Cucumbers! They are one of the most versatile vegetables that work great for pickling, tossing in salads or eating straight from the vine. A fresh cucumber right from the vine tastes crunchy and juicy at the same time slightly sweet and little tangy. But, the store bought cucumbers taste like cardboard, ridding themselves of a future on cutting board and vegetable spreads.
Well, growing cucumbers is also quite easy to do in your garden and they are considered as perfect ideal choice for beginners too. All you need to do give them is enough sunlight and water to encourage its healthy growth.
Do you want to grow cucumbers in your garden? If yes, here are some amazing tips and tricks to follow to harvest healthy and crunchy cucumbers.
Choose The Right Variety:
There are generally two types of cucumbers you can choose from, once is slicing cucumber and the other one is pickling cucumber.
Slicing cucumber grows up to 6 to 8 inches in length while the pickling ones are shorter and reach up to 3-4 inches once they are fully matured.
So, it’s important to choose the right variety that works perfect for your climate too. Once you know which variety to grow, then figure out which one do well in your garden zone.
Cucumbers can be started indoors from seed, either purchased or saved and harvested from previous plant. Start your seedlings indoors a month before the last frost especially if you want to harvest the crop as fast as you can.
Prepare a well drained location with fertile soil to provide them air circulation and moisture of soil. Dig in some organic matter at planting time for boost, then plant your seeds ½ inch down in to soil.
After last frost, you can move the plant outdoors or transfer them in to pots and containers.
Cucumbers grow best when directly put into the ground. So, if you don’t want to jump start your crops you can begin sowing seeds outdoors a few weeks after last frost.
You can plant them in rows or hills about an inch deep and should be thinned as needed. The vine crops of this vegetable may require a bit more space for stronger roots.
If you don’t have enough room for vine variety, you can choose the bush type and they work great for small garden and container garden as well.
Provide Them Trellis:
If you have large garden, you can plant cucumbers in rows and if you have limited space, simply train your cucumbers to climb on fences or trellis.
Placing trellis for cucumbers to climb easily reduces space and lifts the fruit off the soil which makes it easier for us to harvest. Lifting the vine also promotes proper air flow and even prevents diseases like powdery mildew or bacterial wilt.
Avoid Bitter Crops:
Heat stress or uneven watering for your plant results in producing bitter fruits. To avoid them, cut out the sections that are producing bitter fruits. You can also easily move the plant to the area with more even temperature or just water your plants more evenly and more regularly.
Provide Them More Space:
Providing enough space is crucial for growing cucumbers. Crowding plants will encourage diseases and produces less fruit.
Since this vegetable has vines that sprawl all over your space, provide them ample of space between each plant.
Water Them Regularly:
Water them deeply at least once in a week. In case of very hot climate, consider watering them twice in a week.
Grow Them Vertically:
Growing your cucumbers vertically will not only help you to save lots of space, it also makes you harvest easier.
Pests And Diseases:
Cucumber beetles are one of the most common problems faced by many cucumber gardeners. So, to prevent these pests from wreaking havoc with your cucumbers, mulch around the plants.
Squash bugs, aphids and slugs also attack cucumbers and destroy them completely, use neem oil mixture or a soap and water mixture to combat these pests and save your plants.
Using all these tips for growing cucumbers will ensure to have healthy harvest of this delicious vegetable.