Gardeners' World: Monty Don shares tips for planting seeds
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Cucumbers are a staple part of the summer shopping list, and they’re a great, refreshing addition to a salad. We’re now getting to the point where you should start to think about sowing cucumber seeds ahead of the season.
Cucumbers always taste great, and they’re a relatively cheap addition to your shopping trolley.
But growing your own cucumber provides an even greater taste that will leave you feeling refreshed in the warmest temperatures.
Adding more cucumber to your diet could also help to boost weight-loss diets, and even promote hydration.
If you do decide to grow your own cucumber, you’ll need to get the planting process just right to avoid ending up with a sad batch of cucumbers.
When to sow cucumber seeds
The very best time to start sowing your cucumber seeds is between March and June, according to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).
You can sow the seeds either indoors or outside from spring to early summer.
It’s also important to always sow the seeds on their side if they’re being grown indoors.
Try to keep the seeds at around 21 degrees Celsius in a greenhouse, or simply on a warm windowsill that gets plenty of sunlight.
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For indoor growers, you’ll want to sow your seeds between mid-February and mid-March if you’ve got a heated greenhouse.
If you’re keeping them on a windowsill, it’s best to wait until April.
Growing cucumbers outside require a slightly later sow, however.
Hold back on sowing your cucumber seeds until late May or early June if they’re going straight into your garden soil.
“Cover the ground with fleece, a cloche or glass jar after sowing,” said the RHS.
“This method can work well in milder southern areas and in warm summers.
“Young plants are also available from garden centres in spring.”
Whether you choose to sow your cucumber seeds indoors or outdoors, you should pop them between one and two centimetres into the soil.
You should aim to keep your cucumber plant evenly moist, and it’s best to water it little and often.
It’s absolutely crucial that water around the plant, and avoid pouring water directly onto it.
Once they’ve grown fully, which should take a few months, you’ll want to harvest your cucumbers when they’re about 15 to 20cm long.
Use a sharp knife to cut them free from the plant, making sure to cut as close to the stem as possible.
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