Who doesn't like cucumbers? This delicious crunchy fresh vegetable can be eaten in salads, marinades or just by itself! Children generally love it and in summer it is an interesting cool ally.
And when you pick them directly from the garden, they are even better! So it's a good idea to grow it at home. In addition, it is quite simple to do, since they come from climbing plants.
Cucumbers are part of the cucurbit family; they are therefore cousins of both melons and squash. This explains why they need warm, well-drained soil.
Here are some tips to help you grow cucumbers in your garden.
1. Dig a good amount of organic compost into the soil (which should be returned to about a depth of the pile).
2. Plants can be started indoors, sowing in biodegradable pots, so that the roots are not damaged during planting.
3. It is important not to plant before the last frost.
4. Leave a space of about 40 cm between the plants. The seeds should be planted 2.5 cm deep. The rows should be spaced about 90 cm apart.
5. Make groups of 3 seeds in each hole to increase the chances of successful germination.
6. Cucumbers need a good amount of sun and heat. That’s why it’s a greenhouse favorite!
7. Make sure you have enough space, as cucumbers can quickly reach almost 1.80 m. If space is limited, the plant should be positioned against a wall or post. Otherwise, cucumbers can spread on the ground without problems.
8. Well-drained soil is important for cucumbers. They can therefore be planted in raised beds, about 15 cm high.
9. Cucumbers thrive in sandy soil. Make sure the soil has a good amount of organic matter and use manure to give it the necessary nutrients.
10. Weed regularly without going too hollow with the hoe, because it can damage the roots and slow the growth of cucumbers.
11. Water the cucumbers weekly so that they are firm but juicy.
12. As the plant has both male and female flowers and the female flowers give rise to cucumbers, pollination can be helped and the number of fruits can be increased by using a cotton swab to transfer pollen from the male flowers to the center female flowers. (The female flowers have a tiny cucumber at their base).
13. Cucumbers can be harvested when they reach a suitable size, about 50-60 days after planting. Their skin should be dark green in color.
14. Do not wait until the cucumbers have turned yellow, as this indicates that they are overripe and the quality of their flavor will be lower.
15. To pick them, you must turn the cucumbers or cut the stem, just above the tip of the cucurbit.
Source: Potager Biz · Photo Credit: Adobe Stock