Cucumber 'Gemini 7' F1 Hybrid - Seed
Delicious refreshing taste!
Cucumber 'Gemini 7' F1 hybrid (Cucumis sativus) is a heavy cropping, early maturing, vigorous cucumber with a good flavour! Predominately female-flowering, 'Gemini 7' produces fruits that are 20 cm long and 6.5-7 cm thick. The plants are resistant to powdery mildew and all other cucumber diseases.
Cucumber seeds require no prior treatment although steeping them in lukewarm water for 12 hours will encourage germination.Sowing
The cucumber is an annual plant. It likes warm conditions, so if you want to sow early this should preferably be done indoors or in a mini greenhouse from April as the plants do not tolerate frost. Use turf pots filled with good potting compost and a mini greenhouse or seed tray. Perfect if you can provide some bottom heat (soil warming) of the tray or mini greenhouse - by 20 degrees celsius (night and day for as long as possible) your seeds will germinate and the seedlings will thrive.
Use 1 seed per pot, planted 0.5 cm deep and covered with some potting compost, then stand the pots on a sunny window sill. Depending on temperature the seeds should germinate within 10 days, after which you can reduce humidity in the mini greenhouse by opening the vents (or pricking through the plastic held up by bamboo skewers covering the tray). Do this for one hour longer ever day and after 5 days, the seedlings will be acclimatised and they can be potted up into larger pots. The seedlings can then be tied lightly onto their own climbing cane. Do remove any flowers until the plants have reached a decent height.
As climbers, cucumbers always need support. The vine's tendrils will attach themselves to anything nearby. Take a close look - they resemble old fashioned telephone cables that all of a sudden get a kink in them and start turning the other way. This is how they pull themselves up.Use
Cucumbers are best dried off and kept in the refrigerator and will keep perfectly for up to two weeks.
Cucumbers are good for you and contain vitamins B and C as well as lots of potassium and folic acid. Get the most out of them by eating the skin too. Because of their high water content and low calorie count they are great in any and every diet.
Great in a fresh, mixed salad - or try one with some dill, vinegar and sugar plus apple or ginger syrup. Delicious made up into tzatziki (a Greek salad of grated cucumber, yoghurt and lots of garlic). Terrific in a sandwich or with a meat dish. Cucumbers are wonderful pickled so if you have a big harvest, it's great to do this for the store cupboard, just like you would with gherkins.
Plant your cucumbers outdoors or in a greenhouse, only when there is no longer the risk of frost and night temperatures are at least 15 (preferably 18!) degrees Celsius. They will do well in pots on your patio too but all cucumber seedlings to be grown on outdoors must first be hardened off. To do this, stand them in the shade for one hour longer every day for a week before potting up - 3 plants to a large pot. Provide them with a cane or climbing frame to climb up and stand the pots in a warm sheltered spot in full sun.
Cucumbers do need support. Use bamboo canes and make a climbing frame for outdoors, at least up to 3 metres high, in the shape of a tepee with the base 70 cm wide. Tie in one plant per cane. In the greenhouse, you will also need to use one 2 metre cane per plant - or some garden twine or wire attached vertically.
Once growth is established, remove the first flowers and any side shoots until the main stem has at least 7 large leaves. Tie in regularly and keep removing side shoots for a while, especially for outdoor plants as they need to put all the energy into growing tall. Once the plants are at 2 metres, top off. This will give priority to the fruits. These seedless cucumbers produce female flowers so they will develop fruits without being pollinated. Dozens of fruits may appear on a single stem. As fast growers, cucumbers really thrive on Bakker's tomato fertiliser. Give extra water daily in dry periods, strictly soil only (not on the leaves) and keep the bed free of weeds. Pull weeds instead of hoeing as cucumbers are surface rooters so this will prevent damage to the root system and the plants will do well.Harvesting
To encourage even more growth in a cool summer, you have to be cruel to be kind with cucumbers - remove really small fruits and the larger ones will flourish.
Cut your cucumber free of the vine with a sharp knife. Cutting off half-sized cucumbers encourages more to grow. Any wart like growths are harmless and can just be rubbed off. Outdoor cucumbers will yield 3-5 per plant. Greenhouse grown can reach as much as 2 or 3 times as many.