A CUE FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Kitchen Garden|April 2020

A CUE FOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS
You don’t need a greenhouse to grow delicious cucumbers. Colin Randel, member of the RHS Vegetable Trials Assessment Forum, reveals the best varieties for outdoor growing

Regular trials of vegetables are carriedout at the Royal HorticulturalSociety’s flagship garden, Wisley inSurrey, to assess which are worthy of the coveted RHS Award of Garden Merit (see panel). One of the veg to be given attention last year was outdoor cucumbers. Outdoor cues are often dark green-skinned with short white spines. The flesh should be crisp with no bitterness for salads, slicing and pickling.

HOW THE PLANTS WERE GROWN

The trial plants were sown on April 23 in heated conditions and planted out on June 4, once thoroughly hardened off. The bed where the plants were to be grown was made ready with the addition of sulphate of ammonia (a high-nitrogen fertiliser) and sulphate of potash (a high-potash feed) on May 10. Outdoor cucumbers can be allowed to trail along the ground, traditionally on ridges to aid drainage, or given supports. For the trial four tripods were erected per variety to support the plants and two plants were planted per tripod, so there were eight plants per entry.

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April 2020