Growing Organic Cucumbers from Seed to Harvest Posted on 1 Jun 09:27 , 1 comment
Cucumbers like soil rich in organic matter, well drained, and around a neutral pH (around 6.5). These all really go hand in hand, anyway. Just add some compost to your soil or your planter, and it should take care of the three soil preferences of cucumbers.
Remember, mulch helps soil retain moisture. When vegetables like full sun, soil tends to dry out quickly. Mulch will also keep the cucumbers off the soil away from pests and clean.
As with Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant...I recommend soaking seeds for up to 24 hours before planting.
Cucumbers grow as bushes or vines. Bush varieties grow well in containers. Refer to the variety list above for types of cucumbers suitable for containers and planters. Vine cucumbers will need a trellis, and there’s more space for those in a garden out in the yard.
You can plant rows of cucumbers once soil temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Space rows 6 ½ feet apart, and plants should have about 2 ½ feet between them. But check your variety, if growing a smaller cucumber plant, you may be able to add more plants in a smaller space. There are some varieties that only need 8-10 inches between the plants.
Since cucumbers are a warm season crop, seeds do pretty well sowing directly into your garden. For row gardening, plant cucumber seeds about 6 inches apart. When the seedlings become established (have their second set of leaves- not just seedling leaves), you can thin seedlings to suggested planting space. By planting seeds 6 inches apart, you can count on getting enough cucumber plants.
A hill of cucumbers!
Vine crops are often grown this way, like cucumbers, squash, and melons. The idea of hill planting is to start the root system in the center. From there they grow outwards, not competing with each other for water or soil nutrients.
Again, hill planting is for your vine cucumbers. Hills need to be about 3 feet apart. Plant about 5 or so seeds in the hill. Once seedlings have established, reduce to only three plants. Instead of pulling up the seedling, just cut it off. This will prevent any disruption to the root system.
Remember, vine cucumber plants are better trellised. These plants have healthier vines, and harvesting is easier since you can see the fruit.
You can plant any type of cucumber in a raised bed. The benefit of using raised beds with cucumbers is soil drainage. Raised beds, in general, will provide well drained soil.
Raised beds are my preferred gardening method and it makes gardening easier! It’s easier to reach the vegetables, control soil health, and control pests and weeds.
Some plants actually are bad to the health of cucumber plants. Avoid these plants around cucumbers: tomatoes, sage, and other aromatic herbs.
For Organic pest control, use Companion Planting and Diatomaceous Earth. For more info read Using Diatomaceous Earth. For "muching insects," use our recipe for Organic Neem Oil spray.
|White Wonder Cucumber|
Fertilize cucumber plants about a week after they produce blossoms. You can fertilize about every 3-4 weeks. Make sure you don’t over fertilize. It can lead to misshapen cucumbers.
To harvest, you can cut the vine about 3/8 inches above the cucumber. Or catch them at the right time, and they just pop off the vine. Cucumbers last longer stored in the refrigerator.
|National Pickling Cucumber|
Cucumber Tomato Salad
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- salt to taste
- ground black pepper to taste
- Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions in a salad bowl. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Chill.
Tips for Seed Starting
Using Coconut Coir for Seed Starting
Hardening off Seedlings Before Transplanting
FEED Your Plants!
Organic Pest Control Series:
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