How To Grow Cucumbers
Name: Cucumis Stivus
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Soil Type: Loose, sandy loam
Soil Temperature: 65-85°
ph Range: 5.5 – 7.0
Watering: Keep moist but not water-logged
Plant (Payson): May 15 – July 1
Planting Method: Seed
Germination: 3 – 10 days
Transplant: Available but not recommended
Maturity (Days): 50 – 70
Common Pests: Aphid, cucumber beetle, squash bug,
squash vine borer
Common Diseases: Angular leaf spot, anthracnose, bacterial wilt, downy mildew, mosaic
There a many varieties of cucumbers to suit most gardeners tastes such as slicers, fresh salad cucumbers, pickling, and bush cucumbers. Read about them to decide which type most suits your needs.
Like squash and melons, cucumbers take a lot of space in the garden. It’s possible to find bush varieties, or you can grow them on some form of trellis. Cucumbers aren’t good climbers, so you’ll need to tie them to the trellis. A complaint about cucumbers is that they cause flatulence. Planting a “burpless” variety might be the key. You might also want to try lemon cucumbers. These are better climbers with a lighter flavor and a yellowish color. Cucumbers really only need 5 hours of sun each day, so some afternoon shade is appreciated.
Cucumbers will grow in almost any soil, but for the best results prepare the bed with plenty of compost and well-rotted manure as soon as the soil can be worked. If the soil is too sandy it can dry out and stunt growth; if heavy clay, roots will not be able to grow and plant will not thrive.
Seedlings should be available at local garden centers. You may also sow seeds indoors about 4 weeks prior to transplanting into the garden. When transplanting, be careful that organic fertilizer does not touch the tender roots. Cucumbers are very frost tender so plan on protection if you are concerned about the possibility of frost.
Cucumber seeds are sensitive to planting position. It’s important to place the seed with the root end toward the surface. If planted with the root end down, or flat, it will slow germination and can effect over-all production. Sow seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the expected last frost. Look for disease resistant seeds at your nursery.
Mulching is suggested for weed control and for moisture retention.
Keep the soil evenly moist. Moisture has a lot to do with plant heartiness, fruit flavor and production.
Cucumbers are sensitive to both Nitrogen and potassium deficiencies. Add an all-purpose organic fertilizer next to planting hole. Add additional fertilizer every 2-3 weeks during the growing season. If you see signs of deficiency, spraying a dilute solution of fish emulsion should provide both the Nitrogen and Potassium your plants may need.WEEDING
Cucumbers allowed to sprawl will provide weed protection for themselves. If trained to a trellis, mulching will help control weeds.DISEASE
Angular leaf spot, anthracnose, bacterial wilt, powdery and downy mildew, mosaic
Begin picking when the cucumbers are small to encourage more fruit set. Pickling cucumbers should be 3-5 inches long, table cucumbers should be 6-8 inches long. To lessen bitterness always pick in the early morning when fruit is sweetest.
Cucumbers can be kept in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for up to a week. They are the most common fruit used in making pickles and relish.