Orderline Home Project Advisor How To Club Shop Media Search
Garden Advice Welcome to Garden Advice  
Quick Links
Expert supplier Media Clips Info Sheet Expert Advice
Garden Tips

"Roses grow best on heavy clay soils with lots of organic matter helping to keep the surface roots moist and wet!"

Related Links

Red roses

Hedge planting

Rose planting

Quick Links
Expert SupplierMedia ClipsInfo SheetExpert Advice
Cucumbers and Squashes

The world's first domesticated vegetable may well have been the squash - evidence of 10,000 year old cultivation of squash has been found in Mexican caves. Grains were domesticated a couple of thousand years earlier.
Sadly, I'm a bit too far north to be able to grow the squash family reliably outside - but I enjoy cooking them, so I'll keep trying.
* In May, dig holes 12 inches square, and 12 inches deep. Fill the holes with a mixture of soil and compost or well-rotted manure - make sure you have a mound on the top.
* For cucumbers, the holes should be 18 inches apart;
* for bush squash, 24 inches apart;
* for trailing squash, 48 inches apart;* Two weeks later, in late May or early June, plant three seeds edgeways, 1 inch deep, a few inches apart, in the centre of each mound. Cover with a cloche, to aid germination.
* Keep the cloche on for a few weeks, and remove the weakest two seedlings.
* Cucumbers - pinch out the growing tip when the plants have 6 or 7 leaves. Allow the side shoots which develop to trail, or train them up strong netting. Pinch out any shoots not bearing flowers at the 7th leaf.
* Trailing Squash - pinch out the tips of the main shoots when they reach 2 feet long.
* All are very thirsty plants indeed, and need LOTS of water around (not on) the plants. The soil must always be moist.
* Place black polythene or a mulch round the plants before fruits start to form.
* In cold weather, you may have to help marrows - pull a male flower, bend back the petals, and insert it into the female flower (small marrow behind the flower) to ensure fertilisation.
* Feed the plants every couple of weeks with tomato fertiliser or equivalent after the fruits have started to swell. Limit pumpkins to 2 per plant. Lay a tile or glass under marrows to protect the fruit.
* Harvesting - all will benefit from continuous picking to encourage further fruiting. Cut the fruits with a very sharp knife - don't tug the stalks!
* Gherkins (young cucumbers) can be picked at about 4 inches long.
* Cucumbers at 6-8 inches long.
* Apple Cucumbers when they are the size of a duck's egg.
* Courgettes at 4 inches long.
* Marrows at 8-10 inches long.
* for Marrows, Pumpkins, and Squashes for winter storage, allow the fruits to mature on the plants and remove them before any frost. Store them in a cool room, and they should keep until Christmas.* You can raise seedlings indoors, and transplant them, but it is not easy to harden them off gently enough.







Join Us




* * * * * * * * * * * * * *