Many people own their own garden. It’s a fun and rewarding hobby that provides lots of fresh air and exercise. There is a lot of pleasure that comes from the satisfaction of growing your own fruit and vegetables. Those who choose to do this end up saving a lot of money each year. Cucumbers are a popular fruit in people’s home gardens. They can be added to salads, preserved in vinegar to become pickles, and used in many recipes. Cucumber plants and seeds, like so many other fruits and vegetables, can be purchased at your local garden shop, including Lowe’s and the Home Depot. There is potting soil specifically blended for growing fruit and vegetables which is usually found in the same section with the fruit and vegetable plants. Also, there are many fertilizers and plant foods which can help protect and nurture the plants as they grow in your garden. With fruit and vegetables, many people have the most success with the purchase of a young potted plant, which can then be planted, young roots and all, in your garden. Turning the soil first is a good idea, as this renews oxygen in the soil and stirs up essential minerals and nutrients in the ground. Usually a spade is enough to do the job. After the plant is transferred to the soil, give it enough water initially to ensure that it can continue growing normally. If you plant early enough in the spring, mother nature will generally provide most of the water that is needed, depending on where you live. Most people have their favorite brand of potting soil or plant food that they swear by, but every gardener tends to develop his or her own method. There are many ways to grow a successful fruit and vegetable garden, but the two most important things are water and sunlight. Choose an area for your garden that will receive a generous amount of sunlight on a regular basis without burning the plants. This would normally be near or under a small shade tree, or against the side of your house. Cucumbers, like other fruits, have their own ways of growing, and the package you bought with your plants or seeds should give you an estimated timeline of how long it will take for your plant to mature. Near the end of summer or early fall, if you are successful, you should have a healthy crop of cucumbers.
How many plants to buy is a question that only you can answer. One plant can produce several healthy cucumbers, but just as with other fruit and vegetable plants, you should not necessarily count on all the flowers developing. To have a healthy batch of usable cucumbers, you should buy a minimum of three cucumber plants. If cucumbers are the only crop you are growing this year, it is perfectly fine to buy more than that, but if you want to make room for other fruits and vegetables in your garden, three is a good number to start with. When your plants are fully developed, they are ready to be picked and washed for cooking or using in salads. You can even save the seeds from some of them for next year’s growing season. A healthy plant will produce about sixty percent of its fruit, and you will know the cucumbers are ready to be picked when they are fully grown and a healthy shade of green. Although many have tried hybrid plants, if you are just starting out, I would recommend buying the starter plants or seeds that they sell at Lowe’s. They will help you to decide if gardening is something that you enjoy, and you will have the best chance of having edible cucumbers by the end of the season. As you become more experienced and proficient in your gardening expertise, you will surely want to experiment more with various seeds and soils, trying different methods of planting and cultivating. Look for the most healthy starter plants you can find in the store, and if you are unsure of a specific soil or nutrient supplement for your plants, ask someone to help you. Growing your own cucumbers along with other fruits and vegetables can be very rewarding.