The Basics – Growing Cucumbers
I grow cucumbers exactly like tomatoes, planting them in the polytunnel and allowing them to climb (they can grow up to 2m high). I’ve tried to let them trail along the ground in the polytunnel but they tend to get a bit out of control, trailing in to parts of the tunnel where you don’t want them – so, I think it’s better to go vertical with them. When I dig the planting hole, I lay a long piece of twine in the hole, put the plant on top of the twine and then firm it in well – the twine is therefore anchored in the soil. I then tie the twine to a horizontal bar on the roof of the polytunnel. As the plant grows you basically wind it around the twine. This is a far sturdier and more effective support than a bamboo cane.
Cucumber plants are incredibly prolific. A single plant produces more than 40 cucumbers over the summer. As a result, they are a hungry plant. I dig in lots of chicken manure pellets in to the planting hole and when the plants starts producing cucumbers I give it a regular feed with comfrey tea. Unlike tomatoes, they benefit from a humid environment so watering their foliage as well as the base of the plants is a good plan.