Cucumbers and their close relatives are easy to germinate and grow to maturity, and are so rewarding, whether grown in the greenhouse, out on the plot or in the garden in pots. Home-grown cucumbers have an unbelievable taste and thick, robust skins. They’re attractive patio crops, too, and you can get smaller varieties. ‘Baby’ (www.dobies.co.uk) and ‘Mini Munch’ (www.kingsseeds.com) are perfect snack-size crops.
Decide where you want to grow your cucumbers – you’ll need an ‘outdoor’ variety if you want to grow them all summer on the patio, whereas ‘indoor’ varieties are better suited for the greenhouse. You can get varieties that will do well in both situations but the warmth, light and humidity of the greenhouse wins for productivity.
Simply sow two seeds on their side per pot or module in seed or multi-purpose compost, then cover with compost and water, leaving pots on the windowsill or in a warm greenhouse. Plant out in May, tying in plants to an obelisk or cane supports. Ensure you water well, keeping soil continually moist, and feed with a liquid fertiliser every 10 days or so.
See the gallery for our pick of ones to try
Cucumbers for great crops
‘Burpless Tasty Green’
'Burpless Tasty Green' - renowned variety, can be grown indoors or outdoors in shelter.
'Crystal Lemon' - rounded yellow fruits with clear white flesh. Excellent outdoor variety and something unusual.
'National Pickling' - mini ridge outdoor type with rough skin designed for pickling, introduced in 1929.
'White Wonder' - heritage variety with small crunchy fruits, perfect for growing outdoors. Prolific fruiter.