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The classic cucumber

Heading: The classic cucumber

Copy: When I think about what makes a classic summer salad or sandwich, the telegraph cucumber is first to spring to mind. Subtly sweet, crisp, and refreshing. If that isn’t enough to tempt you, they’re also high in Vitamin C and super hydrating.

If you want to pick yours straight from the garden this summer, rather than fight your way through the skin-tight plastic wrap that so often accompanies the store-bought variety, now’s the time to get planting.

First, grab your telegraph cucumber seedlings from your local supermarket or Bunnings. Alternatively, head to our online store at www.awapuni.co.nz and get your seedlings delivered direct to your door.

When positioning the longest and thinnest member of the cucumber family, look for a warm, sunny and dry spot in your garden. Dig in some compost or leftover potting mix to the soil, making sure it’s friable or breaks up in your hand. Then, plant your seedlings.

The telegraph likes something to cling on to so, for best results, either place them near a trellis or similar frame, or use a simple stake.

To encourage fruiting, I like to grow mine next to a bee-friendly plant like lavender. This encourages pollination and, subsequently, fruiting. If pollination continues to be a problem (by that I mean the flowers fall off but no fruit develops), touch the pollen on each plant with a paintbrush, which will spread the pollen from one flower to the next. I’ve also been told, though haven’t yet tried, you can do the same with an electric toothbrush minus the toothbrush head. Magic.

Around ten to twelve weeks after planting, you should have a plentiful bounty of cylindrical fruit to add a refreshing touch to your summer fare.

Tod Palenski
Awapuni Nurseries
www.awapuni.co.nz

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