Heirloom Vegetable. English Telegraph (also known as the ‘English Cucumber’) has been around since at least 1885 and produces a straight, slim slicing cucumber. The fruit averages 35 cm (14″) long and has a very mild flavour. Fruit that develops on vines laying on the ground often curl so for your best chance at straight fruit, train vines to grow on a trellis or netting. Continuously pick the fruit to encourage further flower and fruit production. For those of you lucky enough to have your own greenhouse, this is one variety to give a try indoors.
How to Grow
35 seed/gram Cucumbers grow best in a rich, warm, sandy loam soil. Before planting, work into the native soil 30 cm (12″) deep large amounts of garden compost or composted manure. As cooler soil will reduce germination and increase the chance of the seed rotting before it sprouts, wait until the soil has reached a temperature of at least 18 C (66 F) before planting. Mound the soil up into hills about 15-20 cm (6-8″) high and about 30-60 cm (12-24″) across. Space the hills about 120 cm (4′) apart. Sow the seed 2 cm (3/4″) deep with 6 to 8 seeds per hill then after the seed sprouts, thin to 3 or 4 plants per hill. If you have limited space, most cucumbers can be trained to grow on trellises and in the case of English Telegraph it is highly recommended to grow them vertically on trellis or netting. Protect the plants from any late spring/early summer frosts and keep the plants evenly watered through the growing season. Even soil moisture is very important as cucumbers become very bitter if the plant becomes moisture stressed by hot dry weather. To prevent damage to the plant, harvest the cucumbers by cutting them from the vine with a sharp knife – do not pull or twist them from the vine.