Carol Klein: ‘Important’ step when sowing cucumber seeds to ensure a ‘bumper harvest’

Carol Klein explains how to sow cucumbers and courgettes

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Home-grown cucumbers can taste delicious and it is fairly simple to grow them as long as they are indoors or in a warm sheltered place outdoors. They can be sown from March all the way until June, ready for harvest from July onwards. On tonight’s show, Carol Klein demonstrated how to sow cucumber seeds along with an “important” tip.

Carol explained: “While I take the advantage to sow some cucumber seeds, these won’t be staying outside.

“These two huge veg troughs however, will be home to some, but not all of the cucurbits I want to grow.”

Cucurbit plants refer to a plant family consisting of nearly 1,000 species.

This includes cucumbers, pumpkins, watermelons and muskmelons.

Carol added: “I love sowing cucurbit seed…they’ve all got very similar seed.

“Last year, this whole trough was absolutely full, in fact they were flowing over the top, all these lovely squashes and lovely big pumpkins too.

“These cucumbers go inside…they’re a bit on the tender side.

“Although you can grow some cucumbers outside, most of them are best grown undercover if you’ve got it.”

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Carol explained that cucumber seeds are much smaller than courgette seeds.

Despite this, each seed still needs its own individual pot because of the size they can grow to.

The expert added: “I’m going to try very delicately, just to push them in and just sow them on their side because if you sow them flat on the surface of the compost, then they’re inclined to rot.

“Although I’ve only got 10 seeds, that means 10 plants and frankly for an average family, a couple of plants is probably enough.

“I’ll label those and the rest of these I want to use to sow courgettes.

“They will probably take around the same sort of time to germinate.

“The important bit is to have them on their side.”

Once cucumbers have germinated, big seed leaves appear.

Carol said these are “rapidly” followed by proper leaves.

Gardeners can also keep potting their cucumbers until they reach the size pot they need.

She said: “Around 10 litres or something and then give them support straight away, put a cane in and then a string if you can.

“They’ve got tendrils and they’ll actually use those to climb up the string.”

However, cucumbers can take some time to grow before they are ready to harvest.

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