Cucumbers belong to the Cucurbitaceae family. They are prolific and straightforward to grow.
Cucumbers are grown for eating fresh, or it can be preserved for pickles. Cucumbers mature quickly and are best suited for more extensive gardens, but they can be grown in a smaller area as long as there are full sunlight and evenly moist, fertile soil.
Cucumbers are heavy feeders, and they demand a constant supply of water. To retain the moisture in the ground and dirt to provide enough nutrient for the plant to grow well, you need to work plenty of organic matter like compost, well-rotted manure into the soil. Cucumbers can also be grown in pots and c.
How To Grow Cucumbers From Seed
Cucumbers are one of the easiest plants to grow from seeds. They can be planted indoors if the soil is not suitable for direct sowing or the weather is cold outside or directly into the soil in your garden if the weather is warm and the ground is ideal for direct sowing. To plant cucumbers from seed, you have to choose the type to grow and the preferred method of producing it. The preferred way of planting cucumber seeds is planting the seeds directly into a warm soil of about 60 degrees because anything lesser than this will not allow the cucumber to grow and it doesn’t like to be disturbed.
To plant cucumbers directly into the soil, loosen up the ground in the garden first then push two or three cucumber seeds an inch into the warm, moist soil, spacing the planting 12-14 inches apart. After sowing, cover the hole with soil then gently press the ground down to make sure the seeds come in contact with the soil then water the plant to ensure the soil is OK moisture. When this is done correctly, the seedlings will pop out from the ground within a few planting days. To plant cucumbers seeds indoors, you will need plantable pots or large pellets, soil, water, heat mats, seed trays, clear tray lids. Pre-moisten the shells or plantable pots before filling them with the soil, plant one seed per pellet hole or pot. They should be planted by placing the seed on the soil then press it down about one inch into the soil, or you can make a hole in the soil and then drop the seed in the hole. The hole should be about one inch deep. Cover the hole with the soil and press it down for the soil to contact the seeds. Water the plants after you are done sowing to ensure the soil is evenly moistened. The soil can be kept warm by using a heat mat.
How to germinate Cucumber Seed
Cucumber Plants are one of the most loved vegetable garden crops. They are tender and warm-weather crop, easy to plant and are delicious.
Gardeners may start the seeds themselves as a cost-effective method to produce plant for their garden. There are different processes on how to germinate cucumber seeds for planting. These processes include:
1. Chitting: this process involves soaking the seeds in warm water. By chitting, gardeners can germinate their cucumber seeds within 1-3 days because germinating cucumber indoors for transplanting, usually takes between 7-10 days if it is done correctly. To carry out this process, soak seeds in water for 5-10 hours, drain them out from the water, dampen a paper towel in warm water, fold the cucumber seeds into the towel, and put in the box or plastic bag. This is to maintain moisture in the towel from evaporating. Always check the sources at least once daily to see whether the seeds have started to sprout and ensure the towel’s temperature range is about 70°F. When the seeds start developing roots, transplant them into a potting mix and if the roots grow into the towel, tear them off around the root and then plant the remaining towel together with the seeds.
Newspaper, paper towel or filter towels can be used for this process, unlike the chitting process. This process makes it easy to know if your seeds have germinated because you can easily observe the seeds. To carry out this process, unfold the paper, put into the lid, sprinkle some water on the article, be careful not to spray too much, place the seeds inside the wet paper towel and fold the paper. Make sure to keep the dish in the dark and warm corner of about 25°C-28°C. Another way to carry out this process is to fold cucumber seeds into a dry paper towel, soak the folded paper towel in water and put in a glass then cover the glass tightly with cellophane. Put the glass on the sunny window sill, and after four days, the seeds will start to sprout and ready for planting.
3. Started plugs: Cucumbers can also be germinated by using starter plugs that contain soil and can be transplanted into the garden during planting time because cucumbers can be a bit fussy about transplanting. To use starter plugs for germinating cucumbers, arrange starter plugs in a tray filled with quarter or half-inch of water and drain the tray after the pins soak up the water. In each hole of the starter plugs, push two cucumber seeds into the hole, so they are planted half-inch deep and shift the soil a bit with fingers to cover the bases. Put the tray of the starter plugs in a warm place not directly in the sunlight, so the starter plugs do not dry out.
Cover the tray with a plastic wrap to help maintain moisture in the soil. Ensure you keep the starter plugs moist by filling the tray with water from the bottom as required. After four to six days, the cucumber seed will start germinating, remove the plastic wrap and then move the tray to a sunny location.
4. Water germination process: cucumber seeds can be germinated with only water as long as the temperatures are sufficiently high. To germinate cucumber seeds using water, wrap the seeds in a wet paper towel and place in a wet shall bowl. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place in a sunny and warm place. The seeds will start germinating within three days.
