Cucumbers are tender annuals that grow best in temperatures starting from 60° to 90°F (15°-32° C).
- Sow cucumber seed within the garden or began transplants 3 to 4 weeks after the typical last frost date in spring.
- The ideal soil temperature for growing cucumbers is 70°F (21°C).
- Sow cucumber seed indoors as early as 6 weeks before transplanting into the garden.
- Protect cucumbers from unexpected frost or chilly nighttime temperatures early within the season. Use floating row covers or plastic tunnels to stay the coolness away.
- Cucumbers require 55 to 65 frost-free days from sowing to succeed in harvest.
WHERE TO PLANT CUCUMBERS
- Grow cucumbers fully sun. Cucumbers can tolerate partial shade.
- Cucumbers prefer loose, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Prepare planting beds beforehand of planting by adding 2 to three inches (5-7cm) of aged compost, commercial organic planting mix, and aged manure to beds. Turn the soil to 12 inches (30cm) deep
- Place black plastic sheeting over the planting bed in spring to warm the soil beforehand of planting.
- Cucumbers prefer a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.8. Cucumbers can tolerate alkaline soil to a pH of seven .6.
- Set trellises or supports in situ to grow cucumbers up or mound the soil to make alittle hill off which cucumber vines can run. Use a trellis 4 to six feet (1.2-1.8m) tall. Create a mound a minimum of 16 inches (40cm) across and a number of other inches high; space mounds 4 to six feet (1.2-1.8m) apart.
- cucumber seedlings for planting
Cucumbers are tender annuals that grow best in temperatures starting from 60° to 90°F.
PLANTING AND SPACING
- Sow cucumber seeds 1 inch (2.5cm) deep.
- Sow seeds at the bottom of the vertical support or on a mound at 6 to 8-inch (15-20cm) intervals.
- When seedlings are 3 to 4 inches (7-10cm) tall, thin to the strongest plant spaced 12 to 18 inches (30-45cm) apart for vining cucumbers on vertical supports and 24 to 36 (61-91cm) inches apart for bush varieties.
- Cut weak seedlings off at soil level with scissors to avoid disturbing the roots of remaining plants.
- Set a trellis, tripod, or cage place at planting time if you’re growing vining varieties. A 12 to 18-inch (30-45cm) diameter wire cage is right for growing vining cucumbers. you’ll make a cage from a 4 to 5-foot (1.2-1.5m) section of wire fencing or construction mesh.
- To grow an early crop, you’ll start cucumbers indoors 2 to three weeks before the last frost in spring then transplant seedlings to the garden 2 to three weeks after the last frost.
GROWING CUCUMBERS IN CONTAINERS
Many dwarf or mini-cucumber varieties will grow during a pot as small as 6 inches (15cm) wide and deep, larger is best . Check the outline of the cucumber and its space requirements. ‘Potluck’ may be a small growing variety. Larger cucumbers for containers include ‘Patio Pik’ and ‘Bush Whopper.’ Use a 12- to 18-inch (30-45cm) trellis, stake, or other support to extend the yield of container-grown cucumbers.
- Keep the soil evenly moist with regular watering. don’t let the soil dry out. Cucumbers are about 95 percent water and need regular water for fast, even growth.
- Set a soaker hose or drip irrigation at the bottom of plants. Give cucumbers a minimum of 1 inch of water hebdomadally during the summer.
- Always water at the bottom of plants. Moisture on cucumber leaves may result in fungal diseases like powdery and false mildew .
- Leaves may wilt within the afternoon in hot weather; that’s because plants are taking over water faster than roots can supply.
- If plants are wilted within the morning, the soil is just too attempt to needs immediate water.
- Mulch around plants to slow soil moisture evaporation and to avoid soil compaction caused by heavy watering.
- Too little water or inconsistent watering pot cause cucumbers to become oddly shaped or bitter tasting.
- An easy thanks to measure soil moisture is to stay your index within the soil; if your finger comes away dry, it’s time to water.
- Cucumber growing up net trellis
Side-dress cucumbers with compost tea or a dilute solution of fish or kelp emulsion or a liquid organic every 10 to 14 days during the season.
- Add aged compost or commercial organic planting mix to planting beds before planting. Compost has all the nutrients cucumbers need for fast growth.
- Side-dress cucumbers with compost tea or a dilute solution of fish or kelp emulsion or a liquid organic every 10 to 14 days during the season.
- Feed cucumbers with low nitrogen, high phosphorus, and potassium formula. take care to follow label directions; over-fertilizing can stunt or harm plants.
- Side-dress cucumbers at midseason with aged compost to renew soil nutrients.
