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Homeschool Garden Club - Cucumbers

Our next crop to be sown is outdoor cucumbers. Like their name suggest they are grown outdoors, so no need for fancy equipment. Easy for us home schoolers to achieve a nice crop, if you choose special ‘outside’ seeds you don’t need a greenhouse. They will taste better than anything you can buy in a shop, as we found out last year here at the Orchard Training Homeschool Garden Club. Outdoor grown cucumbers won’t look as long and smooth as supermarket ones. One variety we grew last year was very spiky and prickly to harvest.

Although, I do have a confession – Last year, I pickled some small cucumbers to make gherkins. The Orchard Training Cookery Club was still in the experimental phase of finding the right pickle recipe. We were making small batches testing out different vegetables, vinegars and spices. The jar of gherkins I opened up this week was basically – there is no getting around it – just awful!

Ok! So, that recipe will not be used again. A couple of lovely home grown cucumbers have sadly been wasted, but we have learnt something along the way. Sometimes, we have to face the fact that when in the process of learning something, we have actually learnt more from the failure and is far more important than the end product or the lesson's desired aim.

With this in mind, cucumbers are really fun and easy to grow – you can plant them in containers or grow them in the ground.

Cucumber packed with minerals and water.

Vitamin K: help with you body protecting itself, it helps you blood clot if you cut your skin.

Beta carotene: helps keep your skin and eyes healthy .

Calcium helps build strong bones and strong heart muscles.

We have some suggestions from our friends at the National Vegetable Society

  • Popular outdoor cucumbers: ‘Jogger’

  • Medium size without many seeds: ‘Goblin’

  • Crunchy, snack size fruits: ‘Cetriolo Marketer’

  • Lots of medium size fruits: ‘Diva’

  • Mini juicy fruits: ‘Mini Muncher F1’ and ‘Merlin’

You will need:

Outdoor cucumber seeds

7.5 cm seed sowing pots

Plastic bag

Seed compost

Large container filled with multipurpose compost or some outside space.

Follow the instructions on the packet.

Just like courgettes cucumber plants give a very good harvest. The more you pick the more fruit they grow. We liked to pick them at about 20 - 25cm long.


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