Growing Cucumbers, How to Grow Cucumbers, and Planting Cucumbers Using a Cucumber Trellis
Plans and tips for growing cucumbers in home vegetable gardens.
To save space try vertical vegetable gardening with cucumber plants using a cucumber trellis!
Download our free sample vegetable garden plans and worksheets for growing cucumber plants!
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Planting cucumbers in a home vegetable garden is fun and easy.
Even if you don't know how to garden, you will find it easy to succeed with cucumber plants.
How to Grow Cucumbers Using a Cucumber Trellis
With just a few feet of space in the backyard, you can grow these delicious and nutritious vegetables by training them upward onto a trellis.
This is a form of vertical vegetable gardening that will save a lot of space in your garden.
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Benefits of a Cucumber TrellisUsing a cucumber trellis makes harvesting cucumbers a bit easier. It easier to find the cucumbers, and to pick them.It keeps the growing cucumbers off the ground, so they will also be less exposed to pests and diseases.
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If you have plenty of room in your garden, you can let cucumber plants sprawl on the ground. This will require considerably more space, as many cucumber varieties will spread 6 or 8 feet in diameter.
How to Grow Cucumbers in Containers
Some varieties of cucumbers also make excellent container plants.
Be sure to install your cage or trellis in the pot as soon as your cucumber is planted.
If you wait, it will be difficult to train the cucumber vine onto the trellis without causing damage to the vine.
When planning your vegetable garden layout, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Types of Cucumber Plants
You can choose from three cucumber types: Slicing (Sweet Slice and Sweet Success)Pickling (National Pickling and Multipik) Exotic (Armenian) varieties
You can, however, pickle both the slicing and pickling types when the cucumbers are picked while still small.
Although there are two ways of planting cucumbers – direct sow and transplant method – you are sometimes better off with direct sowing, as care is needed not to disturb the roots when transplanting. To save time, however, small plants can be purchased or started in pots to be transplanted at the proper time.
Preparing the Soil
When looking for the best spot to grow cucumbers, look for loose, warm and nutrient rich soil such as humus. Prepare soil to a depth of 8-12 inches, for roots to have plenty of room to grow. Ensure that the area is well-drained as cucumbers will not thrive in constantly wet areas.
If you plant more than one cucumber plant, they should be at least 4 to 5 feet apart to ensure good feeding and to allow some space to walk between the vines. Also, you might want to consider trellises made of metal or untreated wood to train the vines upwards in a vertical garden to take less space. If your soil has not been enriched with humus or compost, you may want to use some fertilizer. Cucumbers are a quick growing plant, so it is important to supply water and nutrients throughout the growing season.
Planting Cucumber Seeds
Before planting the cucumber seeds, you have to determine that the danger of frost has passed, as cucumbers are a subtropical plant and require relatively warm temperatures. When the warm soil is ready, you can make small furrows an inch deep into the beds and drop 3-4 seeds in each hole. Completely cover the seeds with soil although you must not pack it too tightly.
Growing Cucumbers from Small Transplants
Tiny cucumber plants are easily damaged during transplanting. Therefore, if you have time, it may be wise to start growing cucumbers from seeds.
But if you decide to purchase small plants, try to find them in bio-degradable containers that can be planted directly in the ground without disturbing the little plants.
Taking Care of Cucumber Plants
After planting the seeds or small plants, the process of growing cucumbers gets easier. You just need to keep the plants weed-free and well-watered. Water more frequently when the plants are small, as the root system is near the surface and will dry out quickly. Applying mulch around the plant can help retain moisture and prevent weeds. As the plants grow larger, less frequent but deep watering is best.
How to Prevent Bitter Tasting Cucumbers?
It helps to select cucumber varieties that are not prone to bitterness.
However, if your cucumbers taste bitter, it is likely because they did not receive enough water. Cucumber plants seem to need more water than the rest of the garden plants.
My grandmother's solution to bitter cucumbers:
1. Take a one gallon can, making holes all around the bottom of the can with a pointed can-opener.
2. Bury it in the ground next to the cucumber plant.
3. Use the garden hose to slowly fill the can with water several times a week.
This worked well to give her cucumber plants extra water without over-watering the rest of the garden. (Also, because the can is buried, and the holes are in the bottom, the water is released deep in the ground where the thirsty cucumber roots have access to the water.)
This watering method also helps prevent mildew from damaging your plants. Cucumber vines are susceptible to powdery mildew if the vines are often wet overnight. Be sure to water in the morning, so the foliage has time to dry completely before nightfall.
Cucumber Growing Tips
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Growing cucumber plants can be subject to several pests and diseases in the early stages of growth, although most of the varieties available in your local garden center should be healthy and trouble free. Avoid using insecticides in your garden during the time that pollinating insects such as bees are busy working the flowers.
Cucumber plants grow quickly and produce their fruit quickly. Soon enough, you’ll have a bumper crop of cucumbers for your salads and pickles!