Hit the play button below to listen to this weeks episode : How To Grow An Amazing Crop Of Cucumbers! Below you will also find our show notes along with reference and product links from the article. Be sure to check out all of our past episodes on the website at SIMPLE LIFE GARDEN EPISODES
IMPORTANT REFERENCE LINKS & ARTICLES
- Our Hot and Spicy Pickle Recipe
- Growing Straw Bale Cucumbers
- 3 Great Cucumbers For Eating & Pickling
- Growing Cucumbers – Our Top Tips & Tricks
- How To Make Compost Tea
Show Outline / Show Notes
Great Soil = Great Cucumbers
Whether planted in the ground or in containers, cucumbers need rich, fertile soil to grow strong and thrive. In addition, that soil needs to be light and airy to allow for good drainage.
When planting, add in 6 to 8 cups (a few shovels) of compost to each planting hole. Compost adds vital nutrients that can easily be absorbed by the cucumber plants. But even more, it also loosens the soil to create excellent drainage.
Soil borne disease
Rotate your crop to a new location in the garden each season. This allows the soil to recover, minimizes disease, and reduces the possibility for long-term infestation.
For best results, wait at least three years before rotating back to plant cucumbers in the same location.
Locating Your Plants – Early Morning Sunlight
Cucumbers need a lot of sunlight to produce a bumper crop. Cucumbers rely heavily on photosynthesis to build strong, sturdy and productive vines. A process that is centered around the sun entirely.
Locate your crop in an area that receives a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight each day. And if at all possible, make sure your plants receive early morning sunlight.
Transplants Vs. Direct Seeding
Although cucumbers can be grown easily by direct seeding, we prefer starting our seeds early and transplanting. The added growth and strength of a transplant gives the plant a better chance to avoid and fight dreaded cucumber beetle attacks.
Plant In Mounds
When planting directly in the soil, plant your crop in slightly tapered hills. In containers, make sure the primary stem is planted above the surrounding soil as well.
Cucumber plants are highly susceptible to rot. But a bit of “raised planting” helps keep the main plant stem out of sitting water during heavy rains or watering.
Create tapered mounds approximately 18″ in diameter, that are 3″ to 4″ high in the middle. And remember – add in that compost!
Provide Support / Mulch / Cucumber Styles
vining vs. bush
always mulch – keeps cucumbers safe and plants moist
A bit of slow and steady fertilizing can help to keep plants producing as well.
Apply a light dose of compost tea or organic fertilizer ever 2 weeks until plants begin to form their first cucumbers. Once they begin to fruit, fertilizing can cease. Product Link : Dr. Earth’s Organic Fertilizer
fruit overload – keep picking to keep producing
COMPANION PLANTING – Be Careful What You Plant Nearby
What you plant around your cucumbers will play an important role in their productivity. One thing to avoid for sure is growing cucumbers near potatoes.
Potatoes release a substance in the soil that greatly hinders the growth of cucumbers. And planting them nearby can have devastating effects on your cucumber crop.
But there are some crops that are highly beneficial, like radishes. When grown nearby or with cucumbers, radishes help to repel harmful insects like cucumber beetles and aphids that attack tender cucumber plants.
When planting cucumbers, simply seed 5 to 10 radish seeds on the edges of your mounds. The seeds germinate fast, and will help stave away the beetles. (See: Companion Planting 101)
Closing Remarks – How To Grow Cucumbers