Take Action Now: Grow my Recommended Vegetable Varieties & Enjoy Deliciously Cool & Productive Vegetables this Summer!

June bestows blessings upon us – a final opportunity to grow incredibly productive and delicious vegetables this summer!  Savvy gardeners who sow cucumber and courgette seeds directly in the soil now avoid the hassle of washing up pots, the time needed to pot up seedlings, and the expense of buying compost.

All risk of frost has passed so you don’t need a greenhouse.  Gardeners who sow seeds direct have an easier life, as plants grown in the ground usually require less watering than container plants.  However, there are some things to be aware of: avoid sowing seeds in compacted or waterlogged soils, and don’t cultivate cucumbers or courgettes in exposed, windy, or shaded sites, as the plants won’t thrive in these conditions.  Choose a bright and sunny, sheltered location to grow cucumbers and courgettes.

Patio and balcony gardeners can sow cucumber and courgette seeds in large planters.  I usually recommend gardeners sow seeds in small containers and regularly pot up their plants into larger-sized pots.  However, cucumbers and courgettes dislike having their roots disturbed, so it’s best to sow seeds straight into larger-sized planters that will accommodate full-sized plants.  When choosing containers, use the largest planters for your courgettes.  I’ve successfully grown both cucumbers and courgettes on a balcony using old compost bags as planters.

Help protect our peatlands by using peat-free compost when sowing seeds.  Sow cucumber and courgette seeds as soon as you can.  Every day counts as seeds need time to germinate and plants need to grow and reach maturity.  Gardeners are often advised to sow two seeds together and discard the weaker seedlings: what a waste!  I recommend sowing seeds singly and giving any unwanted seedlings to friends and family.  Donate any spare plants you have to local plant sales or why not start a plant swap?

Courgette ‘Sure Thing’ growing in my garden. This cultivar produces tasty green courgettes.

Courgette ‘Sure Thing’ is self-fertile and will produce a reliable harvest of lovely green courgettes, even in a dreary summer.  Plants grow up to around 60cm (2ft) tall and 40cm (1.3ft) wide.

‘Sweet Crunch’ was my fastest growing cucumber last year.  One plant produced its first three cucumbers just 55 days after the seed was sown in June!

Cucumber ‘Sweet Crunch’ with my Niwaki Garden Snips (the snips were in my hand from harvesting) shown for size comparison. These cucumbers aren’t that much smaller than standard supermarket cucumbers – they are about three quarters of the size of a supermarket cucumber. ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers can be harvested and eaten at a much smaller size – they taste just as good!

‘Mini Munch’ took longer to fruit, but eventually triumphed as my most productive cucumber; one plant produced 31 cucumbers!  Both ‘Mini Munch’ and ‘Sweet Crunch’ produce half-sized to three-quarter sized cucumbers.  Both varieties have smooth skins and are delightfully juicy, crisp, and crunchy!

Here’s a fully developed ‘Mini Munch’ cucumber – it’s about half to three quarters of the size of a standard supermarket cucumber when fully grown. You can eat ‘Mini Munch’ cucumbers before they reach their maximum size.
To give you more idea of the size of these cucumbers, this picture shows from left to right: Cucumber ‘Carmen’, Cucumber ‘Burpless Tasty Green’, Cucumber ‘Sweet Crunch’, and Cucumber ‘Mini Munch’. ‘Mini Munch’ is the smallest cucumber variety. All of these cucumbers were grown in bags of compost on a balcony.
This picture of my ‘Mini Munch’ cucumber seedling was taken on the 17th June 2022. I grew both my ‘Mini Munch’ and ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumbers in half bags of Dalefoot Composts Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads. Dalefoot sent me this compost to review and I was absolutely delighted with the results. I didn’t feed my plants, the only fertiliser my plants received came from the nutrients in the compost. I purchased my ‘Mini Munch’ and ‘Sweet Crunch’ cucumber seeds from Chiltern Seeds.
My ‘Mini Munch’ cucumber is growing in half a bag of Dalefoot Wool Compost for Vegetables & Salads. Pictured on 12th July 2022.
Here’s my ‘Mini Munch’ cucumber plant on the 20th August 2022. Cucumbers don’t need a support frame, you can grow them trailing along the ground.
Here is the same ‘Mini Munch’ cucumber plant on 4th September 2022.

Cucumbers can be left to trail along the ground.  Alternatively, construct a homemade support frame and use lengths of extra strong twine to support the plants, rather like tomatoes.

I use homemade wooden frames and lengths of very strong twine to support my cordon (indeterminate) tomato plants.
Here are some of the ‘Mini Munch’ cucumbers I grew in planters made from old compost bags.

For more articles about edible gardening, please click here.

To see my vegetable plant pages with pictures and advice to help you grow a wide range of vegetables, please click here.

For more gardening advice for June, please click here.

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