, Pecan, Poplar, Sycamore, Walnut and Willow>
Visit www.aaaai.org for additional information.
I'll be enjoying my garden this month surrounded by my refreshing Coolmist. July and August are perfect for outdoor entertaining, especially when you are serving veggies you've grown yourself! I hope you have a relaxing month too.
A div. of Ecolad Corporation