Some of us love cucumbers too much and are too excited to plant them. Some others just have extra soil to plant something. No matter which person you are, you’ll need to understand the right steps of how to plant cucumbers. Before studying the steps to grow and harvest cucumbers, there are things about this plant you better learn first.
Sandwiches and salads will taste much better with some slices of crunch cucumbers. Your sushi is going to be better with the presence of cucumbers as well. Even though you’re only going to slice and season them; cucumbers are perfect meal to enjoy. You juicy burgers might have pickled carrots, pickled peppers, or pickled okra. Yet, the best pickle for your burgers will always be cucumbers.
Learning Its Origin before Studying How to Plant Cucumbers
Technically, cucumbers are categorized in fruit because they have seeds. But they are all used in everyone’s kitchen as one of healthy vegetables. University of Arizona told us that cucumbers came from India. One of India’s cooling condiments is made of some ingredients with cucumber as the primary ingredient.
However, a famous person named Christopher Columbus was credited as first person who introduced cucumbers to the entire world. Cucumbers traveled from Hispaniola to the north and let many more people to enjoy the taste of this fruit and learn how to plant cucumbers. Today, cucumbers are at least served in two different ways: round yellow cucumbers and long green cucumbers.
1. Slicing cucumbers
Slicing the cucumbers is the easiest way to enjoy this fruit. Sliced cucumbers can be added to your soup and salad. There are two varieties of cucumbers you can opt for. The first one is cucumbers with seeds and another one is seedless cucumbers. These ones don’t have the compound that causes burp.
2. Pickling cucumbers
When you’re looking for details about how to plant cucumbers, you might want to know how to grow pickling cucumbers. This pickling type is stubbier and shorter with thinner skins. Their criteria allow them to absorb the pickling liquid in better way than the other types of cucumbers. You should know what you want to do with your cucumbers before buying the seeds.
3. Special cucumbers
Some varieties of cucumbers can be planted in various climates. You can even make extraordinary cucumbers by adding some lemon to the garden. This step is going to give you yellow cucumbers in baseball size. If you really want to get cucumbers that the growing season is shorter than other types, consider planting Boston pickling cucumbers. It only needs 5o days.
The Right Ways to Grow Cucumbers
1. Watch the warmth of your garden soil
Cucumbers need warm soil to grow. The key before you start following tutorials of how to plant cucumbers is making sure that your soil temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. When the warmth of springtime comes to your garden soil, the entre frost danger is all gone and you’re ready to start growing your cucumber plants. Your plants need at least 8 hours under the sun.
2. Check the quality of garden soil
Cucumbers also love to grow in sandy soil. Yet, you can grow your cucumbers in soil that’s well drained. When you’re checking the quality of garden soil, make sure that the soil is a bit acidic. Ideal soil to grow your cucumbers is the one that the pH range is between 5.8 and 6.5.
3. Provide enough space for your cucumbers to grow
Cucumbers are plants that are sprawling. They require space that lets them to spread out, make sure you give them trellis so your cucumbers can climb up. Besides, your cucumbers will have extra deep root. This means you need to make sure that your garden soil doesn’t have other roots so your cucumbers can have enough resource to grow.
4. Protect your cucumbers from danger
No matter how good you are in learning how to plant cucumbers, they’ll be useless if you don’t protect them from squirrels. Plant cucumber seeds in one inch deep. The seeds will germinate between five and ten days. When transplanting your cucumbers, add two feet between the plants. Then add four feet gaps between the rows. Don’t let the squirrels dig in to your plants.
How to Plant Cucumbers and Treat Them Right
1. Watering your cucumber plants
So you’ve been learning the way to start planting cucumbers. Since your cucumber plants only have shallow roots, you need to make sure that soil moisture is ample during the entire growth stages. Water your cucumber plants every week. Then give your cucumber plants water between one and two inches using the drip irrigation. Inconsistent watering causes bitter cucumbers.
2. Clean the soil around your cucumber plants
You’re not allowed to hoe the soil of your cucumber plants since it is going to damage your plants’ shallow roots. But you must work hard in keeping the soil free from weeds. Apply the side dressing once your cucumber vines start the runners but right before your cucumber plants start flowering. This is a wonderful guide of how to plant cucumbers properly.
3. Don’t let aphids kill your cucumbers
Aphids are dangerous for cucumber plants but there’s something you can do. Control the growth of aphids by using water in strong stream or insecticidal soaps. If you’re dealing with cucumber beetles, you might need chemical treatment since they don’t scared of water.
4. Keeping your cucumbers safe from powdery mildew
If you figure out there’s white patches sticking on the older leaves of cucumber plants, it is powdery mildew that’s bad for your plants. If some of your previous plants are contaminated with powdery mildew, you have to find cucumber varieties which are resistant to this problem. Then you need to study about how to plant cucumbers in those varieties.
5. Destroying contaminated plants
Cucumber plants that are contaminated by virus will grow leaves that are curled, dwarfed, malformed, mottled, and in light green color. You need to destroy the contaminated plants before they spread the virus to other plants. The source of virus usually is the aphids. Make sure you handle the buggers before they kill all your healthy plants.
