Cucumber

CucumberOne of the most popular vegetables in today’s home garden. Learn how to grow cucumbers here.

Sunlight: Full sun
Maturity: 55-70 days
Height: 1 to 3 feet
Spacing: 18 to 36 inches apart, 4 to 6 feet between rows

Before you plant cucumbers consider how much space you can devote to growing them in your garden. The regular slicing varieties require about 15 square feet per plant. However, they can still be grown in smaller gardens by training vines onto a trellis or wire fence. Cucumbers may also be grown in containers and are very prolific.

Cucumbers are chock-full of vitamin C and include many B vitamins. They also provide many minerals like phosphorous, potassium, zinc, iron and magnesium.

Fact: The term “cool as a cucumber” was first used in a poem by John Gay dated 1732: “I … cool as a cucumber could see the rest of womankind.”

Site Preparation:

Cucumbers require a planting site in full sun and even soil moisture. Mulch around plants to prevent soil from drying out between waterings. A straw mulch works best and will help keep them up and off the ground. Allow plenty of room for each plant making sure that the soil is rich in organic matter and well drained.

How to Plant:

Cucumbers need warm soil and do not tolerate frost. Wait for warm spring days and soil temperatures above 60˚F. Grow trellised plants 6-10 inches apart. When planted in hills and allowed to run, grow three plants to a 2 foot wide hill with the hills spaced 6 feet apart. Apply an organic vegetable fertilizer in early spring; then provide supplemental light feedings (side-dressings or foliar spray) monthly throughout the gardening season.

Tip: Are you looking for a quality organic fertilizer to use in your vegetable garden? If so, we recommend Neptune’s Harvest Fish & Seaweed. Chock-full of vitamins, amino acids, enzymes and naturally occurring growth hormones, it outperforms many chemical fertilizers with much higher NPK numbers. Give it a try… you’ll see why it’s our favorite all-time fertilizer!

Harvesting:

Pick fruits as soon as they reach the size that you want. Cucumbers are difficult to spot among the leafy foliage. Keep a constant vigil so that they don’t become woody and tough. Harvest should occur 55 to 70 days after planting.

Insects and Diseases:

Use row covers to get plants off to an early start and to protect them from insect pests. Plant coreopsis as a companion plant to attract cucumber beetles away from your crop. If the leaves turn brown and eventually shrivel and die, suspect anthracnose. This persistent fungal disease attacks all parts of the plant above ground.

Seed Saving Instructions:

Cucumbers will cross-pollinate so isolate 1/4 mile from other cucumbers. Fruits for seed should ripen past edible stage and begin to soften and turn yellow. Cut lengthwise, scoop out seeds, wash, clean and dry. Seeds are dry when they break instead of bending.

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