Cucumber ‘La Diva’
Think you can’t grow Cucumbers? Think again! This mini cucumber will easily slip into your zippy greenhouse while its otherwise unused during the summer and produce perfect meal sized fruits!
The ultimate F1 hybrid suitable for both outdoor or protected (greenhouse) growing. Fruits have smooth skin (not prickly like some varieties). Seedless, crisp and sweet. Perfect for the beginner.
Cucumber ‘La Diva’ is all female flowering which means, you don’t even need to deal with removing male flowers! Yay!
La Diva also has a good resistance to both downy and powdery mildew.
How to grow:
Sow seeds from late March to early April if you will be growing the plants outdoors in patio pots.
If you do have a greenhouse to grow them in, you can start sowing seed earlier from mid February.
Plant seeds individually, one per 9cm pot. Sowing the seeds on their side will stop water from sitting on the flat edge of the seed reducing the risk of rotting before germination.
Seeds will benefit from a bit of warmth to germinate, a temperature of 20-22°C is ideal.
Once seedlings emerge move pots to the best possible light you can (such as a greenhouse).
Cucumbers originate from South Asia so keeping this in mind a growing temperature of around 21°C will make them feel right at home. I just leave them sitting on a warm propagator mat (leave any propagator lid removed). With lots of plants clustered together they make their own little ecosystem. During cold snaps cover plants with horticultural fleece to trap the warmth.
For outside growing, its important to harden them off slowly, carefully sheltering from wind and hot sunshine as much as protecting from cold.
Plant 30-40cm apart.
Cucumber ‘La Diva’ will also do well in containers. I use 10-15L sized pots. Grow bags are also excellent plant 2-3 plants depending on size of the grow bag.
Cucumbers are climbers so do give them some support, tying in loosely as they grow with soft twine or you can grow them like I do allowing them to cascade lazily along a shelf in the greenhouse or even across the floor.
Plants prefer a high humidity environment. You can help achieve this either by watering the floor in the greenhouse or misting plants in the evenings.
Feed plants every 10-14 days from about 6 weeks after planting.
You might need to protect plants from scorching sun on very hot days, this is the reason I discovered growing them along the floor, I had placed my potted Cucumbers under the shade of the staging and they were so happy I left them there the entire summer!
Horticultural fleece or shade cloth is also useful for shielding plants from hot sun.
Keep a keen eye out for whitefly, there are plenty of organic solutions.
Variety: Cucumis sativus
Type: Half Hardy Annual
Position: Full sun
Sow: Spring – Summer
Pinching: Not required
Germination: Up to 15 days
Seeds per packet: 20
Harvest cucumbers when 10-15cm long.
Regularly picking cucumbers while they are small and crisp will ensure a long cropping period. Check regularly, if left the the skins will begin to thicken making them not quite as tender.