- By admin
- 12 June, 2013
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Cucumbers are a great addition to any home garden. They’re delicious, surprisingly easy, and yield prolifically. There’s a ton of different varieties to choose from, so do some research and see what you think will be best for you. You can see all of the varieties we carry here. Generally, you can divide cucumbers into a few types including slicing cucumbers, picklers, and exotic varieties. Some examples of slicers that we carry are Sweet Slice Burpless, Straight 8, Fanfare, and Marketmore. Excellent choices for pickles include Pioneer Pickling, Boston Pickling, and Homemade Pickles. We also carry the yard-long exotic Armenian cucumber as well as the round, yellow Lemon cucumber.
The first thing to keep in mind with cucumbers, and vegetables in general, is that they need a lot of direct sun. 6-8 hours a day in fact! They also like warm soil. You can make your cucumbers super happy by planting them only after the danger of frost is over (even light frost will kill these guys) and by “baking” the soil by covering it with black plastic for a week or two beforehand. The warm conditions will help them adjust more quickly and result in overall healthier plants. Ideal soil conditions for cucumbers are well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter at a neutral pH. Cucumbers are a little more flexible on pH than other vegetables, so don’t worry too much about that. Just make sure your soil mix is nice and fluffy and mulched and they’ll love you for it.
Cucumbers can be planted in containers, rows, hills, and in raised beds. The raised beds offer the benefit of well-drained soil; something absolutely necessary for the health of your plants. Don’t let this benefit detract you from hills or rows though. Raised beds are a lot of work to get set up and you’ll grow just as many cucumbers in hills and rows provided you have all your ducks in a row (well-amended soil, deep watering, tender loving care).
Once your plants have gotten going, there’s very little maintenance until harvest. To keep pests at bay it can be helpful to trellis vine-type cucumbers (and that includes most varieties) and then you must always make sure they have enough water. It is best to water deeply and less frequently than lightly and more frequently. The former creates good water retention and healthy plants while the latter causes root rot and eventually tissue death (not what you want!). How often to water depends a lot on weather conditions. Check for soil moisture by sticking your finger 2-3 inches into the soil. If the soil is dry all the way up your finger, they could probably use a drink!
Your cucumbers are ready when they are the size you want them. Even better, they’ll continue to produce and produce so long as it stays hot and you keep giving them regular drinks. There’s nothing better than a fresh cucumber from your own garden. After one time, this will become a staple in your home garden that will give and give for years to come!