Growing & Caring for Cucumbers
Cucumbers are a warm season crop and can be grown in small spaces due to it’s vining habits. They come in many varieties and are great for slicing or pickling.
How to Grow Cucumbers:
- Seeds should be started indoors 2-3 weeks before your last spring frost.
- Plant the cucumber seed about a half inch below the surface of the soil.
- Don’t plant outside until about 2 weeks *after* the last spring frost. Cucumbers like a bottom temperature of 70 degrees for germinating and growing. The soil must be at least 65 degree for seeds to germinate.
- Plant seeds 1″ deep and space 6-10″ apart in a warm, sunny area of your garden.
- Once seeds grow to 4″ tall, thin to 18″ apart.
- Transplant outside 2 weeks after last spring frost date.
- Space 12″ apart in rows spaced 18″ apart.
- The best time to harvest cucumbers are just before they are mature while the green color is uniform and it is firm and crisp.
- The longer you leave your cucumbers on the plant, the tougher the skin will get. Plus, it tells your plant not to produce as much.
- Cucumbers are 90% water so wrap them tightly in plastic wrap before storing in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
- Keep your watering consistent. This is so important for the growth of plants and will keep cucumbers from tasting bitter.
- Try to avoid getting water on the leaves and water in morning or early afternoon.
- Consider using a trellis not only to save valuable garden space, but to keep cucumbers from laying on the moist ground all the time which will cause them to rot.
- Because vines can be trained to grow virtually anywhere, cucumbers even make a good option for a container garden.
- Once fruit starts to form, increase watering to a gallon per week.
- When plants reach 4″ tall, thin to 18″ between plants.
- Spray vines with sugar water to attract bees and encourage your plants to produce more.
Pests to Watch For:
- Mosaic Viruses
- Bacterial wilt
- Cucumber Beetles
- Poor pollination by bees