Celebrate the Year of the Cucumber with easy to grow varieties

Next year has been designated Year of the Cucumber by Fleuroselect, with varieties that are easy to growfor home gardeners.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 4:45 pm
Cucumber Hopeline.

Far from the long, plain green tricky exhibition varieties of old, cucumbers now come in an array of

shapes, sizes and colours, which means gardeners of any ability can give them a go.

Fleuroselect is a group of horticultural industry experts which judge new varieties and strives to protect

Cucumber Luxury.

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and promote them.

Each year, a flower and a vegetable are chosen – the flower for 2020 is that favourite late-summer

perennial, the Rudbeckia.

Many of the newer varieties are small – Mini Munch is a predominantly female flowering variety which

Cucumber Mini Munch.

sets well to give large crops of succulent snack-sized cucumbers over a long harvest season, price £3.95.

Hopeline is an Asian short snack fruit of up to 8-10cm (3-4in). It's very tasty and crunchy due to the high

dry substance of the fruit flesh and has good resistance to powdery mildew. It is so compact, you can

grow it in baskets, price £4.05.

Luxury F1 is a superb heavy cropping, all female variety that produces long fruited, Dutch-type

cucumbers in unheated greenhouses. Fruits are a more traditional 14-16in/35-40cm in length. It has good

mildew resistance and a great flavour, price £4.05.

If you want to grow something more unusual, try Crystal Apple, an outdoor ridge-type cucumber. Despite

its exotic appearance, it is very easy to grow, producing prolific crops of small oval to round cucumbers

which become deeper yellow as they mature, price £2.35.

New this year is Swing F1, an all-female flowered ‘American slicer’, which produces bitter-free, high

quality medium-size fruits with a small core. High yields are crisp and juicy. It's perfect to grow in a

greenhouse, polytunnel or outdoors and has excellent powdery mildew, scab and general weather

resistance, price £2.40.

Secretary-general of Fleuroselect Sally van der Horst said: “Mr Fothergill’s has been on the organising

committee for that from the start, now through our great friend and supporter, commercial director, Tim

Jeffries.”

Fleuroselect's Home Garden Group developed a Plant of the Year campaign to promote one crop each

year in both flowers and vegetables that is suitable for hobby gardeners, starting first with the sunflower,

which was supported by a spectacular display at RHS Wisley of more than 180 varieties.

2019 is the year of the Nasturtium and the Carrot and Mr Fothergill’s has Nasturtium trials at RHS

Garden Harlow Carr in Harrogate and RHS Garden Hyde Hall as well as in Paris, Dublin, Lake

Constance and other gardens all over Europe.

For more on Mr Fothergill’s cucumbers, visit www.mr-fothergills.co.uk

M ore tips, recipes and ideas at www.mandycanyoudigit.com or on Facebook and Twitter.

JOBS TO DO THIS WEEKEND

Divide any overgrown or tired-looking clumps of alpines and herbaceous perennials, such as Crocosmia.

This will invigorate them, and improve flowering and overall shape, for next year.

Continue picking sweetcorn, beans and marrows.

Take cuttings of tender perennials, such as Pelargoniums (geraniums). If you don’t have a greenhouse, use a light windowsill to grow them on.

Bring inside tender perennials, such as Fuchsia, Gazania, Lantana and Abutilon.

Some tall late-flowering perennials, such as asters, may still need staking to stop them being blown over in the wind.

Prune late-summer flowering shrubs such as Helianthemum (rock rose) and give evergreen hedges a final trim to make sure they are in shape for winter. Start to reduce watering of house plants as light levels drop.

Ventilate conservatories during warmer days but close windows at night.