Everything You Need to Know about Cucumber Growing

Spruce up your garden with the fastest growing and easy to grow cucumber. You can find numerous cucumber varieties to grow such as marketmore, baby Persian, and homemade pickles. Lemon cucumbers are also fun to grow because you needn’t dedicate all your time and energy into your crop. Plant cucumbers from seed and see the plant in no time, giving more colour and fun to your log cabin like no other.

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Growing Cucumbers in your Garden

The truth about cucumber is that they are easy-care and low-maintenance vegetables that love water and sun. They grow almost immediately and quickly flourish, especially if you give them a consistent supply of water and they are planted in areas with good exposure to the sun. These vegetables are not space consuming when it comes to the amount of space you allot for them to grow in. Cucumbers are climbers, hence the adaptability to smaller spaces. Moreover, they are also the most prolific vegetables that are ideal for pickling.

Main Types of Cucumber

The two main types of cucumber are bush and vining cucumbers and the most common varieties are those that grow with large leaves shading the vegetable on vigorous vines. These plants grow fast and you can enjoy an abundant yield of crops with proper care. Vining cucumber varieties grow best with the help of a fence and trellis for support. This variety are cleaner than those which grow atop the soil, thus they are easier and more prolific to pick.

It is ideal for you to choose bush cucumbers if your garden is smaller or if you prefer containers to grow them in. The variety is amenable to successive plantings or planting them every couple of weeks for continuous harvest. Cucumbers grow quickly especially in warm summer soil and they could easily ripen in approximately six weeks.

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Tips for Planting Cucumbers

Cucumbers that grow in the garden around your home are the best sights to behold. You can plant this vegetable even with no prior experience in gardening. You can seed or transplant cucumber plants outside in the ground but make sure that the last frost date is about two weeks previous. Frost damage is one of the major enemies of cucumbers, thus the soil must be warm enough for germination, specifically at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Choose an area that gets full sun before you start planting outside. Make sure the soil has a slight alkaline pH level of 7.0 or alternatively it should be neutral. Take note that cucumbers need fertile soil, thus it is better if you can mix in compost into the soil before you plant the seeds. The soil should be well-drained and moist but not soggy. Add organic matter to improve clay soil, while heavy and dense soil becomes a good site if you add rotted manure, peat, or compost.

The depth of the seedlings should be at least one inch and should be up to 60 inches apart, based on the cucumber variety that you choose. Space the plants at least one foot apart for vining varieties on a trellis. You can start planting cucumber seeds indoors approximately three weeks before transplanting them in the ground for an early crop. The best bottom heat for cucumbers is 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius. You can put the seeds on top of the fridge if you do not have a heat mat. You can also perch them flat on a water heater as another alternative.

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For gardens in cooler climates, warm the soil through rowing with black plastic or try covering the hill to get the same effect. Mulch the soil with pine straw or chopped leaves along with other organic matter once the ground achieves the right temperature or warmth. This will prevent pests, as well as diseases especially for bush-type cucumber plants.

The ideal cucumber is the vining variety that you can support with a trellis if your garden has limited space to spare. Trellising could protect the cucumber from any damage particularly from reaching the moist ground when they are unsupported.

Tips for Caring and Growing Better Cucumbers 

Water is the main care requirement for cucumbers, therefore consistent watering is a necessity. The plant actually requires one inch of water every week but you need to give them more if you live in places with higher temperatures. You can check if you need to water the plant if you place your finger in the soil and find that it is dry past your first finger joint. Bitter-tasting cucumber may be the result of inconsistent watering.

It is best to water the plant slowly especially in the morning or during early afternoon. You must also avoid watering the leaves in order to prevent leaf diseases, which would ruin the plant. Water the cucumbers using drip irrigation or a soaker hose in order to keep the foliage from being wet and messy. Mulch the soil in order to keep in soil moisture at all times. You must also cover the seeds using netting or a berry basket if you are dealing with pests.

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Water the plant more frequently, especially if the seedlings are starting to emerge. Increase the water quantity to one gallon every week after the fruits have begun to form. Thin the plants to keep them at least 1½ feet apart once the seedlings reach up to 4 inches tall. Side dress the plants with rotted manure or compost, particularly if you are already using organic matter in the soil before planting the seedlings.

You can also use liquid fertilizer from your local garden store and apply at planting or at intervals, particularly a week after bloom and every three weeks. Vertical vines are better if your garden has limited space. You can set up trellises for support or to prevent the seedlings and vines from being damaged. Spray the cucumber vines with sugar water if you want more fruit through attracting bees to the plants.

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