How to Successfully Grow Cucumbers
My youngest daughter loves cucumbers. She enjoys them year round but it’s always more fun to grow the veggies that you eat, isn’t it?
Growing your own cucumbers in the vegetable garden is a great way to enjoy fresh, crisp cucumbers right off the vine. Cucumbers are relatively easy to grow when they are grown in the right condition and a close eye is applied to them in the very beginning. Growing cucumbers is one of those vegetables that you have to get right from the very start because the flavor of the actual cucumbers changes with the care it receives and the space it is grown in.
Use these tips to help you grow the tastiest cucumbers this growing season.
Know What and Where to Grow
Many first time gardeners keep their vegetables from being successful by not learning about the variety of cucumber they are growing and where it grows best. Most cucumbers grow in zones 4-12, so they are capable of long growing season growth well into the beginning of the fall. Cucumbers like well fertilized soil and plenty of growing space, so a large plot that is filled with organic material at the start of the growing season is the perfect growing space.
Cucumbers are best grown from seed, but both seedlings and transplants need plenty of care early on. Slugs and other pests love tender cucumber shoots, so garden covers or mulch around the young plants are necessary. The seedlings quickly develop the shoots that will become the long vines that spread, so make sure that the area around each plant is clear of other plants and weeds. In the very beginning, and again when they begin to grow fruit, the plants need plenty of water, so hydrate regularly.
Providing for Growth
Cucumbers are fast growers and they are capable of climbing, so you need to make sure that they have space. A sturdy vertical element for plants to climb up is essential. Twine can be used to secure vines to garden fences and poles.
Encouraging Fruit and Harvesting
Once your cucumber plants begin to flower, your vegetables are about ready to bear fruit. At this point provide your plants with additional water on a daily basis to help it through the growth spurt. Ensure that fruit is growing on a bed of mulch, away from soft-bodied pests, or if growing on a vertical element, use fruit slings to help the plant bear the weight.
Every variety of cucumber reaches a different length, but on average cucumbers are ready to be harvested at four to six inches in length. Use gardening shears to cut cucumbers off on the vine at a distance of about a quarter of an inch from where the cucumber is connected to the vine. Clean cuts leave the plant healthy for the remaining cucumbers that still need nourishment.
Ours are growing and we did start them from seed early on. We’ve got quite a few baby cucumbers that have already started to grow the plants are ready to climb up the vine. I can’t wait to get that first one. I just know it’ll taste really good!