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Cucumber Burpless Tasty is a popular amateur variety, that is suitable for growing in the greenhouse or outdoors once the risk of frost has passed and the weather has warmed up.
Burpless Tasty produces dark green medium to long ridge type fruits. The plants are best grown up some type of support should as a trellis, as can grow upto 3m long inside and up to 2m long outside in a good year.
Harvesting time will depend on sowing time and growing conditions.
For those with heated growing structures, sow seeds in 7.5cm pots in a heated greenhouse or Conservatory from February to mid-March. Place seeds on their side, two per pot of seed compost and about 2 cm deep. Water well and leave to germinate.
For the majority of gardeners seeds will be started off on a warm window sill or in a cold greenhouse in late April or early May if you are planning on planting them outdoors.
Some success can be had by sowing outdoors into planting beds or in grow bags in May or June but beware of slugs and snails. It’s advisable to apply a mulch to the base of outdoor plants to help them retain moisture and also straw to protect the fruits. When the seeds have germinated, remove the weaker of the two seedlings and continue to nurture the tender plants.
If you are growing cucumbers in the greenhouse then fill 25cm pots with a quality potting compost or alternatively, grow bags can be used. If planting outdoors then ensure the planting beds have been well prepared during the autumn or winter with the addition of plenty of organic matter. Otherwise, large pots or containers filled with potting compost or grow bags can be used.
If the cucumbers are to be grown in the greenhouse then transplant them to their permanent positions, which could be growbags, pots or containers of quality compost during May. Ensure canes or wires are in place so that the plants can be trained and fully supported. If planting outdoors ensure all danger of frost has passed as cucumbers are very tender plants and will succumb to frost damage. Again, ensure there is ample support in place in order to train the pants unless growing over the ground.
For greenhouse plants, pinch out the growing tips when the plants have reached a manageable height. It’s best to pinch out the side shoots when 2 leaves have formed just beyond each set flower. Remove any male flowers. The female flowers will have a small bulbous swelling below the flower, which will eventually become a cucumber.
Outdoor cucumbers can be trained over a framework or left to grow across the ground like marrows. Pinch out the main growing stem after 7 leaves have formed. Do not remove any flowers from outdoor cucumbers.
Keep all plants well watered at all times. Watering little and often is best to prevent fruits from splitting. Keep greenhouses humid by wetting floors and paths. To help boost the yield, feed the plants with a potash based fertiliser or liquid feed every 2 weeks after the fruits have begun to develop.
Harvesting can begin after about 8-10 weeks from sowing or when the cucumbers are about 25cm long. Cut cucumber fruits from the plant with a sharp knife during the morning or evening. Cutting regularly will encourage further production. Remove and discard any fruits that are turning yellow. If the fruits are left on the parent plant too long they will become bitter, so harvesting can sometimes involve a little trial and error. Cucumbers will only keep for about 1 week in a refrigerator.
Pests & Diseases
Whitefly can be a problem in the greenhouse and several chemical control options are available.. However, the safest method of treatment is biological control. This involves introducing a tiny parasitic wasp (Encarsia formosa), which will devour the whitefly nymphs. Used in conjunction with adult fly traps, this is the best natural control method.
Cucumber diseases include several possible fungal infections such as Anthracnose, Alternaria Leaf Blight, Downy Mildew and Powdery Mildew plus Fusarium Wilt and Verticillium Wilt. Most can be successfully treated with a proprietary fungicide except for Verticillium Wilt, a soil borne fungus, for which there is no chemical control.
Cucumbers are also susceptible to bacterial infections such as Bacterial Leaf Spot and Bacterial Wilt, for which there are no effective treatments. Cucumber Mosaic is a virus that can affect cucumbers and the only effective method of control is good hygiene and management, which includes removing all infected plant parts, keeping whitefly infections under control and disinfecting tools and equipment.
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