Choose a warm and sheltered spot if you want the best out of these delicious mini-sized cucumbers. They can be grown in the greenhouse too of course. Cultivation is the same as for growing normal sized cucumbers. These are often called cocktail cucumbers, for obvious reasons.
|Latin name:||Cucumis sativus 'Iznik F1'|
|Guarantee:||100% growth and flowering guarantee|
|Leafs all year:||No|
|Harvesting:||July - September|
Cucumber seeds require no prior treatment although steeping them in lukewarm water for 12 hours will encourage germination.
As all cucumbers, these ones love the heat and can be sown indoors (or in the greenhouse) from the start of April already.
Use a windowsill propagator perhaps, in little turf pots filled with a good potting compost - or just use a seed tray with twigs holding up a see-through plastic covering that gets holes pricked in later on (see further about humidity). Seedling plugs plus a miniature propagator is the easiest really. Perfect if you can give some heat from below too. If the seeds are allowed to germinate in 20° C (day and night) they will do well. Don't let them dry out!
Plant one seed per pot, (press the seed with a pencil stub) at a maximum 0.5 cm deep and cover with potting compost. Stand the propagator/seed tray on a sunny windowsill and, depending on temperature the seeds will germinate in a week to 10 days.
Reduce humidity slightly after a couple of days - open the slides on the propagator. Once the seedlings are 10 cm tall, let them get used to normal humidity - take the lid off for an hour longer every day for about 5 days or so. Then they can be potted up. Continue giving the young plants 20° C from below for as long as possible - this will encourage sturdy growth. Give each seedling its own cane and tie it up. Any flower formation should be removed until the plant reaches the required height.
If you do not have a mini greenhouse, then make use of a simple seed tray with plastic bags and skewers as a good alternative. To acclimatise the seedlings at the right humidity simply pierce holes in the plastic bag.
These cucumber plants can go outdoors, or in a greenhouse once there are no longer signs of an impending frost and night temperatures are above 15° C, preferably above 18° C. They can also be planted in a pot on your patio.
Do acclimatise the plants first to get them used to being outdoors. To do this, stand them in the shade for one hour longer every day for 7 days, after which they can be potted up to a larger planter (a large one can hold at least 3 plants). Ensure a climbing frame of sorts is available and stand the potted cucumbers in a warm sheltered spot in full sun.
Cucumbers need support - use 3 x 3 metre long canes in a teepee shape (as with beans and peas). Plant a cucumber seedling at the base of each case and tie it up. Those in the greenhouse will also need support - use individual canes there too, or hang garden string from the roof for the plant to climb up.
Once your cucumber starts to grow, remove the first flowers and side shoots until the main stem has at least 7 large leaves. Tie up at regular intervals and keep removing side shoots, especially on those growing outdoors because they need all the energy for the main stem and to form new flowers.
Once the plant is 2 m tall, top it off to encourage fruit forming. These cucumbers will grow without pollination of the flowers and will be seedless.
Cucumbers grow fast and will appreciate a feed of Bakker's fertiliser for flowering plants, or Bakker's tomato fertiliser. Water extra in periods of drought but do not water the leaves, only the soil. Keep the bed weed free, preferably by pulling them up and not hoeing, to prevent damage to the plant (cucumber roots are just under the surface). All this will keep your plants healthy.
Cucumbers are terrific climbers that will always need supports to climb up. Their tendrils will attach themselves to anything. Take a close look - they resemble nothing more than old fashioned telephone cables that suddenly start to turn in the other direction. This is how they climb and keep well attached.
This variety (Cucumis sativus) is classified under Cucurbitaceae.