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| By Alfred Brusius

Greenhouse cucumbers

A greenhouse without cucumbers, you cannot imagine, along with tomatoes, they are among the most popular vegetable plants. They taste, freshly harvested, particularly refreshing, whether in a salad or simply as a snack cucumber. They have few calories but all the more vitamins and minerals. Even if many think, that is now nevertheless already much too late, - no one can sow cucumbers now still, because they grow fast. It is more difficult to choose the right variety. For the greenhouse, you can consider drift cucumbers (snake cucumbers), midi, or mini cucumbers. They also differ in color (green, white, yellow, and brown varieties) and especially in taste. The only thing that helps is to try!

In any case, it should be a bitter substance-free, if possible, also still purely female-flowering, seedless varieties. (The varieties are also called "virgin-fruited" or "parthenocarpic", each flower forms fruit without pollination, even more fruit than "normal" cucumber varieties). If they are also resistant or tolerant to powdery mildew, that's perfect. Notes on these properties in the description of the variety.

If you do not necessarily want a particular variety, you should quietly look around the gardener, for up to four plants, the effort of growing your own is otherwise not worth it. And also do not buy them earlier otherwise it is still too cold in the greenhouse. Sometimes plants are offered - not in the specialized trade - which stands already for days in the floor pallet, outside with cold. Mostly the plants still look good, the stress you do not see! But the problems show up only after one or two weeks, they do not grow properly.

It is also interesting to purchase grafted young plants. (They are resistant to various soil fungi and tolerate lower soil temperatures, in addition, they also set flowers earlier. Usually, the rootstock consists of a pumpkin variety (also popular with melons!).

Greenhouse cucumber is very demanding on the soil in the greenhouse. The substrate should hold water and nutrients, but should not be compacted. Non-optimal substrates can be improved organic materials. Optimal are not too fresh manure, bark mulch, and peat, or coconut fiber. For better soil warming, you can plant on dams. With cucumbers, one should take into account that the root is rather weak about the total plant, the roots spread shallowly in the topsoil. By mulching, you can protect the roots. If the soil has already been used several times with cucumbers, there may be culture damage due to the accumulation of soil-borne harmful organisms.

If necessary, renew the soil indoors. The excavation should be sufficiently deep (about 20 inch / 50 cm), otherwise, the new substrate will be quickly recolonized by pests. If not already done, as with tomatoes, you should also clean and disinfect all the sticks, grids, and cords from the previous year.