How To Grow Cucumbers In Containers
Because cucumbers are heavy feeders, they require warmth, fertile soil and consistent moisture otherwise, in areas where their weather is sunny, windy or hot urban areas, plants in containers tend to dry out quickly. For cucumber plants in containers not to dry out:
1. Use large containers: cucumbers needs large containers with plenty of soil, one that can contain at least five gallons or 20 quarts of soil for each plant, so that they can develop an extensive root system to support vigorous growth and abundant crop.
2. Use the best containers: the containers can come in plastics, wood, metal and fabric. If the box you chose doesn’t have any drainage holes, you should add some spots with a drill to drain out excess water. Bush-type cucumbers can be planted in a hanging basket but make sure you go for larger ones at least twelve to fourteen inches in diameter.
3. Use good quality potting soil: ordinary garden soil should not be used when planting cucumber in a container because it does not drain well. Use rich, healthy soil to keep your plants well-fed and retain more moisture than poor quality soil.
4. Choose a compact variety: choose the best seeds for small space gardening when planting in a container. The type to choose from is Bush Cucumber variety, which includes Pick a Bushel, Salad Bush, Parisian Gherkin etc. or Vinning Cucumber, including Lemon, Diva, and Picolino Auto Long etc.
5. Feed your plants regularly: During the planting season, amend the soil with granular fertilizer and when the plants are growing, follow up with liquid fertilizer.
6. Check the soil moisture every morning: Alway check the soil moisture before watering with your fingers, if the soil feels wet, don’t water again until the soil feels dry on top and slightly moist below the surface soil feels dry, wet thoroughly. Take note to always water in the morning because plants use the most water during the day when they are actively photosynthesizing and transpiring.
7. Don’t plant too early: because cucumbers are hot weather plants, don’t plant them outside until the weather is warm out maybe a week or two weeks after the last spring frost. But if you want to jumpstart you can plant seeds indoors a couple of weeks before putting them outside. Ensure you make use of biodegradable pots to prevent transplant shock.
8. Monitor for pest and diseases: cucumbers can fall prey to pests like aphids, cucumbers beetles, and powdery mildew and bacterial wilt diseases. It helps grow resistant varieties but make sure you keep an eye out on potential problems, which allows you to take action before they get out of hand.
9. Watering container cucumbers: cucumbers grown in containers need to be watered more often than in-grounds cucumbers. They need a consistent supply of water to produce the highest quality fruits. If plants lack water and are allowed to wilt in between watering, the fruits can turn bitter.
Plant cucumber seeds in a container, plant their seeds per box and push them about a half-inch deep into the soil. Water well and keep the soil consistently moist until the seeds germinate. If you want to plant indoors, sow the seeds at the right time, which is about three to four weeks before you intend to move them into their containers. Carefully slip them from their pots and tuck them into the potting mix without disturbing the rootballs when transferring seedlings into prepared outdoors and then water well.
How To Plant Cucumber Seeds In Pots
Since cucumber requires a lot of vertical space, they can be tricky to grow in pots. But they can still be grown in pots if you select a bush variety instead of climbing variety. Use well-draining, healthy soil and keep it moist throughout the growing season to help your potted cucumber plant grow. To plant cucumber in a pot, you need to take the following steps:
1. Getting the pot ready: choose a bush variety like space master, bush pickle, potluck etc. because they are easier to grow in pots. Select a pot that is ten inches wide both in diameter and in-depth. Add holes if the pots don’t have them. Use a masonry drill bit for soft, unfinished Terra cotta or a tile and glass drill for the glazed surface. Place painter’s tape over the bottom of the pot where you want to drill the holes and turn the drill on at a slow speed.
Note that larger pots will increase your harvest.
Ensure to clean pot with hot soapy water to kill any bacteria in the pot that may cause the plants to rot then prepare a stake by taking three long stakes or bamboo poles, gather them together at the top and then tie them with a cord or yarn, spread the bottom of the stakes out to form a teepee shape. Place the stakes inside the pot, spreading it out at the bottom, ensuring it is firm without needing any support. This will encourage the cucumber plants to climb along with it from the start. Fill the pot with a well-draining soil mix carefully patting the soil around the stakes.
Leave about one inch of space between the surface of the soil and the rim of the soil. Check the stakes to make sure it is healthy and not moving and ensure bacteria or pests do not contaminate the soil. Mix good fertilizer into the soil to boost the soil nutrition, mix the fertilizer into the soil according to the proportion suggested on the label direction.
Choose organic fertilizer for an environmentally safe alternative or use potting soil with fertilizer mix.
2. Planting seeds and seedlings: sow your seed when the weather warms up to 70°F or 21°C but planting inside you can plant whenever you want.
Make a hole of about half an inch in depth and width by using your pinky finger or the rounded end of a pencil, plant five to eight seeds in the hole to guarantee success, cover the hole with soil by loosely dropping the soil over the seeds and gently pat it down. If it’s still cold outside, use old water bottle as a plastic collar to protect your plants. Cut the top and bottom off of the plastic bottle, wash thoroughly with hot soapy water and place one around each sprouting plant by pressing it down, so it doesn’t blow away. Use a sprayer to water the seeds or seedlings directly after planting them.
