Greenhouse type.Cucumber 'Carmen' is a unique variety with resistance to all known strains of powdery mildew, scab and leaf-spot, making it ideal for organic gardeners. The fruits are produced in abundance, from 50 to 100 per plant, and have a mild flavour with no bitter after taste. This climbing RHS AGM variety is easy to train in the greenhouse and its fruits are excellent for exhibition. Height: 3m (9'). Spread: 45cm (18”).
Greenhouse cucumbers must be grown in a warm, humid greenhouse with a minimum temperature of 15C (60F). Outdoor (Ridge) types are suitable for growing outside. Some varieties may be suited to indoor and outdoor cultivation.
Sow Cucumber seeds from early March to April for indoor cropping and for transplanting outdoors later on. Outdoor varieties may also be direct sown outdoors from May to June. Sow cucumber seed on their sides at a depth of 1cm (½") in 7.5cm (3") pots of free-draining, seed sowing compost. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a plastic bag at a temperature of 20C (68F) until germination which takes 7-10 days. Protect the emerging seedlings from direct sunlight to avoid scorching. Grow Cucumber plants on until they are large enough to be transplanted. Maintain a minimum temperature of 15c (60F) and keep the compost moist but not wet.
When cucumber plants are well grown, transplant them at a spacing of 2 plants per growbag or 45cm (18") apart in a warm, humid greenhouse. Outdoor varieties should be gradually acclimatised to outdoor conditions over 7-10 days before transplanting into warm, well drained, humus rich soil in full sun, with shelter from winds. Plant outdoor cucumbers in single rows at a distance of 90cm (36") apart. Water well after planting until cucumber plants are fully established.
Water cucumber plants regularly. Apply greenhouse shading as required and create a humid atmosphere by regularly spraying or damping down pathways.
Climbing greenhouse types will produce higher yields if allowed to climb. Train the main shoots onto 1.8m (6ft) high nets, canes or strings until they reach the top of their support and then pinch out the growing point. Pinch out sideshoots once fruit begins to develop, leaving two leaves after each fruit. Remove male flowers from greenhouse types.
Outdoor ridge types can be pinched out at the main stem after 7 leaves have formed to encourage sideshoots. Outdoor ridge types require pollination by insects - do not remove male flowers from these varieties.
When growing cucumbers, harvest regularly to encourage, long continuous production. Pick the fruits whilst young and tender before they show signs of producing seeds, as older fruits can become bitter. Harvesting cucumbers is best done early in the morning when temperatures remain cool.
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