Cool as a cucumber! There's nothing like munching on crisp cucumbers to beat
the heat. There are many cucumber types: picklers, slicers, gherkins,
and lemon cukes, to name a few. Cucumbers grow best during the long, hot
days of summer, with maximum sunshine and warm nights. The plants won't tolerate
1. Prepare. Loosen soil
to a depth of 8 to 10 inches using a shovel or tiller. Mix in some compost
or slow-release fertilizer to provide plants with nutrients. Then rake the
soil smooth, removing any large clumps and rocks.
2. Plant. There are
cucumber varieties that form long vines and bush varieties that form a low
mound. Provide support for vining types -- a trellis, tepee, or netting strung
between stakes. If planting in a row, sow cucumber seeds about an inch deep
and 6 inches apart. Or, plant cucumber seeds around the perimeter of a tepee.
To plant, either poke a hole with your finger and place the seed in the hole,
or use a hoe to create a shallow furrow. Cover seed with soil and press gently.
3. Grow. Once seedlings
are a few inches tall, thin them by removing extra plants so the remaining
ones are about a foot apart for vining types, two feet apart for bush varieties.
Water soil to keep it moist — dry soil leads to bitter cukes. Pull weeds
that sprout nearby. Apply organic mulch,
like bark chips, to control weeds and conserve soil moisture, keeping the mulch
an inch or two from stems.
4. Enjoy. Harvest cucumbers when they reach slicing or pickling size, removing any that
get overmature. Frequent harvesting encourages plants to continue producing.
Garden Seed Association (HGSA) |
P.O. Box 93, Maxwell, CA 95955 |
Phone (530) 438-2126 |
AT A GLANCE
Planting time: After last spring frost
Planting depth: 1 inch deep
Spacing in row: 6 inches apart; thin
to 1 foot apart.
Time to harvest : 50 to 65 days,
depending on variety.