Spread peat moss or straw over the soil after watering, and this will help the soil from drying out too quickly, so the seed will grow well then place your pot in a sunny location with at least eight hours of sunlight.
3. Caring for your cucumbers: thin out your cucumbers once the seedlings sprout two sets it really leaves and then thin to one plant per hole once the plants reach eight to ten inches. Water your cucumbers daily, add a balancing fertilizer once per week, eliminate any garden pests with neem oil or other organic pesticides or use anti-mildew spray-on fungal diseases. Finally, harvest your cucumbers about fifty-five days after planting.
Growing Cucumbers On The Ground
Cucumber Plants can be grown on the ground when the weather is warm outside. They have two growth habit: bush and vine. Bush varieties are ideal for growing in containers while the vine varieties are ideal for growing on the ground because they produce more fruits, and so requires a larger space.
When cucumbers are grown on the land, vines are left to grow on the basis, but this can promote diseases so growing them vertically on a trellis helps improve air inflow and limit the spread of disease. To plant cucumbers on the ground, you will be needing the following materials: cucumber seeds, fertilizer, shovel, hand trowel, soil thermometer, a trellis that is if you are using vine varieties, watering can, pruning spears and fungicide. The process required for planting cucumber seeds on the ground includes:
1. Prepare the garden space by removing all weeds, loosening the soil with a shovel and then adding a complete fertilizer.
2. Check the soil temperature using a soil thermometer. Ensure you plant the seeds only when the soil temperature has reached 60-70 degrees otherwise the seeds will not sprout.
3. If you are planting a bush variety then no trellis is required but if it is vine variety, install a trellis at least six feet tall and give a space roll of cucumber about three to four feet apart.
4. Plant seeds six inches apart and one inch deep. Cover with soil then water thoroughly.
6. Water the soil consistently to keep the soil moist. Don’t water too much so as not to make the soil soggy.
7. Fertilize cucumber plants twice during the growing season with high nitrogen fertilizer and one week after blooming begins and finally three weeks later.
8. Some fungal problems such as downy mildew, powdery mildew and black rot can be stopped with fungicides. For common pests such as aphids, cucumber beetles, squash bugs etc. they can be killed with pesticides.
Planting Cucumber Seeds Indoors
To grow cucumbers indoors, you will need a various design for indoor cultivation, especially varieties that produce fruits without pollination. Cucumbers grown indoors requires a bit more attention than the ones grown outdoors and for the plants to thrive, make sure to have the right equipment, from the right soil mix to a good source of sunlight. The following are what to do when you are planting cucumbers indoors:
1. Select seeds that do not require pollination and are of dwarf varieties in other to save space.
2. Make sure the pot you want to use is enormous. Cucumbers, even the dwarf varieties, needs lots of space to grow so ensure the pots are large. Hanging pots can also be used, but the key is the size.
3. Place some small stones or gravels at the bottom of the pot to aid drainage and prevent the plants’ roots from getting soggy.
4. Fill your pot with a mixture of potting soil and compost in the ratio 50:50. Don’t use garden soil when growing cucumbers indoors because it might have bacteria or virus in it that can make your plants sick.
5. Plant four to five seeds about half-inch deep and a half or more inch apart so that growth will not be hindered.
6. Cucumbers usually needs about an inch of water every week to produce a fair amount of fruits. Water deeply and thoroughly less often than little sips frequently. You can mix a bit of fertilizer in water before watering so that plant can get adequate nutrition.
7. Place your planter in a sunny window to get at least six hours of sunlight daily
8. Allow the seedlings to grow to a height of two to three inches before thinning them
9. Insert a trellis or a stick near the plants so that the vine can climb. Please don’t wait too long to do this because the plant will start rising as much as one inch every day when it starts growing taller.
10. Ensure the soil stays moist by watering the soil frequently. Make sure the water drains out from the holes at the bottom of the planter, so you are sure water is getting to the roots.
How To Grow Cucumbers Vertically
Vinning varieties are ideal for vertical gardening as they grow straight up vertical support. This growing cucumbers method is suitable for gardeners with limited space because it saves a lot of space and can avoid common problems of fruit rot associated with cucumber cultivation. This method also improves the circulation of air around the plants to prevent fungal diseases. It allows plants’ leaves to absorb more sunlight, which results in healthy and large plants and makes harvesting the fruits more efficiently and in time.
To grow cucumbers vertically, choose a five to a six-foot-tall trellis that is strong and does not topple.
Make a trellis with 2×4 wood slab s and garden twine looped up and down and across. Gardeners can also plant the cucumbers close to a tomato cage to enable the vine to climb up the cage. Use garden twine to tie the vine to the cage loosely.
When the cucumber grows a bit, it will send out small tendrils to allow the vine to climb up the wire itself. A ladder trellis can also be used to enable cucumbers to grow vertically. You can purchase one or make one by making two wood grids, then leaning them together in the garden and screwing them up together at the top for extra stability.