Be careful when you prune Californian lilacs. They need shaping up but might refuse to produce new branches from old wood. Different rules for evergreen and deciduous ceanothus shrubs apply.
Have some fun growing this great salad vegetable, the cucumber. You could even go Greek once it's ready to eat and turn it in to Tzatziki, yummy!
Cucumbers are a great veggie that can be grown at home and will offer something exciting to add to your salad bowl. They might seem rather exotic and something you’d never thought you could grow yourself. Given half the chance, cucumbers will thrive in your vegetable patch or even in pots on a balcony.
It takes one hour per 10 plants.
If you want to get off to an early start, sow your cucumbers in pots during April, placing seeds in a seed-starting mix at a depth of 1.3cm.
Cucumbers will be quick to germinate, and once they’ve done so, keep plants watered and grow them on by transplanting young seedlings into 25cm pots filled with potting mix. Alternatively, plant them in a greenhouse at a temperature of 15ºC or higher.
The growing process
To ensure that cucumbers develop well, you’ll need to train the main stem up some mesh or a cane, whilst side shoots can be left on the ground.
Once plants have grown seven leaves along the main stem, pinch out the growing tip so that energy is put into developing flowers and crops. You should also do this for side shoots that don’t develop any flowers, preventing them from becoming too long and spindly.
Throughout the growing process take care to ensure that plants never dry out and offer a general liquid fertiliser every 10 to 14 days.
When cucumbers are between 15cm and 20cm in length, remove them with a sharp knife.