Cucumbers are a wonderfully rewarding crop to grow in your home garden. You can use cucumbers to pickle or to eat raw in salads. Cucumbers are highly nutritious and are a good source of sulfur, silicon, chlorine potassium, sodium, magnesium, and fluorine. They are also said to help aid digestion and constipation. Many people use cucumbers on the skin as a beauty aid as well.
It is thought the cucumbers were first domesticated in India. However, cucumbers quickly spread throughout Europe and Asia, and were widely consumed throughout this region by the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. Today, cucumbers are one of the world’s favorite vegetables.
There are a huge number of cucumber varieties available. Whether you grow exotic Armenian cucumbers or smaller gherkin cucumbers, you’ll find that growing cucumbers can be a fun and exciting hobby.
Soil nutrients required
Provide lots of light
Cucumbers are easy to grow vegetables that require full sunlight, well drained, loamy soil, and plenty of room to grow. If space is limited use a trellis or other support so the cucumber plants grow upwards, off the ground. In areas with a long enough growing season, cucumbers can be grown from seeds sown in the late spring or early summer.
Give enough heat
Cucumber seeds will not sprout in soil that is fifty degrees or below, germinate slowly in soil temperature around sixty degrees, and do the best in soil that is seventy degrees consistently.
As cucumbers are often grown on the ground, it is very important to make sure that the soil in your garden is well drained meaning that water does not pool up at the surface after a good rain. If the cucumbers sit in water this can cause the fruits to rot, ruining your cucumber harvest. Cucumbers need a good amount of water regularly for consistent fruit development.
Give enough nutrients
Cucumber need to be regularly fertilized with an organic fertilizer that is high in nitrogen and has a good amount of phosphorus. Cucumber plants are heavy feeders. If the leaves are yellowish, this can be a sign of low nitrogen. Once the plant starts to vine, side dress with compost or aged manure. Fertilize one to two times per month and as the first blooms appear.
Avoid planting cucumbers near tomatoes or sage.
Do not over fertilize
You should take care to wait until after the first flowers have appeared before you fertilize, and to maximize the yield of the plant, make sure not to over fertilize.
When fruits do finally appear, make sure to harvest them before they get overripe. If you wait too long the cucumbers will become bitter and full of hard seeds. Growing cucumbers requires you to pay close attention to your plants once they start fruiting, as they will ripen very quickly and need to be picked. After only a couple of short months your cucumbers will be ready to enjoy.
Space the plants properly
Grow plants 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm) apart, or grow in 4 inch (10 cm) wide and spaced 1 to 2 feet (20 to 60 cm) apart with three plants per grow bag.