What are cucumbers?
Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus) started being grown as a crop three thousand years ago in
India. Cucumber is a warm seasonal vine crop, growing on the ground or running on a support. It has large leaves, long cylindrical fruit, and is kin to the sqash and cantaloupe in the gourd family. They are eaten fresh or pickled and or used as a relish.
What variety should I grow?
What will you be using the cucumber for? For pickling Amour, Vertina, Northern Pickling, Diamant, Alibi, and H-19 little leaf are good varieties. Most common varieties are English and Burpless, they are delicious fresh or in a salad. If you don’t like cucumbers with seeds try Socates, Rocky, Tynia, Diva. If you want to make an impression try a specialty variety Poonakheera, White, Yellow, or Painted Serpent.
Where should I buy the seeds?
I have to say truthfully, it does not matter where you buy your seeds. I have purchased from the finest gardening center, local grocery store, even the discount store and have had about the same success with them all.
Where and when should I plant the cucumber seeds?
Planting depends upon where you live. In areas with a short growing season start your seeds in flats, indoors, two to four weeks before the last frost. 60-70 degrees soil temperature is ideal for germination. Guessing, mid-April in zone four and mid-March in zone three to start indoor seedlings. Zone one and two can plant outdoors in March if weather is permitting. Finding the perfect garden spot is easy. Most vegetables require full sun. Gardening almanacs suggest getting the morning sun is better than the evening sun for gardens. So, find a sunny spot on the east side of your property for your garden.
How should I prepare the soil?
Till your soil and use organic compost mixed throughly making a soft bed. Don’t worry about ph level, cucumbers need a normal ph 6.5. Fertilize regularly, one to two times a month, fertilizing helps production. Use fertilizer high in nitrogen and phosphorus. Yellow leaves could mean a low nitrogen. Once the plants start running, put compose around plants to help hold moisture in the soil. Cucumbers need alot of water regularly for good growth. Very important, cucumbers must not stand in water, well drained soil is needed.
How should I Plant the seeds?
Plant the seeds in a full sunlight, well drained, loomy soil, with plenty of space, in your garden spot. You can use containers, but they need to be large enough, placed in full sunlight, loomy soil, and well drained. Sow three seeds in a hill, form one foot circular mounds, place one seed on three different sides. Also, seeds can be planted in a row, a few inches in front of a trellis or fence, to economize space in your garden. Plant the seeds 1/2 inches deep, two to three inches apart, rows need to be four to six feet apart.
What should I use to support the cucumber plants?
Again, a trellis or fence are typical supports to use for cucumber plants. Chicken wire cages are popular for cucumbers. These are relatively easy to make using pliable chicken wire fencing, though all sorts of cages can be purchased at a local gardening center.
How long before I’ll have cucumbers?
It takes approximately seven to fourteen days for gerimination. Approximately sixty-five to seventy days to first harvest. If you continue caring for your plants, you could be enjoying fresh cucumbers until first frost or freeze.
Should I you a insecticide?
That is an individuals decision. I powder my plants with seven-dust if I see insect damage. Be sure to wash the fruit very well.
How will I know when the cucumbers are ripe?
The size, texture, and color, all tell you when a cucumber is ready to be picked. If you are going to make pickles you’ll choose the size of cucumber that fits your needs. You’ll want to pick the cucumber rather small if making small sweet pickles, medium size to make bread and butter pickles, and large to make a sliced pickle. A regular cucumber variety is about eight inches long when full grown. A yellow color means it has past ripe, maybe its not the best one to eat fresh.