Grow your own…Cucumbers ‘come in’ quickly

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Grow your own…Cucumbers ‘come in’ quickly

Over a year has passed since COVID-19 has plagued our world. It is very sad to state that in our country, we are facing a crisis where lives are being lost. In this time, now more than ever, we need to have hope and keep our faith as strong as we possibly can.

In the months to come, we can expect rising food prices, unemployment and underemployment. I want to encourage everyone, if you have not started as yet, to try growing in your homes, some of the fresh vegetables that your family utilises. This will reduce your monthly food bill and promote food sustainability in your households. One simple crop that can be grown with ease are cucumbers.

Grow guide for cucumbers:

  • Space cucumber seedlings 36 to 60 inches apart (12 inches apart for trellised plants) in an area with abundant sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8.
  • Use a well-fertilised soil by mixing in compost or other rich organic matter.
  • Containers or buckets can be used as well. Three-5 gallon buckets are ideal. Fill with rich soil mix and use one seedling per container.
  • Cucumbers will grow quickly with little care. Be sure they receive an inch of water every week. You can trellis the vines as it grows. This keeps the fruit clean and saves space. A 12- to 18-inch diameter cage made from 4- or 5-foot welded wire fencing or hog wire will support two or three vines. Wire is easy for the tendrils of climbing cucumbers to grab as the plant grows.
  • When soil is warm, add a layer of straw mulch to keep fruit clean and help keep slugs and beetles away.
  • Fertilise with an all-purpose 12-24-12 fertiliser weekly.
  • Be on the lookout for powdery mildew, a disease that leaves white, mildew-like patches on the leaves. Apply a copper-based fungicide at the first sign of its presence. Use bio-neem to prevent any insect pest.
  • Harvest cucumbers when they are big enough to eat.

Just a safety reminder tip! Remember when heading to the grocery stores and markets, ensure that you sanitise your hands or even take a bath on arrival home. When packing out your ingredients, ensure you remove any unnecessary packaging (bags, trays etc) and dispose it into a bin with a lid.

Food items which are purchased in tins and containers should be wiped clean with a disinfectant before being opened or stored.

Fresh produce, such as fruits and vegetables, should be washed thoroughly under clean, cold running water.

DO NOT use any soaps, chemicals or sprays to sanitise your produce. Many fruits and vegetables are porous, which means that it is easy for something you apply on the outside to seep its way to the inside.


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