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Other Names - Ridge Cucumber, Outdoor Cucumbers…
This variety is suitable for growing outdoors, direct in the ground, in containers or growbags. Perfection cucumber is one of the easiest varieties to grow. As a ridge variety the fruits will have a few spines however not many. An easy to maintain plant with no need to train up canes, simply allow the plant to sprawl across the ground. The cucumbers of Perfection are a good size, juicy and flavoursome.
Suitable For - Vegetable plot, raised beds, container garden,
Sowing Months - April - May
Harvest - June - early October
Cucumber plants need well drained, fertile, moisture retentive soil to thrive. If the soil is particularly poor and lacking in organic material dig a trench 30 cm wide by 30 cm deep and fill with a mix of well rotted manure or compost and soil. Aim for 1 plant per trench. If the soil however is in good condition a top dressing of well rotted manure or compost a few months before planting should be sufficient. Remove any weeds and add some general purpose organic fertilizer 1 - 2 weeks before planting.
|General Information||Sowing & Planting Information|
|Habit||Annual||Module Grown & Transplants|
|Type||Ridge variety||Distance between plants||75 cm|
|Position||Full sun||Distance between rows||100 cm|
|Average height||N/A||Direct Sowing|
|Average spread||150 cm||Sowing distance between plants||75 cm|
|Hardiness||Half hardy||Distance between rows||100 cm|
|Overwintering||No||Sowing depth||1 cm - 1.5 cm|
|Soil Ph||6.5 - 7.0||Germination temperature||15 to 30℃|
|Days to germination||7 - 14 days|
Sow 1 seed per 5 - 7 cm plastic or biodegradable pot at the depth suggested above. Ensure enough heat is introduced for good germination. Once the seedlings have germinated move to an area with good daylight exposure, a windowsill or warm greenhouse is ideal. Keep the compost moist but do not overwater. The seedlings should be ready to plant out in their final growing position 3 - 4 weeks after sowing. Harden off over 7 - 10 days before planting out to reduce shock.
Plant 1 cucumber plant per large container or 2 plants per large growbag or if growing direct in the soil plant at the distance suggested above. Outdoor ridge varieties are normally left to trail along the ground, however they can be trained to grow up netting or a trellis. Carefully firm the compost or soil around each plant and water well.
Avoid sowing outdoors too early especially if no protection is given as the seedlings will struggle to grow in cold weather and they will be vulnerable to slug attack. An early direct sowing can be made under cloches, a large clear glass jar makes an excellent cloche. Sow 2 seeds per station at the depth and distance suggested above. Cover the seeds with soil and water well.
A few days after germination thin to one strong plant per station. Remove the cloche when the plants start to grow strong. After removing the cloche if the weather is cold especially at night cover with horticultural fleece until the weather becomes warmer.
Keep the soil moist. When watering, water around the base of the plants rather than over its leaves. Weed often to keep competing plants under control. When the plants have grown 8 - 9 leaves pinch out the growing point to encourage side shoots to grow. Outdoor ridge varieties will grow male and female flowers. Female flowers have a tiny cucumber growing behind them and the male flowers do not produce fruit and have just a stem behind them.
Unlike traditional indoor grown cucumbers male flowers on ridge varieties must be left on the plant for pollination to occur. Shoots growing without a flower need to be pinched out at the 8th leaf. Carefully encourage the shoots to grow up some netting or a trellis. Or if preferred ridge varieties can simply be left to trail along the ground. Before the hot summer weather arrives the plants will benefit from a mulch of compost to help retain moisture in the soil.
Cucumber plants are heavy feeders. When the fruits start to swell they will benefit from a liquid feed every 2 - 3 weeks. The leaves of the comfrey plant when steeped in water for a few weeks produces an excellent nutrient rich organic fertiliser especially suitable for fruiting plants.
Outdoor ridge cucumbers are prolific and in hot weather can produce 1 new cucumber per plant ever 2 days. Pick regularly to encourage new fruits to develop. Harvest Perfection cucumbers when around 20cm in length. The skin of overly large cucumbers become tougher in texture and the seeds are more developed however they too can be eaten cooked and used in the same way as courgettes.
To harvest, leave about 1 cm of the stem on the fruit, cut with a sharp knife or scissors, do not pull the fruit off the plant as this can easily damage the brittle stems. The plants will be killed when the first autumn frost arrives in late September. As the temperatures start to drop cover the crop with fleece or a cloche to prolong the harvesting period.
Low growing Limnanthes helps to keep the surrounding soil moist, supresses weed growth, attracts bees, hoverflies who's larvae feed on aphids and can be dug in as green manure at the end of the season.
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