A tropical plant, cucumbers thrive when the temperature is hot, and the water is plentiful. Therefore, growing cucumbers is best for warmer temperatures: The plants are so brittle that they shouldn’t be planted in the garden until soil temperatures are consistently in the 70-degree zone (no less than two weeks after the last date for frost).
Cucumber plants come in two varieties that are vining and bush. Vines move across the ground or climb up trellises, whereas bush varieties, such as the Burpless bush hybrid, create an even smaller plant. In general, cucumbers that are vining produce more fruits throughout the season.
The varieties of the bush are ideally designed for small and container gardens. You can boost the yield of various bush species by planting multiple crops two weeks separated.
If you’re looking to use slices of cucumber or picking or slicing, Suppliers have a wide selection to meet your needs.
The lemon cucumber provides smaller fruits ideal for one serving, and Boston Pickling boasts traditional heirloom flavors. A long Armenian cucumber, also known as the long Armenian cucumber, is a special cucumber prized for its taste, and that one cucumber produces plenty of slices.
The Quick Guide To Growing Cucumbers
- Plant cucumbers once daily temperatures rise to mid-70s F.
- Space cucumbers that are 36 -60 inches spaced (12 inches for Trellised plants) located in an area that has plenty of sun and well-drained, fertile soil that has a pH range that ranges with plenty of light and well-drained, fertile soil with a pH range ranging from 6.0 up to 6.8.
- Improve soil quality by mixing in a few inches of compost from the past or other organic matter that is rich in nutrients.
- Cucumbers proliferate with minimal maintenance. Make sure that they get one inch of water each week.
- Get the most benefit from your efforts to increase food production by feeding your plants regularly by feeding them water-soluble plant foods.
- When the soil is warm, put down straw mulch. It will help keep the fruit clean and keep beetles and slugs away.
- Harvest cucumbers as soon as they’re large enough to eat.
Soil Planting, Soil & Care
Cucumbers enjoy warm, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 to 6.8; however, they can tolerate slightly more alkaline soil up to 7.6. T
To improve soil quality and create the ideal environment for root growth for a considerable large harvest, you can work a few inches of compost that have been aged and enriched Miracle-Gro(r) performance Organics(r) All-PurposeAll-Purpose in-Ground soil into an upper couple of inches of your garden soil. (Compost and composted manure can also work.)
Based on the variety, plant seedlings 36″ from each other (check your label). Suppose you want to plant vines on a trellis; plant one foot away.
In regions where the spring is lengthy, relaxed, and cold, you can heat the soil by 3-4 inches by covering the entire row or hill with black plastic.
If you don’t plant with black plastic, you can mulch the soil using wheat straw, pine straw, chopped leaves, or any other organic mulch you like soon after planting.
When the temperature is freezing, you may want to wait for a few days to mulch until the soil is warm from the sun.
Mulch is essential to keep the fruits clean for vines and bush types that do not grow on the tree. The mulch of straw is believed to be a nuisance for slugs and provides an uncomfortable footing for cucumber beetles. It also helps to keep them away.
If you have the chance, you should plant your vines on trellises.
This helps keep the fruit tidy and frees up space. A 12 to 18 inches diameter cage constructed of 5 or 4 feet of fence wire or hog wire can accommodate three or more vines. The wire is simple for the growing cucumbers’ tendrils to grasp as the plant develops.
Cucumbers grow quickly and don’t require much attention.
Keep the soil damp with about one inch of water every week (more in the event of temperatures rising and rain is in short supply). Insufficient or inconsistent moisture can cause strangely-shaped or poorly-tasting fruits.
Water cucumbers using a hose soaker and drip irrigation to ensure your plants are watered correctly. This will help in preventing leaf diseases that can destroy the plant.
High-quality plant food is as crucial as having great soil to get the best outcomes. It is possible to fertilize using water-soluble foods, like Miracle-Gro(r) performance Organics(r) Edibles for Plant Nutrition applied directly on the soil around the plant stems.
You can also use a continuous-release fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro(r) performance Organics(r) Plant Nutrition Edible Granules incorporated in the soil.
Both of these plant foods feed your plants and the beneficial microbes living in the ground, which aid in their growth. In either case, you must be sure to follow the directions on the package.
Something may block pollination if the vines are blooming but do not fruit. In the beginning, ensure that you can see male and female flowers. Male blooms typically appear first and then fade away but don’t worry if this occurs.
After a few weeks or so, the female flowers will emerge; each flower has a small, cucumber-shaped growth at its base, which will turn into an actual cucumber. If you’re still unable to see these swellings develop into fruits and fruit, you might need to conduct manual pollination.
Many pests attack cucumbers. Squash bugs can be a threat to seeds. Slugs are like ripe fruit. Aphids can infest buds and leaves. Straw mulch is a great way to keep slugs away, as does trellising the vines to remove the fruit from the ground.
The vines are also afflicted by cucumber beetles that cut holes into flowers and leaves and also slash the fruits and stems; however, more important is that they transmit an illness that causes plants to die and wilt.
Powdery mildew is an illness that leaves mildew-like patches on leaves. Apply fungicides as soon as you notice the first indication of their presence. To reduce the spread of disease, avoid handling or harvesting vines while the leaves are wet.
Harvest & Storage
Pick cucumbers at any time. They’re large enough to be used. Be sure to check your vines every day as the fruit begins to grow as they increase. Vines yield more fruit when you harvest. To get rid of the fruit, use a knife or clippers and cut the stem in front of the fruit. If you pull them, it could harm the vine.
Do not let the cucumbers grow too big, or they’ll be bitter, and stop the vine from producing more. A cucumber’s yellowing of the lower part (blossom the end) signifies excessive ripeness. Take the fruit as soon as possible.
Pick lemon cucumbers right before they start turning yellow. Although they’re referred to as lemon cucumber because the tiny round or oblong fruit turns yellow and looks like an orange, it might be too seedy for some people’s tastes when the fruit is yellow.
The cucumbers you harvest can be stored in the fridge for up to 10-days. However, it would help if you used them immediately after harvesting for the best flavor.
If you do not eat cucumber slices all at once, wrap the unfinished portion with plastic wrap to stop drying out within the fridge. It’s an excellent idea to wrap all your cucumbers in plastic and store them in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator to ensure they stay fresh.
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.