Turned into pickles or eaten as it is, planting cucumbers can be done by even novice gardeners. One simply needs to spend time caring for them and making the right preparations.
Choosing the Site
First consideration is sunlight, as the fruit needs plenty of it. The climate needs to be warm, but not too dry. Allow a few weeks to pass after the last frost to avoid problems. A large garden is necessary as these fruits grow fast. If the area is small, using trellis is recommended to help manage them.
Readying the Soil
The ideal soil setup is loose and sandy. However other soil types will do provided the drainage is good. If you’re planting cucumbers, take out the stones, sticks and other objects from the soil.
Don’t take out the dead grass and small weeds; they’ll provide nutrients for the soil. When it’s ready, dig a hole 7 inches to a foot deep.
A cup of 10-10-10 or 10-20-10 fertilizer must be applied for every 10 ft row. Set the fertilizer in place until the ground smoothens. Try to have the beds 8 inches tall with 35 inches of space between them. If the draining is inadequate, ridges will be especially needed.
Planting cucumbers on the ridges is needed. Get a stick and make a 1 inch deep furrow. Place it in the midst of the ridge. Put in 3 to 4 seeds every foot in the row. Now put an inch of soil over the seeds. Firm up the soil using the hoe.
Train the cucumbers on a fence or cage if the gardening area is small. You can plant four seeds on the trellis.
Don’t grow the fruits near trees because they’ll fight for the nutrients. It also helps if you plant lettuce in the midst of the cucumber hills. These crops grow quickly, so you don’t waste the space in the garden when planting cucumbers.
You can choose two cucumbers to grow. The slicing types grow 8 inches long and an inch thick. The picking variants are 4 inches long. The latter is used for pickling. The former can be used for pickling too if harvested when small.
Keep weeds away from the plant as much as possible. Don’t plow more than an inch deep; this might damage the roots. Put a tbsp of fertilizer on every plant when the vine grows 12 inches long. Water them regularly. If it gets too hot, soaking the plants is recommended.
Insects and Diseases
Signs of insect attacks are spots on the leaves. Use an insecticide to protect the plants. A fungicide is necessary to prevent disease from spreading.
You can pick the fruit anytime but don’t wait too long. If you do the cucumber will turn yellow. This means it is too mature and will come with poor taste.
Planting cucumbers is a great way to start learning how to cultivate a garden. By using the right methods, you can avail of pickles and fresh fruit without too much difficulty.
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