Cucumber is one of the most vegetables used for salad. There are two types of cucumber slicing and picking. Each has different types of varieties. Slicing variety grow longer as the pickling variety are shorter in length.
Slicing variety takes more time to grow compared to pickling variety. Both varieties can be grown in a pot, raised beds, or in a hilly area.
It should be basically a fruit because it bears seeds, but it used as a vegetable in the kitchen.
Growing cucumbers is one of the most popular, easiest things to do in the backyard. Here are my tips for growing cucumber
How To Plant, Grow, Harvest Cucumbers
1. Selection of place ( more sunlight better )
Select the place which has a good amount of sunlight around 8 hours each day. To get good output out of the cucumber plant, sunlight plays a major role.
Cucumber mainly relies on sunlight for photosynthesis to generate strong, productive veins.
If at all not possible to give full day sunlight at least give a plant early day of Sunlight
2. Use disease-resistant seeds
Use the disease-resistant seeds Variety to plant the cucumber plant. This helps in future maintenance. Some of the good variety of seeds are
- Burpee Pickler: Cucumber Mosaic Virus.
- Eureka: Angular Leaf Spot, Downy Mildew, Powdery Mildew, Scab, Cucumber Mosaic Virus, Watermelon Mosaic Virus Strain 2, Zucchini Yellow Mosaic Virus.
3. Great soil
Choose the fertile site, which has a well drained soil.
If you are planting in a pot first clean the pot with hot water, then use a good potting mix for soil.
plant the seed just below half-inch below the topsoil, so that when there is a lot of water (stagnant) the roots of the cucumber won’t rot.
4. seeding in warm temperature of the soil
Cucumber plants like warm soil, no cooler than 70 degrees F. Best time to plant cucumber is when the spring warms your soil, and all the frosting is over.
Cucumber loves sun, don’t forget to give them 8 to 10 hours of sunlight.
5. Transplanting instead of Direct seeding
Direct seeding of cucumber not suggested because of less germination success growth. Experts suggest growing the cucumber plant in a pot or in the compartments which are kept in the greenhouse for more successful germination growth.
Squirrels also like cucumber plant seeds so if you plant outside, they will dig them up and eat.
Later, transplant the plant to the pot or to the field for more growth.
6. Transplanting indoor to avoid insects on early growth
Instead of direct seeding, plant the seeds in a separate pot or in the small compartments (keep it indoors) for the month to decrease the chances of affecting plants from insects.
7. Plant in mounds
If it is not possible to plant in pots you planted directly in soil and planting the crop in slightly tapered Hills make sure your primary plant stem is above the surrounding soil.
Cucumber plant has high chances to rot, but if we plant slightly below the topsoil to keep the main stem out of sitting water due to heavy rain or overwatering, we can reduce rotting.
8. Cucumber plants Temperature
Cucumber germination temperature is 60 degrees F to 90 degrees F. Do not plant the seeds if the soil is still low temperature (<65 degrees F). Wait till soil becomes warm because this helps in germination.
Normally it takes 3-5 days to germinate at a higher temperature (80F to 90F) and can also take 10 days in cooler temperature.
9. Distance between cucumber plants
If you are planting cucumbers in rows, needs to plant one inch deep and six-inch apart. To plant in hill regions you need to plant 5-6 seeds in one-foot diameter circles set six to seven feet apart.
10. Trellises or Fence
You needs to design frame or fence to help the cucumber plant to grow vertically, it basically needs support (plant have spring like structure that will revolves round the other things for support of stem)
You can make a fence to support the plant to grow vertically or spread across the place.
11. Watering cucumber plants ( evenly moist soil )
Water the soil evenly to all the roots (not to water at one place full); if you follow this, there will be fewer chances to get bitter cucumbers.
If you water the plant all at one place (not evenly moist the soil), there will be more chances to get less crisp, bitter cucumbers.
12. Fertilize after 4 weeks
Fertilize the cucumber every 4 weeks with two handful of compost, or a table spoon of 5-10-10 fertilizer or narraow band fertilizer to improve the growth of plant and to get good number of cucumbers.
13. Apply a thick layer of mulch
After applying the fertilizer apply the thick layer of much around the plant to keep moist for a longer time. Don’t keep just below the root as cucumber plants have more chances to root rot.
14. Controlling of insects
Always monitor the cucumber plants like other vegetable plants for insects and if found take the appropriate action.
The best way to control insects from destructive cucumber beetle to overcome these is to cover lightweight rows until they begin flowering and crop rotation.
15. Try natural, less toxic insecticide first
If you really want to try insecticides on cucumber plants, you need to try natural, less toxic insecticide first, But to destroy or avoid cucumber beetle, we don’t have natural insecticide.
The most natural insecticides are kaolin clay applied preventatively. It basically acts as a repellent for insects.
You can also consider collecting the insect in containers and showing to the local garden center to know which pesticide you need to put to avoid these from plants.
16. Second Sowing better time
Sow the second time 4-5 weeks later for late summer or early harvest to get better results.
17. Planting other plants near cucumber?
If you are planting other plants near the cucumber plant, you need to check ok because this plays an important role in cucumber plant productivity.
It would help if you did not grow potatoes near cucumber plants; potatoes release a substance to the soil that greatly hinders cucumbers’ growth. This substance reduces the growth of the Cucumber plant.
If you plant radish around the cucumber plant that will help to stave of beetle attacks. (when you are planting cucumber plant radish this will help the cucumber from insects)
18. Rotation of crops
You can plant the cucumbers in the early season, after the cucumber is fully harvested you can plant the beans in same soil. if you have more time you can also replant the cucumbers after that.
19. Time to Harvest
Cut the cucumber when it is crisp, green and tender and depends on the variety of the plant you will get the length of cucumber.
Experts suggest that you need to harvest cucumber in time to get cucumber crisp, green and tender and this help plant to be more productive.
20. Harvest on a Regular Basis
Once the cucumbers are reached pickles or slicing stage harvest on time to time (every couple of days) otherwise cucumbers may become yellow, excessive large
To make cucumbers more productive harvest on time, otherwise plant keeps on feeding cucumber to make it big.
21. Storing Cucumbers to stay fresh
To store the cucumber we know that needs to keep in refrigerator, but it will be only good, crisp, and green if you wrap individual cucumber with paper towel and keep it in zip bag. With these steps we can retain cucumbers till one week.
22. Bitter Cucumbers solution
If your cucumber is bitter, remove the ends and rub where the most bitterness contained.
To overcome bitterness in plants you need to eventually moist full soil instead of pouring water at one side.
Cucumber is one of the best vegetable that can be grown in backyard, can be used as desert, medicines… Let me know your queries in comments ,if you have any.