- Keep planting beds freed from weeds; weeds compete for soil nutrients and water. Cultivate shallowly to avoid disturbing roots.
- More tips: Cucumber Growing.
CARING FOR CUCUMBERS
Mulch around cucumber plants with straw or chopped leaves. Mulch will help conserve soil moisture, keep vines, and fruits clean. Slugs and snails find if difficult to maneuver across straw or pine straw mulch.
Grow cucumbers with beans, corn, peas, pumpkins, and squash. don’t grow cucumbers with potatoes and herbs.
Cucumbers have separate male and feminine flowers. the primary flowers to seem are male flowers. Female flowers have alittle bulge at the stem end–as shown here.
FLOWERING AND FRUIT FORMATION
- Cucumbers have separate male and feminine flowers. the primary flowers to seem are male flowers which will not produce fruit.
- Female flowers appear every week approximately after male flowers. A female flower will have a cucumber-shaped swelling at the stem end of the flower; this is often the unpollinated fruit.
- Female flowers are pollinated when bees or other insects carry pollen from the male flower to the feminine flower. Some male flowers may die and drop before female flowers appear. twiddling my thumbs or sow seeds every few weeks in order that there are male and feminine flowers within the garden at an equivalent time.
- To attract bees to flowers, spritz plants with dilute drinking water.
- If plants are during a greenhouse or hoop house where pollinating insects cannot come or if pollination is slow or doesn’t occur, use a soft-bristled brush handy pollinate flowers; dust the within of a male flower then carefully dust the within of a female flower. A female flower will have an immature fruit on its stem, a male won’t.
- Gynoecious, hybrid cucumbers require pollinator plants; monoecious plants with female flowers.
- Cucumber fruits hanging from a trellis or vertical support will grow straight under the force of gravity.
- Cucumbers growing on the bottom should be assailed tile or piece of wood in order that the fruit doesn’t have direct contact with the soil; this may allow cucumbers to mature with less exposure to disease and insects.
- Cool-weather, rain, and insecticides can delay or harm pollination.
- Cucumbers are often attacked by aphids, cucumber beetles, squash bugs, and slugs.
- Control aphids by hosing them off with a blast of water or pinching out infested vegetation.
- Cucumber beetles chew holes in leaves and may spread cucumber bacterial wilt when feeding on plant part . Hand-pick them off the vines and destroy them.
- Squash bugs suck plant sap causing leaves to wilt. Squash bugs also will attack seedlings. Dust plants with diatomite round the base of plants.
- Slugs can scrape ragged holes in leaves. Spread diatomite round the base of plants.
- Cucumber plants are vulnerable to scab, mosaic, and mildew.
- Keep the garden clean of debris and weeds which will harbor pests and disease.
- Remove diseased plants immediately; put them during a sack and throw them within the trash to avoid the spread of disease.
- Plant disease-resistant varieties. search for the subsequent coding to point disease resistance: leaf spot (LS), anthracnose (A), bacterial wilt (BW), mosaic (M), scab (S), and false mildew (DM).
- Bacterial wilt is spread by cucumber beetles; plants suddenly wilt and die even as they start to supply . Control beetles as soon as they seem .
- Powdery mildew and false mildew , fungal diseases, will cause cucumber leaves to show grayish-white late within the season. Slow the spread of fungal diseases by spraying plants with horticultural oil or neem oil.
- To help prevent fungal diseases, plant resistant varieties, and space plants further apart to extend air circulation.
- More on cucumber problems: Cucumber Growing Problems: Troubleshooting.Cucumber ready for harvest
Check and harvest cucumbers daily to remain before the harvest.
- Cucumbers are going to be ready for harvest 55 to 65 days from sowing.
- Harvest cucumbers as soon as they reach mature size; cucumbers left on the vine past maturity will suppress the assembly of the latest flowers and fruit.
- Check and harvest cucumbers daily to remain before the harvest.
- Slicing cucumbers are best picked once they are 6 to eight inches (15-20cm) long.
- Clips cucumbers off of plants with a garden clipper, scissors, or knife. Pulling cucumbers off plants can damage plants.
- A fruit that turns yellow at the blossom end opposite the stem is overripe and can be seedy.
- Pickling cucumbers–sweet or dill–are best picked when 1 to six inches (2.5-15cm) long. Pick pickling cucumbers every two days.
- Regular dills are best picked when 3 to 4 inches (7-10cm) long.
- Burpless cucumbers should be picked at about 10 inches long.
- Hothouse-grown English or Armenian cucumbers are best picked when 12 to fifteen inches (30-38cm) long.
- Cucumbers left on the vine too long will have tough skins and can lose flavor.
- More harvest tips: the way to Harvest and Store Cucumbers.
