Description for Cucumber
No summer garden should be without cucumbers. They are very easy to grow and are very prolific. Planted in a section of the garden that receives full sun and has an evenly moist, fertile soil, success is almost guaranteed.
Ease-of-care: easy, Cucumbers are not hard to grow if you provide good soil, plenty of moisture and full sun, wait for soil and weather to warm before planting, and use fabric row covers if pests are a problem.
Height: 1 to 6 feet, Vining varieties can climb up to 6 feet with support, or hug the ground if allowed to sprawl.
Spread: 1 to 6 feet, Bush varieties take up only 2 or 3 square feet, while unsupported vining varieties can run along the ground for 6 or more feet.
Savour the taste of summer with your own home grown cucumbers. Cucumbers are an essential ingredient for adding to sandwiches, delicious salads, and those long, cool summer drinks on the patio.
|Common name||Flower colours||Bloom time||Height||Difficulty|
|Cucumis Sativus (Botanical name)||–||Year round||Very long vine with wide spacing.||Easy|
Planting and care
- Choose a sunny site with fertile, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. Grow cucumbers in rows or hills spaced 6 feet apart, or try increasing yields by training vines up a vertical trellis.
- Mix a 2-inch layer of rich compost into the planting site, along with a light application of an organic fertilizer. Thoroughly water the soil before planting seeds half an inch deep and 6 inches apart.
- When the seedlings have three leaves, thin them to 12 inches apart, which is the spacing you should use if transplanting seedlings.
Sunlight Soil Water Temperature Fertilizer Sun/Part Shade Ideally, soil should be neutral or slightly alkaline with a pH of 7.0. Improve clay soil by adding organic matter. Improve dense, heavy soil by adding peat, compost or rotted manure. Just keep the soil consistently moist with an inch of water per week (more if temperatures sizzle and rain is scarce). Inadequate or inconsistent moisture causes oddly shaped or poor-tasting fruit. 70-85Â° (21-29Â° C) You can fertilize with a liquid food, every 2 weeks, applying it directly to soil around plant stems. Or you can use a granular, slow-release fertilizer worked into the soil when you plant or sprinkled around the plants later.
Caring for Cucumber
- When planting seeds in the ground, cover with netting or a berry basket to keep pests from digging out the seeds.
- When seedlings emerge, begin to water frequently, and increase to a gallon per week after fruit forms.
- When seedlings reach 4 inches tall, thin plants so that they are 1Â½ feet apart.If you have worked in organic matter into the soil before planting, you may only need to side-dress your plants with compost or well-rotted manure. Or, if you wish, use a fertilizer from your garden store which is low nitrogen/high potassium and phosphorus formula and apply at planting, 1 week after bloom, and every 3 weeks with liquid food, applying directly to the soil around the plants. Or, you can work a granular fertilizer into the soil. Do not over-fertilize or the fruits will get stunted.
- Water consistently; put your finger in the soil and when it is dry past the first joint of your finger, it is time to water. Inconsistent watering leads to bitter-tasting fruit. Water slowly in
- the morning or early afternoon, avoiding the leaves. Mulch to hold in soil moisture.
- If you have limited space or would prefer vertical vines, set up trellises early to avoid damage to seedlings and vines.
- Spray vines with sugar water to attract bees and set more fruit.
- Harvest regular slicing cucumbers when they about 6 to 8 inches long (slicing varieties).
- Harvest dills at 4 to 6 inches long and pickles at 2 inches long for pickles. The large burpless cucumbers can be up to 10 inches long and some types are even larger.
- Cucumbers are best picked before they seeds become hard and are eaten when immature. Do not let them get yellow. A cucumber is of highest quality when it is uniformly green, firm and crisp.
- Any cucumbers left on the vine too long will also get tough skins and lower plant productivity.
- At peak harvesting time, you should be picking cucumbers every couple of days. Keep them picked. If you donâ€™t, as plants mature, they will stop producing.
- Cucumbers are over 90 percent water. Store wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to retain moisture. They will keep for a week to 10 days when stored properly in the refrigerator.