Top 7 Tips for Growing Cucumbers
Cucumbers are tropical vegetables that thrive well in hot areas. If you love cucumbers, then you might be interested in growing some. These are warm-weather vegetables that require a lot of water.
There are also varieties to suit your needs. Whether you want cucumbers for pickling or slicing, there are varieties to consider.
A big cucumber harvest means more pickling, salad, and fresh eating. But before you get the big harvest, there are a few tips to consider. These are important cucumber-growing secrets that can make a huge difference.
Keep reading below as I break down 7 crucial tips for growing cucumbers.
Choose a Sunny Location
Cucumbers need at least 8 hours of sunlight per day for maximum production. To build productive, sturdy, and strong vines, cucumbers rely heavily on photosynthesis.
This is the process by which plants make their food. It relies heavily on sunlight. You want to make sure the plants receive a lot of early morning sunshine.
Early morning sunshine is important for cucumbers. It helps dry off the early morning dew from the cucumber vines and foliage. When dew is left to linger for longer periods, it can lead to blight and mildew.
Grow Cucumber in Pots
Yes, you can grow cucumbers in pots and enjoy bumper harvests. But not just any pot. Cucumbers do well in large pots with plenty of soil. These are plants with an extensive root system.
Choose pots that can hold at least 5 gallons of soil to support the root system. You can sow cucumber seeds directly in the pots. Sow at least three seeds per pot about an half inch deep.
Water the pot well to keep the soil moist until the seeds germinate. Once they start growing, you might have to remove the weaker plants and leave the strong ones.
Make sure you let your potted cucumber climb as opposed to spreading. You can use wire trellis, or strings or place the pots near fences. The pots should also be strategically located in areas where they can receive a lot of sunlight.
Water Cucumber Plants Regularly
Water by far is the main care for cucumbers. These vegetables require consistent watering. Since they do well in warm regions, cucumbers require at least 1 inch of water per week.
If they lack water, the cucumber might have a bitter taste. You need to check the topsoil daily and water it whenever the topsoil is dry. Cucumbers tend to produce small fruits when they receive little water.
However, don’t overwater. As cucumbers need a lot of water, they don’t do well in wet soil. When the soil is constantly wet, cucumber roots will start to rot. Overwatering is one of the biggest problems most cucumber farmers face.
You only need to water cucumber plants when the top inch of the soil is dry.
Good Cucumber Plant Spacing
Based on Backyard Gardeners Network, good spacing is also essential if you’re planting your cucumber seeds in a row. You don’t want your cucumber plants too close. When cucumbers are too close, air circulation is reduced. This leads to more humid conditions. And we all know fungal diseases thrive well in humid conditions.
Generally, there is a higher risk of disease when cucumbers are planted too close. Make sure you follow recommended cucumber spacing guidelines.
Seeds should be sowed 1 inch deep and about 3-5 feet apart in a row. But the exact spacing depends on the cucumber variety. Cucumbers in mounds can be spaced 1-2 feet apart. Cucumber vines on a trellis can be 1 foot apart.
Whether planting your cucumbers in the garden or in pots, great soil is a must. Cucumbers require nutrient-rich soil to thrive and develop strong vines. Additionally, the soil needs to be airy and light for efficient drainage.
In each hole before sowing, make sure you add a shovel of compost. Compost adds much-needed nutrients. It also helps loosen the soil for efficient drainage.
If you happen to find some worm casting, then add them too! Worm casting and compost help keep the soil loose and nutrient-rich for optimal cucumber production.
Plant in Mounds
If you’re planting in the garden, then consider planting in mounds. This is done by planting the crops in slightly tapered hills. Even when planting on containers, make sure the plant stem should stand slightly above the surrounding soil.
This is essential as cucumber plants tend to rot fast. When planted mounds, it helps keep the steps above sitting water during rainy seasons.
Tapered mounds should be about 18 inches in diameter and 3-4 inches high in the middle. Also, make sure to add some compost to loosen the soil.
Lastly, you want to make sure you harvest your cucumbers regularly. When fruits mature, make sure you harvest them and leave space for new fruits to develop.
When you don’t harvest regularly, the plant will focus on making existing fruits larger. This means fewer new blooms will be produced.