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Cucumbers are one of my favorite vegetables to grow in the garden for several reasons. First, I love to grow cucumbers because they’re EASY to grow. (I have a several easy to grow vegetables on my list) They don’t require a lot so it makes them fun to grow. Second, they’re prolific, you’re almost guaranteed to get a bumper crop harvest off of them. Third, fresh cucumbers are delicious. And fourth, Pickles…. need I say more?
Without further ado, let’s get down to how it’s done.
How to Grow Cucumbers
You’ll need to decide if you want to start seeds and transplant or just direct sow in the ground. We prefer the direct sow method because cucumbers don’t do well with root disturbance for transplanting. Peet pots are a good option if you want to start seeds indoor to get a jump start on the season.
You need to wait until at least 2 weeks after risk of frost to transplant or direct sow. Cucumber plants do not tolerate frost at all. The soil temperature needs to be 70° F or warmer.
Plant seeds 6″ apart and thin to 12″ apart after first true leaves appear for vining varieties, for bush varieties, thin to 18″-24″ apart. Transplants can be planted every 12″.
Choose an area with full sun, they love the sun! Cucumbers also love water, and need to be kept moist. If your soil is dry past the first joint in your finger, you need to water your plants.
Soil rich in organic matter with a ph between 6.5-7.0 is best to grow cucumbers in. For vining types, they do best when trellised. We’ve built teepee type structures, used pieces of fencing, cattle panels, branches, and long sticks, they just need something to grow up.
Harvest time will depend on the type you grow- around 55-65 days for most types. Be sure to pick them before they get too large, this will can make them tough and bitter. Picking often will also cause your plant to produce even more cucumbers.
Once you harvest, you can enjoy eating your cucumbers fresh, dipped in ranch dip, as cucumber sandwiches, in salads, or any other way you like to enjoy fresh cucumbers. They are also delicious a pickles. Our favorite is dill and bread and butter pickles.
You can definitely expect a large harvest of cucumbers. There will be more than enough to eat, preserve, share with friends, family, and neighbors. There will probably be enough leftover to share with your chickens and other livestock.
There are also some very cool varieties to pick from. We always grow a pickling type and a slicing type. The coolest variety that we’ve gown is the lemon cucumber. Such a yummy and neat vegetable!
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