Cucumbers grow well in a polytunnel. However, there are a few factors that you should be aware of. Cucumber plants are susceptible to Red spider mite and Whitefly, two pests that can seriously damage your plants. You should also harvest your cucumbers when they are at their peak quality.
Growing cucumbers in a polytunnel
A polytunnel provides an ideal environment for growing cucumbers. The temperature and humidity are just right, and the plants are protected from frosts. In addition, a polytunnel has a proper structure for plants, such as a double ridge or crop bar. This way, cucumbers can be trained to grow in two or more rows, two to three feet apart.
After sowing, cucumber seedlings should be hardened off indoors or outdoors for a few weeks before transplanting to the garden. The best time to transplant seedlings is about six weeks after sowing. Once the seedlings have two or three leaves, they are ready for planting outdoors. When planting cucumber seedlings, keep the soil moist and free of weeds. If growing cucumbers in a polytunnels, you can also plant them indoors and keep them under bubble wrap for a few days before transplanting. Also, when the plants are ready to transplant, you can use netting or bamboo canes to support the trailing stems.
Cucumbers can be easily damaged by diseases and pests. Pests that attack cucumbers include beetles and whiteflies. If you want to prevent these pests, you should choose resistant varieties. You can also use soapy water spray on the plants to protect them from pests.
Whitefly and Red spider mite damage cucumber plants
If you’re growing cucumbers in a polytunnel, then the first step you need to take is to check for signs of infestation. These pests are very tiny and can be difficult to spot without a magnifying glass. They can be red, green, or light brown in colour. They will often stay on the underside of leaves. In severe infestations, they can cause the plants to die. In some cases, they can form a fine web underneath the leaves.
If you notice yellow leaves on your cucumber plants, they are likely to be infected with the cucumber mosaic virus. This virus is spread by greenflies and aphids. Another pest you’ll want to watch for is red spider mites. These pests feed on the leaves of cucumbers and will damage the crop. The best way to protect your plants from red spider mite attacks is to burn off infected leaves.
Getting rid of cucumber beetles is another effective way to protect your plants from these pests. These pests are tiny and hard to remove with your hand, but you can also use a garden hose to blast the plants with water. You can also use sticky traps to catch the insects and monitor their numbers. Another great way to protect cucumber plants from these pests is to use reflective mulch.
Red spider mites are a type of mite that affects leaf and flower plants. They have eight legs and spin webs. They can be small enough to miss with the naked eye, but their bite can cause extensive damage. They typically lay their eggs on the lower leaf surface.
Harvesting cucumbers at peak quality
To get the best quality cucumbers, you have to know when to harvest them. This means picking them before they are over-mature. Cucumbers need a range of temperatures of between 24 Co and 80 Fo. Peak daytime temperatures are 29 – 25 Co, but too much heat can reduce the quality of the fruit. In addition, night temperatures should not drop below 18 Co to promote rapid growth and early fruit production.
Watering cucumbers is very important during their growth period. To achieve the best quality cucumbers, you need to apply a minimum of 25mm of water every week. Cucumbers can tolerate a wide range of soil pH, so it is important to use the correct amount of lime. The right amount of water is also important, as too little or too much can affect the quality of the fruit.
Cucumbers are sensitive to some forms of chloride. In particular, calcium and potassium chloride can inhibit the enzyme RuDP, which is essential for the production of a high quality cucumber. To reduce the risk, you should use chloride-free fertilizers. In addition, cucumbers are susceptible to a wide range of diseases, so you should choose varieties that are disease resistant.
After planting cucumbers, you need to keep them away from other crops that are in the same family. These plants can be susceptible to various pests, including Powdery Mildew. You can use biopesticides and insecticides to prevent both pests. The pesticides should be applied before the plant has grown to its maximum maturity.