Cucumber belongs to the cucurbitaceous family which also include gourds, winter squash, summer squash and watermelon. You will learn in details what are the requirements for planting cucumber? What are the best condition for growing cucumber? Complete procedure for planting cucumber seeds. How to grow cucumbers? How to care cucumber plant? When to plant cucumbers? When and how to harvest cucumber?
Let’s know what are the benefits of growing cucumber?
Do you know overweight or obesity is the cause of crucial health risks, including heart disease, diabetes and even certain cancers? According to World Health Organization (WHO), 39% of adults were overweighed and 13% were obese in 2016. Isn’t it alarming? Luckily, Cucumber assist in weight loss. It also lower the blood sugar. It contains many important minerals and vitamins.
Now definitely, you are considering to add this beneficial plant into your grocery list. You can buy it, however, growing cucumber is not that difficult either you have gardening experience or not. The advantage by planting cucumber by your own is you can have fresh and crisp cucumber. You can utilize it either as a salad or in a sandwich. Now the question is: How to grow cucumber? We will answer this question in details step by step.
Types of Cucumber
First step for planting cucumber is to choose the suitable type you want to grow. Cucumbers come in market with mostly two types: vining cucumbers and bush cucumbers.
Vining cucumbers are most common type grows under the shades of large leave on vigorous vines. These gives you abundant production and these grows fast if you care properly. These are more prolific, easier to clean and harvest.
Bush cucumbers are the second most growing cucumber type. Sometime this bush cucumber plant gives you prolific amount of yield if weather and soil is suitable and climate support it as well. However, this type is most often suit to small gardens and containers. So it’s up to you either you pick first type or second according to your own resources and area. So pick any cucumber plant for growing that best matches to your need.
Requirements for planting cucumbers
Cucumbers need sprawling vines for best growth. However, growing cucumber in container is also good. You can grow them either indoor or outdoor. Always keep one thing in mind that cucumber plant is sun lover. It likes hot. Frost damages the cucumber plant. Two weeks after the last frost, sow cucumber in the soil which has at least 70F temperature. This temperature is the best for germination.
Planting cucumbers seeds
Cucumber has really short roots like other cucurbits have. It can be tricky and very difficult to transplant the cucumber. Mostly planting is delayed for the ground just because of frost and these require warm climates. To avoid from this delay, sow the seed of cucumber indoor and after few weeks when climate become suitable, transplant these into the ground. So the preferred method for planting cucumber is to directly sow the seed into the ground. Now let’s learn how to grow cucumber?
When to plant cucumbers
It require at least 70F temperature for best growth. So wait to sow seed until all danger of frost has passed and soil become warm enough to support cucumber plantation. If you don’t want delay, you can use transplant method.
How to grow cucumbers
Till now we have chosen the right type to plant. We have also learnt major requirements and best time to grow cucumbers. Let’s now discuss how to plant cucumber?
- Choose the suitable place either ground or container to plant cucumber and drained the soil very well.
- Make sure while choosing place where cucumber can have sun light for sufficient time.
- Prepare the soil before planting cucumber at least one week ago.
- Soil should be slightly alkaline with almost 7.0 pH, however, neutral soil is suitable for growing cucumber as well.
- Cucumber grows well in fertile soil. Add aged manure or compost in the soil to the depth of 2 inches before planting.
- Try to drain the soil up to 8 inches deep. Make sure that soil is not soggy. Cucumber plant grows best in well drained and moist soil.
- Improve clay and dense by adding organic matter and rotted manure respectively.
- Sow the seed 1 or half inch deep and keep them apart at least 35 to 60 inches and it depends on variety, for example, 1 foot distance is enough for vines cucumber.
- Distance between rows should be 35 to 60 inches for best growth and it avoids stress on the plant.
- Sow the seed inside for an early crop and then transplant the cucumber plant in the ground after 3 weeks.
- After few weeks when cucumber vines become a little bit longer then use trellis. It is a good idea for vine cucumber to climb on it. Trills also protect fruits from damaging because of moist ground.
Cucumber plant care
After planting cucumber, your work doesn’t end. Now caring of the cucumber plants start. Protect your crop as follows:
- Watering the plant is first care. These plants need excessive water. Inconsistent watering cause the bitter taste fruit so try to avoid this.
- Water cucumber slowly so that it don’t destroy the root
- Add mulch into soil which will hold moisture.
- This distance between two seedling should be 1 ½ foot.
- Try to use trills from avoiding fruit damage.
- Spray sugar water to attract bees that will increase pollination.
When to harvest cucumber? Harvesting cucumber time depends on the usage of cucumber that either you want cucumber for eating or pickling (a small cucumber preserved in brine, vinegar or similar solution). Don’t let these to get too large, otherwise these will become bitter and lose their original taste. Cucumber grows too quickly during harvesting time so you should pick cucumber just in a few days. 6 to 8 inch is regular size of cucumbers for harvesting so it’s better to pick them during this time. Pick them before their seeds become hard. You can store cucumber from a week to 10 days in refrigerator.