The first time I had volunteer cucumber plants, I realized how easy these fruits were to grow. I figured if they could come up all on their own, then I shouldn’t have any difficulty with getting them to grow where I wanted them; in my garden. Here are 5 garden tips for cucumbers if you are thinking about adding them to your vegetable garden.
5. Turn Fruit to Avoid Rot
Sometimes too much rain can be a disadvantage for cucumbers already on the vine. When the fruit sets in the same wet spot for too long, signs of rot might begin to show. Inspect the fruit regularly and slightly rotate the cucumber if it is beginning to rot on the underside.
4. Purchase Small Plants to Get a Head Start
Buying cucumber plants that are already well-established will give you a bit of a jump on the growing season. This is beneficial to gardeners in cooler climates. It’s difficult to have enough growing time for these vine-producing plants when the season is short.
3. Fertilize Early
Almost all plants benefit from fertilizer, whether it’s manure or a liquid plant food. With cucumber plants, fertilizer should be added only until the flowers start to emerge. If you decide to use cow manure, then work it into the soil around the plants, but not right next to them. This will allow the seedlings to slowly get nutrients instead of having too much at once.
2. Watch for Frost Warnings
I’m always in the garden at the first signs of spring. Be careful not to rush planting your cucumber seeds so that you can miss the last big frost. If you have some plants already emerging and there is danger of frost, you can always put cages over them and then cover the cages with a thick blanket. This will keep the frost from harming fragile seedlings.
1. Eliminate Stress for Sweeter Cucumbers
This doesn’t mean eliminate your stress! Cucumber plants that are under a lot of stress tend to produce bitter fruit. Poor soil, uneven moisture, and extreme temperatures are all examples of situations that stress cucumber plants. Some of these can be avoided, such as watering and soil nutrients.
Whether you’re thinking about eating them raw, pickling them, or using them for a beauty aid, cucumbers are an easy addition to any garden. They definitely have a mind of their own, when it comes to sending out vines, so be sure you give them plenty of room. Do you grow cucumbers in your garden each year? What do you make with your cucumber crop?
Top Photo Credit: Vegan Butterfly