No summer garden can be completed without the addition of cucumbers. Cucumber is a summer vegetable that can easily grow and is exceptionally productive. You can even grow them in containers and pots. It means that there is no need for a big garden to grow cucumbers.
But make sure that your cucumber plants get regular water, fertile soil and proper sunlight, in this way, you will get a bumper crop of cucumbers throughout the summer. As you know that summer’s days are full of dryness and your cucumber plants need consistent and regular water. Cucumber plants are heavy feeders so they need organic matter for the continuous supply of major nutrients to the soil. The pH of the soil must be 6.8 or higher.
Before planting cucumbers you should make some research about the variety and types. It will help you a lot during growing them. First, we will discuss the types of cucumbers then we will learn how to grow cucumbers from the cucumbers very easily.
TYPES OF CUCUMBERS
There are many types of cucumber and the interesting thing is that so many of them are unique and delicious. We found two main categories of cucumbers; the first is BUSH and the second is VINING.
If you don’t want to install a trellis for the cucumber plant and bush variety is best for you because the height of this plant is about 2 to 3 feet long and it doesn’t need a trellis for support. You can also grow this type of variety in pots and containers even in the hanging basket, they can grow well. If you see that they need some support then you can also use a tomato cage for this purpose. In a gallon or a larger pot, you can easily grow one or two plants and get fresh cucumbers and enhance the flavor of your salads, sandwiches, and burgers.
The famous cucumber varieties are Pick a Bushel, Salad Bush, Parisian Gherkin, and Spacemaster.
The height of this plant is very tall up to 8 feet long but the interesting thing about this type is that it can produce more fruit per plant. But this type is taller than bush so they need proper maintenance. You can’t grow this type easily in pots or containers.
A trellis is essential to support such a type of cucumber. A trellis stops spreading your cucumber plant on the ground, in this way, it will be safe from pests. The other benefit of the trellis is that you can maintain and harvest cucumbers easily. Your plants get proper sunlight if they get the support of a trellis. The famous vining varieties are Lemon, Diva, Picolino, and Suyo Long.
WHEN TO GROW CUCUMBERS
As you know that cucumber is a summer crop and it likes heat. It means that you can’t plant it until the temperature of your garden’s soil is 60 F or 15 C. It means that they can’t tolerate the frost so plant it two weeks after spring frost. In warmer climates, you should not worry about cold weather harshness.
Rich and fertile soil is needed for the outstanding and healthier growth of cucumber. So before planting them add compost or organic matter to the soil and make your cucumber crop happy. Climbing cucumbers need vertical support particularly when your homegrown cucumbers start to develop.
HOW TO GET CUCUMBER SEEDS FROM THE CUCUMBER
Some people asked this question very frequently, the question is how is it possible that we can grow cucumbers from cucumbers. As you know that every cucumber has seeds inside it and you can easily use them for growing your cucumber crop. But don’t sow the slices of cucumber in the ground or container directly.
You eat cucumber as an immature fruit but when you want cucumbers for getting seeds, then you should leave them to grow beyond their maturity size. As time passes, you will see cucumbers’ color will be changed to yellow or orange. Now your cucumbers are ready for extracting seeds and growing more cucumbers. Now we are going to discuss the steps through which you can use the seeds of cucumber for growing them easily.
● First, cut the cucumber in half but in lengthwise.
● After cutting the cucumber, extract the seeds from it very carefully.
● You see that seeds have surrounding pulp. Don’t worry about the pulp and follow the next step and place this mixture of seeds and pulp into a small bucket or a jar. Add some water to it and leave them for 1 to 3 days because the mixture needs to undergo fermentation. During this time the pulp from the seeds will easily be removed due to the germination process.
● Your container must be open and the temperature of the environment should be 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
● When the process of fermentation is complete decant the seeds by adding more water to the jar. When you add water to the container start stirring continuously starting the mixture now, you will see the bulb and light-weighted seeds starting floating on the top, and you can easily pour off.
● At the bottom, you can see seeds. These seeds are important and you can use them for growing more cucumbers from them. Collect all the seeds from the jar and rinse them well in water.
