Follow a few of our helpful tips and you’ll grow the best and freshest cucumbers right in your own garden this summer. You will probably even have some to pass around to the neighbours, increasing your popularity in your community!
How To Grow Fresh Cucumbers
Step 1. Pick A Good Spot For Your Cucumbers
Step 2. Prepare The Soil
Step 3. Plant Your Cucumbers
Step 4. Care For Your CucumbersTrellis Ideas For Cucumbers
Step 5. Inspect Your Cucumber Plants
Step 6. Harvest Your CucumbersEasy Summer Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Learn How To Successfully Grow Other Vegetables In Your Garden. Visit http://www.yummygardensmelbourne.com/vegetable-garden-planting-guide.html
How to Grow Cucumbers Video – Growing Guide
In this complete growing guide we will cover everything you need to
know about growing Cucumbers. No matter if you are growing in a square
foot garden, in ground garden, or in a container garden, this growing
guide will apply.
Step 1. Pick A Good Spot For Your Cucumbers
Cucumbers love sun and don’t swim well…
You can plant cucumbers just about anywhere as long as it’s a sunny, well-drained location. You can plant them right in your garden, in a raised bed or even in a container on your deck or balcony.
When choosing a location, make sure you have enough space for the plant as it grows and matures.
Cucumbers come in two styles…bush and vine. Bush-style varieties take up very little space and are ideal for container gardening. A 12-inch container will accommodate one strong plant.
If you choose a vining variety and will grow them vertically off the ground (which is preferred), make sure you have enough space and a sturdy structure (trellis or fence). Plant them in a row along the structure. Space plants 12 inches apart. Multiple rows should be placed at least 36 inches apart. Refer to your seed packet for specific details.
If you will allow them to grow on the ground, plant them in mounds with five strong plants per mound and 36 inches between mounds.
The History Of The Cucumber
Where does the “cuke” call home? Cucumbers are members of the gourd family which also includes muskmelon (cantaloupe) and squash.
Is a cucumber a fruit or vegetable?
Biologically speaking, cucumbers develop from a flower and have enclosed seeds, just like tomatoes and squash. In fact, the word ” vegetable” doesn’t even exist in the world of biology so it’s most definitely a fruit.
But…if you speak to a chef, they clearly label savories like cucumbers as vegetables and sweet produce. like strawberries, apples and oranges, as fruit.
Disagree ? Write in with a comment at the bottom of the page.
Raised Garden Kits
The simple, easy way to create a perfect raised garden bed…
Cucumbers and most garden crops will thrive in a well-drained location. There is no better way to insure that than planting in a raised garden bed.
These kits include all of the necessary parts to quickly construct your own raised beds.
Step 2 : Prepare The Soil
Enrich the soil with the nutrients your plant will need.
All experienced landscape gardeners know that a plant can only be as good as the soil it grows in. Spending a little time preparing the soil will lead to better results when growing anything, including cucumbers.
If you will grow in containers, use a premium garden potting soil rich in nutrients and specifically formulated for growing vegetables.
If you are using existing beds, supplement the soil in the spring with either bagged mulch or fully-decomposed material from your compost pile. Work the material into the soil and smooth. Do not tamp. Never use fresh organic material. As it decomposes, it will rob the soil and plant of nitrogen.
It’s also a good idea to mix in a slow-release fertiliser into the soil. Nutrients will be released directly to the roots where the plant needs it most. We recommend Multi-Purpose Plant Food. For an all-in-one solution that provides up to 6 full months of 11 essential mineral nutrients.
The pH of the soil should also be checked. Cucumbers love a pH hovering around 6.5. The test should cost $10 to $20 and the lab should provide a detailed analysis of what and how much to add to correct any problems with the soil. Your local county extension may be able to do the test or recommend a nearby lab that can.
The Perfect Time-Release Fertilizer
Feeds your plants up to six months…
Multi-Purpose Plant Food is an all-in-one solution for the serious gardener who grows cucumbers and other vegetables. One application feeds up to 6 full months. Some of the formulas contains over 10 essential mineral nutrients and works with virtually all plant varieties and in all growing conditions.
Step 3. Plant Your Cucumbers
Select quality seeds and sow at the right time…
Cucumber seeds will be labeled as either “pickling” or “slicing” varieties and will produce either “bush” or “vining” plants. Select seeds based on what type of cucumbers and plants you desire.
Cucumbers will not tolerate even a light frost and need warm soil to thrive. Use the average last frost date as a guide. Add four to six weeks to the last frost date and that’s usually a safe time to begin planting cucumber seeds outdoors.
For areas with a shorter growing season, you can start seeds indoors. Follow instructions on the seed packet to determine when to plant the seeds indoors.
You can also purchase seedlings from a local nursery if you want to speed up the process. Unlike other vegetables where I recommend buying seedlings, cucumbers do just fine when planting from seed. Again, it’s the gardener’s (your) choice.
Follow the directions on the seed packet for specific spacing. It will vary with different varieties of cucumbers but generally speaking, sow seeds every 4 to 6 inches in rows 24-36 inches apart… or 8 to 10 seeds per hill with 36 inches between hills. Once seedlings are established, select the strongest and thin out the others to leave one per foot in rows or five per hill.
When thinning weak seedlings, simply cut them off at ground level, Do not pull them out of the ground. That may disturb the root system of the healthier seedlings you want to keep.
Step 4. Care For Your Cucumbers
Water and fertiliser are essential for healthy cucumber plants…
To grow to their fullest potential, cucumbers should get 2 inches of water per week and a monthly feeding of fertiliser.
If Mother Nature doesn’t provide enough rain for your cucumbers, supplement by watering deeply once or twice a week instead of shorter watering sessions several times a week. Use a cup placed near the cucumbers to determine if they are receiving enough water.
