These sweet, crispy and watery vegetables mostly come in green colour so-called Cucumbers widely-used in all over the world for salads especially. Cucumber with the peel of 100-grams contains 95% of water and also is a source of 67 kilojoules (16 kilocalories). It is also a source vitamin-K, Vitamin-C & Vitamin B6.
As these are one of the vegetables which are relished by kids and adults alike, then why not try to grow these in this monsoon. Cucumbers are fun to grow at home so we are going to explore that what are those secrets by which anyone can grow cucumbers.
Types Of Cucumbers:
There are two common types of cucumbers.
- Vining Cucumbers: These cucumbers grow on the vine as their name but the twist is that these require a lot of space. Also, their space worth it because they produce a lot of fruits. They are planted in the yield for selling in local markets. They need a trellis. They are not preferable to grow on the ground due to the high chances of diseases.
- Bush Cucumbers: These are the best type if you have pots or containers. Also, they don’t need trellis because they don’t spread much than the vining cucumber. They also don’t bear that many fruits if we compare it with vining cucumber.
When & Where to Plant Cucumbers:
Cucumbers growing season starts from April to August. They prefer full sun and neutral soil PH level.
How to Plant Cucumbers:
There are some things you need to make sure while planting cucumbers.
- Choose the place where it gets the most sunlight.
- Choose the light fertile soil. Any type of soil you buy, just make sure that the soil is lightweight and well-drained.
- Sow the seeds half an inch inside the soil 6 – 8 apart from each other.
- When the cucumber seeds start to sprout and become 3 to 4 inches tall, thin the seedlings except for the strongest one in every 12 – 18 inches if it is vining cucumbers or 24 – 36 inches if it is bush cucumbers. Thin using the scissors to avoid disturbing the root system of other plants.
- Keep the soil moist because cucumbers contain 95% of the water that is why they need enough water on a regular basis.
- Always water in the morning and make sure to water on the base of the plants not the foliage (leaves) as they can end with fungal diseases.
- Inconsistent watering can end with oddly shaped or bitter taste cucumbers.
- Mulch around the plants to slow down the soil evaporation.
- To check whether the plants need water or not, use the rule of thumb by pressing your thumb an inch deep into the soil if it feels dry then it means your plants need water.
When & How to Harvest Cucumbers:
|Cucumber ready for harvest|
- Cucumbers will be ready for harvesting 55 – 65 days after sowing.
- Harvest the cucumbers as soon as they reach the mature size or else it will be a burden on the plant by which plant cannot be able to focus on the production of new flowers and fruits.
- Make sure to use a sharp knife, scissor, garden clipper or any other sharper tool to clip off the cucumber. Pulling the cucumbers may damage the plant.
- Leaving cucumbers on vines for too long will cause the cucumber to have tough skins and losing its flavour.
Cucumber Plant Care:
- Add compost in the soil before planting the soil.
- Fertilize cucumbers with low nitrogen, high potassium and phosphorus formula but be careful not to over-fertilize the plant or it will lead the plant to death.
- Remember to thin the weeds else they will absorb all the nutrients.
- Try to mulch with straw or dry leaves because not only they maintain the moisture in the soil but also it keeps the slugs and snail away from the plants.
- If it rains or the weather becomes so cold, immediately cover the plants with polythene.
- Cucumber plants have separate flowers; male and female; male flower appears first. The female flowers appear after a week or so.
- Cucumber flowers are often pollinated by bees and other insects.
- Spray the sugary water on the plant for attracting more bees.
- If the plants growing in a greenhouse or any other place where bees cannot reach, use tooth-brush to pollinate them.
- Cucumber can also fall into diseases or pest can harm it so make sure to follow the precautions.