● After washing the seeds, set them for drying on the coffee filter or old window screens. Now your seeds are ready for planting in the soil.
● You can also store the seeds in a cool, dark, and dry place. Make sure that your seeds are in an airtight container this is because your seeds must be kept out from moisture and humidity. If you follow all of these instructions then you can store the seeds for 5 years.
● Don’t collect seeds from hybrid cukes because they are created by cross-breeding. Their seeds can not produce fruit like their parent plants. Pollination is very important for cucumber plants. It is important to isolate the plant which seeds regularly must be careful when selecting the cucumber plant. If it is infected then you should not use them for planting more.
HOW TO GROW CUCUMBERS
Beginners always ask questions about transplanting cucumbers. The answer is simple, which is that cucumbers don’t like disturbance that’s why you can’t transplant them. This is the reason that you sow the cucumber directly in the soil. If you are growing cucumbers in a pot then one plant is enough for one pot.
You need to plant cucumber seeds about half-inch deep in the soil. Cucumber plants need consistent water so make it possible that they get water regularly. Moisture is very important for the cucumber seed’s germination. The right time of plantation is very important if you are growing cucumbers inside your home.
BENEFITS OF GROWING CUCUMBERS VERTICALLY
You can’t deny the benefits of growing cucumbers vertically. When cucumber plants get the support they get better airflow which results in reducing many common diseases. If you are growing cucumbers on a patio or deck and you are facing the problem of limited space then it is a good decision to train cucumber vine on support. In this way, your outdoor area will look tidier. Harvesting vegetables become very easy if plants are grown on a support.
Even if you are growing bus varieties they will also grow well if they get support. Tomato cages are the best supporters for your bush cucumbers. Your healthy varieties can grow up to 8 feet or more There are different ways of providing support to your vining plants. Most of the garners use trellis, netting, or string to provide support to their plants so they grow healthily.
● TRELLIS: There are many types and designs of trellises are available that can be used to support your finding plants. Mostly these dresses are made from wire or wood. you can make these trellises at home or buy them. The choice is yours.
● STRING: This is a simple way to support your plants. This is a cheap way to provide support to your vining plant so they can grow healthily and harvesting becomes easier.
● NETTING: Another way of supporting your vining cucumbers is netting even if you are growing them in containers or planters. The best thing about netting is that it can hang easily from a railing wall and other structures. But make sure that your netting material has large holes of about 4 inches square. The netting which has small holes is not recommended for cucumbers.
Now some tips are going to be discussed below.
● Continuous water supply is needed for the best quality of cucumber crop. If the area of your garden is very large, then you should install a drip irrigation system. It is not possible for you then don’t worry and follow this tip. Water deeply once a week and make sure that water should be absorbed in at least one inch deep in the soil.
● Cucumbers like fertile soil and they are heavy feeders so the organic matter is the best solution for their needs. When your cucumber plants begin to blossom then fertilizer is needed to keep the plants in production.
CUCUMBERS INSECTS AND DISEASES
Cucumber beetle, slugs, aphids, and spider mites are the main pests that attack cucumbers. Cucumbers beetles are very dangerous as they can cause the most damage. They can carry the disease from plant to plant. You can place a floating row cover over seedlings. This will help to decrease cucumber beetle’s damage. When your cucumber plant starts to blossom you should remove the cover to allow pollination.
Anthracnose, downy and powdery mildew, bacterial wilt, mosaic, and scab are the most common diseases that are found in cucumbers. You should choose that variety of cucumber which has great disease tolerance. Make sure that the area around the cucumber should be clear of plant debris. You should be careful and keep an eye on the plants so you can take action before the problem gets out of control.
HOW TO HARVEST CUCUMBERS
When your cucumber plants establish in your garden they do not need any special care or maintenance. If you want to enjoy the best taste of cucumbers then harvest them when they are small and tender. So harvest them when they are slightly immature.
Try to harvest them in the morning because this is the time when the temperature is cool. You can use a sharp knife to pruners to clip your fruit from the vine. Don’t pull your fruit from the plant because you will damage your fruit. The best size for harvesting cucumbers depends on their variety. as the size of the fruit varies from variety to variety. For example, gherkin varieties should be picked when they are small.