STORING AND PRESERVING CUCUMBERS
- Pickling and slicing cucumbers will confine the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
- Hothouse cucumbers will confine the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. make certain the temperature isn’t too low or cucumbers will freeze and switch soft.
- Wrap refrigerated cucumbers in plastic or store them in a zipper bag to stay them crisp.
- Pickled cucumbers will keep for up to 1 year.
MONOECIOS AND GYNOECIOUS CUCUMBERS: THE DIFFERENCE
- Most cucumbers are monoecious, meaning plants produce both female and male flowers. Female flowers are commonly pollinated by insects after visiting male flowers.
Hybrid cucumber varieties are gynoecious. Gynoecious cucumbers produce only female flowers. These plants must be set near a monoecious plant for pollination or must be pollinated by hand. Gynoecious cultivars include ‘Conquest,’ ‘Early Pride,’ and ‘Bush Baby.’
- Cucumbers on A-frame trellis
Cucumbers growing up A-frame trellis.
TYPES OF CUCUMBERS
There are many types and varieties of cucumbers. Here are the differences:
- Bush cucumbers can grow 24 to 36 inches (61-91cm) tall and wide forming a compact plant. Bush cucumbers are well-suited for container growing or small gardens. Plant bush varieties every two weeks for a continuous harvest.
- Vine cucumbers can grow to 6 feet (1.8m) high or more and 2 to 3 feet (.6-.9m) wide. Vining cultivars require more space but produce more fruit. Grow vining cucumbers on a fence, trellis, or tripods when possible to keep fruit off the ground.
- Pickling cucumbers have thin, pale green skin, bear fruit early, and concentrate fruiting in a 10-day period. Pickle cucumbers a few hours after harvesting for crisp pickles.
- Slicing cucumbers, for fresh eating, commonly are green-skinned and set fruit for 4 to 6 weeks. Slicing cucumbers include “burpless’ cultivars which are mild-flavored and easy to digest.
- European, English, or greenhouse cucumbers are seedless cultivars developed for greenhouse growing.
- Lemon cucumbers are yellow oval-to-round heirloom cucumbers. Lemon cucumbers are ideal for a single serving. Harvest lemon cucumbers just as they turn yellow; do not wait too long or they will be seedy.
- Asian cucumbers are thin, heavily ribbed cultivars; the fruit grows from 12- to 24-inches (30-61cm) long.
- Gherkin is a term used for any pickling cucumber; however, a true gherkin is not a cucumber but the fruit of a different species, Cucumis anguria.
- Cornichons is the generic French term for any small cucumber.
- Grow 2 to 3 cucumber plants per household member for fresh eating.
- Grow 3 to 4 plants per quart for pickling.
CUCUMBER VARIETIES TO GROW
Cucumbers are divided into the slicing cucumbers for fresh eating and pickling cucumbers. There are dozens of varieties to choose from. In the list below “gyn” denotes gynoecious which produce only female flowers and must be grown near a monoecios plant; others are monoecios, they produce both male and female flowers.
- Slicing:Ashley (66 days); Comet II (gyn-60 days); Dasher II (55 days); General Lee (gyn-55 days); Jazzer (48 days); Marketmore (76 days); Poinsett (65 days); Revenue (gyn-48 days); Slice King (49 days); Spacemaster (60 days); Speedway (gyn-56 days); Supersett (53 days); Sweet Slice (62 days); Tasty Green (55 days); Ultra-Slice Early (56 days).
- Pickling:Baby Bush (51 days); Calypso (gyn-56 days); Conquest (gyn-50 days); Cross Country (51 days); Edmondson (70 days); Green Spear (gyn-55 days); Pik Rite (gyn-63 days); Salty (53 days); Spear It (gyn-52 days); Sumter (56 days).
- Burpless: Comet II (gyn-60 days); Green Knight (60 days); Jazzer (48 days); Perfection (60 days); Sweet Slice (62 days); Tasty Green (55 days).
- Greenhouse:Aidas (gyn-65 days); Carmen (gyn-65 days); English Telegraph (65 days).
- Container varieties: Patio Pic (50 days); Potluck (50 days); Spacemaster (60 days); Bush Whopper.
- Others: Lemon (64 days); Long White (65 days); White Wonder (60 days).
- Cucumber is a weak-stemmed tender annual that grows. Some varieties grow like a bush, others are vining.
- Leaves are somewhat heart-shaped with rough margins; leaves and stems are covered with prickly short hairs.
- Flowers are yellow.
- Fruits are commonly pale or dark green but some varieties are yellow or white; fruit ranges in size from 3 inches (7 cm) to more than 24 inches (61 cm) long.
- Botanical name: Cucumis sativus
- Origin: Asia