Thinking About Growing Cucumbers?

growing cucumbers

You've come to the right place if you need information about growing cucumbers. They are easy to plant, easy to care for and easy to harvest. Cucumber plants usually require very little maintenance and are one of the easiest plants to grow organically. Additionally, they thrive in the heat of summer.

Cucumbers will thrive in lots of different soil types and they are pretty tolerant to a variety of growing conditions.  As long as they have moisture and nutrients, they aren't fussy.  In addition, once the plants get going and spread out, they provide a pretty lush canopy that does a good job of shading out weeds.

Cucumber plants usually produce yellow blossoms and they do attract bees and other pollinators to your garden, which is a good thing.  They produce both male and female flowers.  The male flowers usually appear first.  The female flowers come a few days later and are easy to spot because they have a baby cucumber attached to the base of the blossom.  The pollen gets transferred from the male flower to the female flower, and the baby cucumbers start to grow.

Harvested Cucumbers

Cucumbers can easily be grown in both traditional vegetable gardens and in containers. As long as you keep them healthy, watered and picked, a typical cucumber plant will continue to produce fruit for several weeks.  Vining varieties can be trained to climb a fence or trellis, which can save garden space and makes it easier when it comes time to pick the cukes. 

Cucumbers thrive in most types of soil and they require 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day for maximum yield. They are typically planted a couple of weeks after the last expected frost and are harvested during the summer months.  They grow best when daytime high temperatures are 70-95 degrees F.

There are several different varieties of cucumbers available to the backyard vegetable gardener. These varieties vary by color, size, shape and appropriate uses. Cucumbers are a refreshing summer treat. They are great in salads, soups and dips, along with being a key ingredient in tzatziki sauce.   Many folks who grow cucumbers use them to make homemade pickles. Cucumbers have a very high water content and they are very low in calories. If you pick them while they're young, cucumbers can add a nice crunch to a variety of dishes.

In our own garden, we typically grow a couple of different varieties that we use in different ways.  We like to grow long, slicing cucumber for fresh eating.  We also like to grow classic pickling cucumbers that we turn into several different kinds of pickles - dill, bread and butter, garlic and spicy.  We pickle cucumbers spears, slices and even whole cucumbers.  We also grow very small varieties for making unique, whole pickles.  And in most years, we also choose a very unique variety to grow - like Cucumber Lemon.

Depending on the growing method, cucumber plants are suitable for any sized garden. They can take up as little or as much space as you want them to. Cucumbers can also be easily grown in containers, and there are several "space saver" and "bush" varieties available. Because they are so easy to grow, cucumbers are a great way to introduce children to vegetable gardening. Several different bush varieties are available for those folks with limited space.

In our own garden, we've grown cucumbers vertically, using a trellis and fence for support.  We've also grown cucumbers in containers on our back deck.  However, since we've been blessed with plenty of space, we prefer to grow our cucumbers in our garden and let them spread out and get as large as they want to.

Quick Overview of Growing Cucumbers

Planting:  Sow seeds 1 inch deep directly into garden 2 weeks after last expected frost, space plants 2-4 feet apart, depending on variety

Fertilizing:  Apply balanced fertilizer before planting and again after the blossoms appear

Watering:  Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week, keep soil moist but not wet

Harvesting:  Pick cucumbers when they reach desired size

Recipes:  Cucumbers can be pickled or eaten raw in a variety of applications

If you find yourself with an abundant cucumber crop - more than you want to eat fresh or pickle, you can always give away extra cucumbers to your friends and neighbors.  You can also use extra cucumbers to make a facial or put slices over your eyes.  You can also make cucumber water, lotions, cooling treatments, etc...

Click on the following links for more information about. cucumbers.

Sliced Cucumbers

Click here to learn about planting cucumbers

Click here for information about fertilizing and watering cucumbers

Click here to learn about harvesting cucumbers

Click here for help with cucumber plant problems

Click here for information about different cucumber varieties

Click here for some cucumber recipe ideas

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