Enjoying Your Cucumbers
1. Harvesting your cucumbers
If you follow the entire instructions of how to plant cucumbers, you’ll harvest your cucumbers after 50 or 70 days. The fruits of this plant develop real quickly. Once your plants’ female flowers start opening, you only have to wait about eight days or ten days to harvest cucumber fruits. When cucumber fruits become tender, green, and crisp, they’re ready to be cut from vines.
2. Checking cucumbers before harvesting
Check every variety of your cucumber plants. If your cucumbers grow too big, the fruits will be bitter. If you let the green varieties to grow until the fruits turn yellow, the flavor they have will become too strong. Don’t just study about how to plant cucumbersbut also how to pick them. Pick your cucumbers in early day to prevent bitterness.
How to Plant Cucumbers Using Container Gardens
You can still grow your cucumbers though you have limited spaces. Just make sure you have good containers to grow the plants. Before purchasing cucumber seeds, make sure you pick the right containers first.
1. The bigger the pots the better
Following the how to plant cucumbers instruction is much easier if you use bigger containers. Bigger pot will hold more soil. This means the water will be retained longer. Cucumbers need water to help them grow. Make sure your soil in the pot gets moisture in consistent level. Containers that are self-watering are the best pot for cucumber plants.
2. Exposing your plants under the sun
All instructions about how to plant cucumbers require you to grow cucumbers under the sun. Eight hours full sun a day will be good to the growth of your cucumbers. Before you start planting, it is truly crucial to figure out the amount of direct sun that is given to an area. You might need to use the sun calculator to get the estimation.
3. Best soil for best cucumbers
Go get container mix, potting soil, or potting mix in great quality. The organic one that is not fertilized and doesn’t have wetting agents is much better. Do not add more fertilizer if you already used the premixed fertilizer potting soil. Use all-purpose fertilizer for your organic soil before learning how to plant cucumbers.
Preparing Your Container Cucumber Plants
1. How to plant cucumbers – the heavy feeders
Cucumbers eat a lot. All-purpose fertilizer that’s slow release is good friend for your cucumber plants. Also add seaweed combination and fish emulsion liquid that has been diluted to your soil. Give the plants those additional fertilizer only once per week when you’re growing your cucumbers.
2. Keeping cucumbers warm
Cucumbers won’t grow without warm soil. Best temperature for soil is between seventy and ninety five degrees Fahrenheit. Once last frost is ended, spend two weeks to learn how to plant cucumbers while waiting for the soil to get warmer. Black colored plastic pots have soil cover to retain heat. They help the soil to reach warmer temperatures faster.
How to Plant Cucumbers Successfully
1. Preparing the seeds of cucumbers
If your house is located in colder climate, you want to start planting cucumber seeds inside. Make sure that your seeds get enough warmth and light by putting the seeds under your shop lamp that has cool bulb and warm bulb. Before transplanting cucumber plants, you must harden off the seedlings. During transplanting you must be extremely delicate so you won’t ruin the roots.
2. Trellising the cucumber plants
You don’t want cucumber plants to sprawl around your ground unless you’re good with them being dirty. Trellis will also help you finding the fruits and harvesting them. Trellis also let your cucumber leaves to get enough sun that helps fruits to develop. Pick sturdy trellis and make sure that your container is strong enough to hold trellis and the plants.
3. Watering and nourishing cucumbers
Ample and consistent water is important component of how to plant cucumbers successfully. Your soil must stay moist but not wet. To check the condition of your soil, stick your finger to your soil’s second knuckle. If your fingertip touches moist soil, do not water it again. If your fingertip is dry, water your soil slowly. The soil must absorb water for better growth.
4. Picking the fruits of cucumbers
Keep in your mind that overripe cucumbers are seedy and bitter. So make sure you pick them on the right time. Always check your cucumbers to see if they ripe already. Some varieties require you to pick the small fruits. Some other can grow bigger. Check the seed packet or plant tag to figure out the best harvest size.
5. Harvesting the cucumber fruits
Do not harvest your cucumber fruits by pulling the fruits off. Doing it will damage your cucumbers vine. Instead, use garden scissors or clippers to pick cucumber fruits. Harvesting cucumber fruits oftentimes is better since it will make your plants grow more fruits. If your cucumber grows too big or damaged, cut them off and the plants will give you other fruits.
Those are steps that help you understand how to plant cucumbers successfully. Interested to plant one? You might want to plant the bush cucumbers that are more compact and shorter also have much smaller yields. You can extend the growing season and increase the harvest by planting the bush cucumbers every month or once per two weeks.
There’s diva cucumber that doesn’t require pollinating. This type of cucumber is delicious, disease resistant, and doesn’t attract cucumber beetles. This will grow fruits in 58 days. Lemon cucumber is another type of cucumber that grows small, round, yellow fruits that are sweet you can pickle or eat directly. It needs 65 days to be mature.
Northern pickling is the last cucumber type that is small but sweet. This cucumber type only needs 48 days to be mature. Have you decided which type to grow?