A slow-drip “weeper” soaker hose is the ideal method for watering your cucumbers. The leaves and plant itself do not need to get wet. That encourages fungus growth and disease.
If you must water from above with a sprinkler, always water early in the morning so the plants have an opportunity to dry during the day. If the plants are wet at night, you increase the chance of fungus and disease dramatically.
One feeding per month is recommended once your plants begin to produce flowers. Setting fruit is hard work for the plant and some additional nutrients is a good thing. Use a good quality organic fertiliser. We recommend Dr. Earth Organic Vegetable and Herb Fertiliser. Follow the instructions on the package of fertiliser for specific application instructions.
I have used this for 2 years and my vegetables produce so much more than without it. My two cherry tomato plants have produced nearly 40 pounds of cherry tomatoes in plain old dirt mixed with Dr. Earth. Every time I plant new seeds I always mix in a scoop.
Another important thing you can do for your cucumbers is keep them off the ground by means of “vertical gardening”. It saves a lot of space in your garden by growing the cucumbers up instead of letting them roam around your garden floor.
It also reduces the risk of damage by insects and disease when the plants are kept away from the soil.
Bush-style plants will not have this issue and can be kept contained with a tomato cage or other enclosure. Vining varieties of cucumbers, however, need something to grow on. Vines can reach 7 foot long so it’s important to provide a structure that is strong and tall enough.
Vining cucumbers are natural climbers. They will send out feelers looking for something to grab onto. If you provide something for them to climb on, they will do most of the rest of the work. On occasion, a vine may wander and you may have to carefully redirect it.
There are many different options available for growing cucumbers vertically:
1. If you can grow near a wall, the expandable trellis below can convert the wall into a trellis.
2. You can also attach trellis netting to the top of the wall or structure and stretch it down to the ground near your plants creating a surface for the plants to grow on.
3. Freestanding trellises are also good options when you do not have a wall or other existing support nearby.
Step 5. Inspect Your Cucumber Plants
Pests and disease can be controlled if diagnosed early…
Cucumber plants are always at risk from insects and disease. Diagnosing a problem early will increase your chances of success in protecting your crop.
Take a close look at your crop once a week. Turn over a few leaves and inspect for insects. Do the plants look healthy? Do you see any chewed or wilted leaved. If you do, it may be sign of insect or disease damage.
Cucumbers are a target for a number of common garden insects including cucumber beetles (pictured right), aphids and mites. These pests can be controlled with a general-purpose organic garden dust. We recommend Bonide Organic Garden Dust.
Disease and fungus including powdery mildew, bacterial wilt and anthracnose are actually more common than the threat from insects. Many of these diseases are easy to spot. Tell-tale signs include wilted leaves or a powdery film over the leaves and vine.
Some diseases and fungus are difficult to cure once established so prevention is the best medicine :
1. Choose disease-resistant seeds. Check the seed packet for details.
2. Water only in the early morning. Wet plants after dark encourage fungus to grow.
3. Rotate your crops. Never plant cucumbers in the same spot you planted them last year.
Use a three year rotation if you have the room.
If your suspect your plants have developed a disease or fungus, treat immediately with a fungicide such as Garden-Safe Fungicide Concentrate or a combination insecticide/fungicide like Bonide Organic All Purpose Garden Dust.
Mulching under your cucumber plants with plastic or an organic material such as leaves or straw serves multiple purposes. It warms the soil in the spring, retains moisture, keeps weeds at a minimum and protects from soil-borne diseases splashing up onto your plant. Plastic mulch is best installed before planting seeds. If you use organic mulch, make sure it is well composted and dry. Do not use fresh grass clippings. They will decompose and rob the soil of the necessary nitrogen your cucumber plants need to grow.
Another threat to your cucumbers is from hungry animals. Rabbits, deer and squirrels all like to enjoy a fresh cucumber on occasion. I certainly don’t mind sharing one or two with my woodland friends but when a herd of deer come roaming through my yard, there are probably not enough cucumbers to go around.
English cucumbers are sweeter, have a thinner skin than other varieties of cucumber and are nearly seedless.
They are sometimes marketed as “burpless” cucumbers because the seeds and skin of other varieties are known to cause digestive gas in some people.
Step 6. Harvest Your Cucumbers
and enjoy the fruits of your labor…
Cucumbers will be ready to harvest 50 to 60 days after planting seeds. Do not wait too long to harvest.
If they begin to yellow and turn soft, they have been on the vine too long and will be seedy, bitter and mushy. After harvesting a few, you’ll get the hang of it and know exactly when to pick the cucumbers at the height of their freshness.
If they are perfectly ripe, you should be able to pick them by hand. Wear gloves !. Most varieties of cucumbers will be prickly on the surface and will irritate your skin. If you can not gently pull them from the vine, use good garden or pruning shears to cut the cucumber free of the vine,
If you’ve grown them correctly, when cucumber plants start to produce you will have plenty to share with family and friends. Use them in salads, in recipes and enjoy the results of all of your hard work.
One of the best ways to enjoy fresh produce is to use them in a chilled Cucumber and Tomato Salad.
The recipe is below. Enjoy !
Easy Summer Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
1 cucumber peeled and diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 onion chopped
1/4 cup basil roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt/pepper to taste
1. Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and basil in bowl.
2. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
3. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
4. Chill and serve.
Pepsi Ice Cucumber
A limited-edition flavour offered only in Japan in 2007
Pepsi Ice Cucumber was a limited-edition flavour of Pepsi sold in 2007 in Japan.
Light green in colour, it was described in a press release from Suntory/Pepsi as “a cola of fresh taste balanced with an exquisite stimulus of cucumber flavour… a cola which is dimly fragrant and emerald green with a rush of coolness.”