Growing a garden this year? Here’s your guide to how to grow cucumbers for home gardeners!
Cucumbers are one of the most popular plants to start in a garden, not only for experienced gardeners but also for beginners. About 47 percent of vegetable growers choose to plant cucumbers.
I love growing cucumbers because they’re super easy. It’s a cinch to grow enough for both fresh eating and pickle making – even in a small space. In fact, if you read my dill pickle recipe, you probably remember how my husband grew bushel bucket loads of them the summer our daughter was born, and I got completely burned out on cucumbers.
Cucumber plants can grow even in the smallest garden. If you have problems with space, you can also plant them in pots or containers. There are vining cucumbers that grow up on trellises, and there are more compact bush varieties you can grow in smaller areas. This easy-to-take-care-of vegetable loves water and sun and can grow quickly.
How to Grow Cucumbers for Home Gardeners
If you’re interested in planting cucumbers in your garden, here are 7 tips for how to grow cucumbers to make sure you have healthy plants and a bountiful harvest.
Sow Cucumber Seeds Directly In The Ground
Cucumbers that are directly sown in the ground results in better produce. Once all danger of frost has passed, start planting the seeds outdoors.
If you want to get a jump start on your planting season, start your seeds indoors or in your greenhouse. However, doing so also comes with risks when trying to transplant them.
Keep Cucumber Plants Warm
Cucumbers love plenty of direct sunlight and warm weather. When choosing where to plant your seeds or seedlings, look for a spot that has at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight a day.
When growing your cucumbers, choose a well-drained location rich with fertilized soil. For an extra boost, mix some organic matter or fertilizer to your soil. Fertilizer also encourages the growth of your plants.
Add A Trellis
The vines of this plant like to stretch out and attach to anything with their fragile tendrils. To lift the fruits off the soil, build a trellis. You can use one you’ve built, or buy a ready-made one made of wood, metal, or plastic.
A trellis makes your garden look neat and organized, too. Plus, if the vines are off the ground, it promotes better air circulation around the plants, eliminating mildew and bacteria that can cause fungal diseases.
Water Cucumber Plants Consistently
One of the most important requirements when growing cucumbers is water. Cucumbers need one to two inches of water a week. If not watered consistently, your plants will produce bitter fruits and can dry up and die altogether.
To know whether the plant needs watering, place your finger in the soil. If the first joint of your finger remains dry, it’s time to water. You can also invest a few dollars into a combination meter that will tell you when your plants need water, more light and if the ph levels are correct. This meter can be used on all of your plants indoors and out and can be purchased on Amazon for as little as under $10.
Avoid Watering The Leaves
The best time to water your cucumber plants is during the early morning or late afternoon.
When watering your plants, avoid getting the leaves wet. Watering the leaves can promote leaf diseases which will ruin the plants as they grow. To keep the foliage dry, you can use a soaker hose or drip irrigation.
However, if you live in a drier climate, overhead sprinkler watering probably won’t be a problem for you.
Give Them Space
When growing cucumbers, space is important.
Crowding the plants can cause diseases. They need room for the air to blow through them and keep the leaves dry. Plus, the plants might not produce well in close quarters.
The vines of your plant will sprawl. Giving ample space between the plants can also make harvesting easier.
Prevent Cucumber Beetles
Cucumber beetles are one of the problems you might face when growing these plants. They are small, yellow striped beetles which spread disease such as bacterial wilt.
You can prevent cucumber beetles from infesting your cucumber plants by mulching. Spread a layer of organic mulch at the base of your plant to stop these pests from climbing up the vines.
There’s a reason why a lot of gardeners are growing cucumbers: They’re easy to grow and don’t require expert knowledge or constant attention.
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Rhonda York says
My husband put cross arms in my garden. Four posts, six feet apart, with electric fence wire stretched through them (in the bolt holes). When I plant my cucumbers, I tie pieces of plant tie to the wires, reaching down to the plants. When they start to grow, they grab on and start to climb.