Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Cucumber, gherkin, cornichon belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family or gourd family. Which includes over 800 species like melon, squash, cantaloupe. The cucumber or Cucumis sativus is a creeping vine plant that produces fruit that’s sold as a veggie. Cucumbers originated in northern India area and has been cultivared for 3,000 years. This fruit is used mostly for culinary, medicinal and some hang over cures. Cucumbers are considered a Tender plant and frost tender they don’t like tempertures below 60F. Cucumbers are a fast growing crop usually sown when tempetrutes are above 65F.

 

Plant and Go

Dep. 1 ½  row. 18 spc. Temp. 70-80  germ. 10-15  sun. Part shade pH. 6.0-7.0 harv. 100-120 soil. Well. Cont. 5 gal fert. 5-10-10  fert freq. 10-14 water.  1 mat. dimen. 6ft x 3 ft. Sow. Spring. Name. Cucumis sativus

Details

 

  • Pick the right time

Cucumbers need warm temperatures and lots of sunlight to germinate.

  • Pick a good location

Cucumbers need rich, well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. They also need a lot of sunlight.

  • Prepare the seeds

You can buy cucumber seeds online. Sow two seeds 1–2 cm deep, vertically or on their sides, in a small pot filled with peat-free, multi-purpose compost. You can place pots in a propagator to speed up germination. The seeds should germinate in 7–10 days.

  • Water and care for the seedlings

Water well after planting, and keep the soil consistently moist with about an inch of water per week. When the seedlings appear, remove the weakest one and thin them out if they are too close together. Once the seedlings have at least two sets of true leaves that are about four inches high, replant them further apart.

  • Pollinate and fertilize

When properly pollinated and fertilized, the female flowers develop into fruit.

 

 

Growing cucumbers from seed to flower is a rewarding experience, allowing you to witness the entire life cycle of this versatile plant and enjoy its delicate yellow blooms. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Planting the seeds:

  1. Timing: Start indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date in your area. This will give your seedlings a head start and ensure they're ready for transplanting outdoors when the weather warms.
  2. Containers: Choose individual pots or a seed tray with good drainage. Fill them with a well-draining potting mix rich in organic matter.
  3. Sowing: Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep, placing one or two seeds per pot. Gently cover the seeds with soil and water thoroughly.
  4. Germination: Place the pots in a warm, sunny location with temperatures around 70-80°F. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Seeds should germinate within 5-10 days.

Seedling care:

  1. Watering: Water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist, but avoid overwatering, which can lead to root rot.
  2. Light: Provide your seedlings with at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight daily. You can use a grow light if needed.
  3. Thinning: Once the seedlings have developed their first true leaves, thin them to one plant per pot. You can do this by gently snipping off the weaker seedlings at soil level.

Transplanting and outdoor care:

  1. Hardening off: When the danger of frost has passed and the soil temperature has warmed to at least 60°F, begin hardening off your seedlings. Gradually expose them to outdoor conditions for a week or two to prevent transplant shock.
  2. Planting location: Choose a sunny location with well-drained soil. If your soil is poor, amend it with compost or manure before planting.
  3. Spacing: Cucumbers can be grown in rows, mounds, or on trellises. For rows, space plants 12-18 inches apart. For mounds, plant 2-3 seeds per mound spaced 3-4 feet apart. For trellises, plant seeds 6-8 inches apart.
  4. Watering and feeding: Water regularly, especially during hot and dry periods. Aim to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Fertilize with a balanced organic fertilizer every 4-6 weeks.

Flowering and pollination:

  • Cucumber flowers typically appear 4-6 weeks after planting. They are delicate and come in two types: male and female. Male flowers are smaller and more numerous, while female flowers have a swollen ovary at the base.

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Female cucumber flower

  • Cucumbers are naturally pollinated by bees and other insects. If you're growing cucumbers indoors or in a controlled environment, you may need to hand-pollinate the flowers. To do this, gently transfer pollen from the male flower to the stigma of the female flower using a cotton swab.
  • Once the flowers are pollinated, the female flowers will develop into cucumbers. The fruits will be ready to harvest when they are firm and have reached their desired size, typically 6-8 weeks after pollination.

Tips:

  • Choose cucumber varieties known for their attractive flowers, such as 'Lemon' or 'Armenian.'
  • Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms.
  • Harvest cucumbers regularly to encourage continued fruit production.
  • Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and treat them organically if necessary.

With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the beauty of cucumber flowers alongside delicious homegrown fruits. Happy gardening!

 

 

 

Fun Fact

Yes, cucumbers are about 95% water, but that doesn't mean they're nutritionally empty! They're packed with vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes, making them a refreshing and hydrating snack. In fact, they can even help replenish nutrients lost during a hangover!

Don't let the seeds fool you! That's where most of the cucumber's flavor comes from. So next time, leave those little nuggets in your salad for an extra punch of taste.

The world's longest cucumber ever grown measured a whopping 76 inches (almost 2 meters)! That's longer than many toddlers!

China takes the crown for cucumber production, churning out over 75% of the world's supply. Talk about cucumber domination!

The saying "cool as a cucumber" actually has scientific backing! Cucumbers contain a compound called cucurbitacin E, which helps them regulate their temperature and stay cool, even in hot weather. No wonder they're the perfect summer snack!

Cucumbers aren't actually vegetables, they're fruits! Botanically speaking, they're a type of berry, related to melons and watermelons. Mind blown, right?

 

Tips

Companion planting with herbs like basil or dill can deter pests.

Rotating your cucumber planting location each year helps prevent soil-borne diseases.

Mulching around the base of plants helps retain moisture and suppress weeds.

 

Conclusion

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