How to Grow Cucumbers

Cucumbers are a versatile vegetable, with many uses ranging from health care to consumption. Consuming cucumbers contain useful vitamins like potassium and magnesium.

Cucumbers can be pickled or eaten raw, and pickled cucumbers are so popular in North America, they are referred to by the generic term “pickles”. Learning how to grow cucumbers can give you access to a steady supply of this vegetable without trips to the grocery store.

Before discussing different growing techniques for cucumbers, here’s a few fast facts to know about cucumbers.

Cucumber Factoids

The first cucumber originated in one of the most humid areas of the world: India. Cucumbers require a lot of warmth and sun when growing.

Among the health advantages of cucumbers are as an aid in digestion, better skin texture and hair health.
The cucumber plant has male and female flowers, but only the female flowers grow the cucumber.

Cucumbers are such versatile and useful vegetables, that many cultivators have begun to combine different kinds to make new versions through cross-pollination. Cucumbers are easy to grow and are a vine vegetable related to squash and melons.

Because cucumbers are a vine vegetable, they require a great deal of space. It is a good idea to leave a large plot just for them, if you plan on planting them.

Planting Cucumbers

How to Grow Cucumbers

How to Grow Cucumbers

When learning how to grow cucumbers, choose a planting spot that is exposed to sunlight during the entire day. However, if you live in a dry and arid place, you want to place the cumcumbers where they can get some shade. Otherwise, the plants will dry out.

It’s also a good idea to plant cucumber seeds along with a lot of compost. Compost can help enrich the soil, making the plant grow to larger and healthier. When digging to plant the seeds, make sure to create a deep hole.

The best time to plant them is after the threat of frost is gone and when the soil warms, so it’s best to plant cucumbers in early spring or summer.

Once you plant your cucumber seeds, it takes 3 to 10 days before you see anything sprout. The higher the temperature when cucumbers are planted, the faster the flower will grow, because of their arid preference.

When planting cucumbers, it’s important to take notice of what kind you have. If you have a bush variety, these need to be spaced out at 18 inches. If you have a vine variety, you need to leave about 3 feet of space between each cucumber seed planted.

When learning how to grow cucumbers the organic way, you can start them off inside. Plant the cucumbers in starter pots and let them grow in an indoor greenhouse for about 2 weeks, before transplanting them outside.

Caring for Your Cucumber

Just like any other plant, cucumbers can catch diseases. Pests eat the plant before it has time to fully develop, damaging your harvest. Some of the more common pests for cucumbers are aphids and the cucumber beetle.

Also, watch out for powdery mildew and bacterial wilt. Use pesticides to keep insects off of your cucumbers, but use caution because pesticides can harm bees that pollinate them whereas natural pesticides do not. Fish emulsion is a good fertilizer, because it’s all-natural and you can spray your cucumber plants with it after about 4 weeks.

Once the plant has started growing, you’ll want to till the soil once a day to keep weeds out and keep moisture in. Once the cucumber plants start to flower, it’s important that you provide them with 1 inch of water each week. When tilling the soil, make sure not to dig too deep.

Harvesting Your Cucumbers

Cucumbers are ready for harvest when they’re a quite large. You can tell when cucumbers are ready to be harvested, because they become dark green and soft when squeezed.

If the cucumber is yellow, it’s too ripe and it won’t taste good. Ripe cucumbers have a bitter flavor. Cucumbers are usually ready for harvesting 60 days after planting, but the time varies between varieties of cucumbers.

Some cucumbers mature faster. but the process is the same when trying to figure out if they are ripe.

More Cucumber Tips

Be careful when growing cucumbers, because the larger they become, the more likely they are to lose their flavor. When you cut the cucumbers off the vine, cut them about an inch above the cucumber.

Growing your own cucumbers lets you eat them in a solid or on the side, or learn how to pickle cucumbers and have your own ready supply of homemade pickles and pickle slices.

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