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Lawn & Garden

Growing Cucumbers

 

Like okra, cucumbers are tropical warm weather vegetables. Both should be planted at the same time, when soil temperatures are 70 degrees. Soil temperatures will reach 70 degrees typically when day time temperatures are in the 80’s and night temperatures are in the 60’s. Cucumbers will produce fruit 50 to 80 days after seeds are planted, depending on variety.

 

Cucumbers come in bush form and as a vine. Vines produce larger yields and although they take up a ton of room in the garden, they can be caged or grown up trellis. Bush types are better for smaller gardens or container growing. For caged cucumbers, plant 1 cucumber on each side of the tomato cage, 1 foot apart, allowing for 2 plants per cage.


 


By putting pine straw or wheat straw down after planting, you will help increase soil temperature while giving your cucumber a nice footing to grow on as to not have fruit sitting in the mud, rotting. Pinestraw is also tough to navigate for cucumber loving insects like slugs and cucumber beetles. Consistent watering is the key to produce beautiful, good tasting cucumbers, as inconsistent watering can produce weird shaped, bitter fruit. Cucumbers need 1 inch of water per week. ½ inch twice a week works well.


Problems

 

The biggest problem cucumbers face is pollination. Because cucumbers have separate male and female flowers, an absence of cross-pollinators can cause the plant to not bear fruit. You can read more on this by reading an article named Pollination problems with cantaloupe, cucumber, pumpkin, squash and watermelon.


Fertilizer


Water soluble fertilizer like Miracle Gro Tomato Vegetable works great and can be applied every 2 weeks or a slow release vegetable food with micro-nutrients is another great option for cucumbers. Ideal soil pH is 6 to 6.8.

 

Once the cucumbers get big enough, pick them, as they can over-ripen and taste bitter if left on the vine too long. Plant bush cucumbers in succession, 2 weeks apart as they will produce all at once and doing this can prolong the harvest season. Take your pruners to harvest, as pulling them from the vine can damage the plant.

 

Keep an eye on your plants, as cucumbers produce quickly. Cucumbers can be stored in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days so too many cucumber plants might have you eating salad for dinner and pickles for lunch.


Insects


Every plant has particular insects that are attracted to it. Cucumbers are particularly prone to  Cucumber Beetles, Squash Beetles, Whiteflies, Aphids, Hornworms, Squash Vine Borers and Squash Bugs. The Home Depot has the quickest and safest ways to treat your garden.


Prevention is the best way to keep your garden healthy. By avoiding insecticides and incorporating beneficial organisms and insects into the garden that naturally occur, you can feel safe and know exactly what you are eating.


The Home depot sells Beneficial nematodes that are parasitic to all those insects with larva or pupal stages in the ground as well as those that pupate and turn to adults above ground. These Nematodes are responsible for the killing of over 200 different insects.


Using organic insecticides is a great way to insure that what we are eating, stays safe to eat while not killing the bees that are critical to a healthy ecosystem. When spraying insecticides, spray in the later evenings, once the bees have left.


Other Related Articles:


Bugs and Insects of the Vegetable Garden


How to Grow Vegetable Library


Using annual ryegrass as a cover crop for your garden


Difference Between Hybrid, GMO and Heirloom Vegetables


Amending Different Soil Types


12 Vegetables to Plant this winter


Starting Plants From Seeds


What is Lime and Why is it Important


Pollination problems with cantaloupe, cucumber, pumpkin, squash and watermelon

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Posted 2016-03-13T18:37:05+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL Ingar_HD_ATL
 
Hey Ingar.  Great post!

I plant cucumbers every year.  Because my garden is fairly small, I go vertical with a very simple trellis so I can plant 4 to 6 varieties in a very small footprint.

Every 2 or 3 years, I buy 5 pieces of 2" x 2" x 8' lumber, (NOT) pressure treated.  No cutting is required to make a simple trellis just under 8 feet wide by 5 feet tall.  Bury the 2 end post pieces about 2 feet down into your garden soil just shy of 8 feet apart.  Use 6 deck screws to attach the remaining 3 pieces horizontally at about 6 inches up, 36" up and 66" up.  Now simply staple on the netting.  I put the trellis on the north end of my garden so it does not shade other vegetables.



Trellis Netting



Even with different varieties and staggered planting times, I end up with a huge harvest of cucumbers well beyond my family needs.  Easily fixed though, as I simply give away the excess.


Chris.

.
Posted 2016-03-18T14:23:27+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
 
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