9 Errors to Keep away from When Planting Cucumbers.


How to properly grow cucumbers?

If its culture seems easy, the cucumber is a plant that requires maintenance and special care.

The choice of its location, its watering, the variety… so many things that come into play and that we do not know if we are not a professional.

That’s why I asked the question to Paul, the market gardener in my village.

He gave me all his tips on when and how to plant cucumbers.

And since I follow his advice, I never miss my seedlings again.

Here are 9 little secrets of market gardeners for successfully growing a cucumber plant. Look :

1. Choose the right variety of cucumber

Did you know that there are more than 50 different varieties of cucumber (cucumis sativus)?

And each has its characteristics.

Some adapt perfectly to the coolest regions and others resist very well to extreme heat.

It is therefore wise to choose the variety carefully according to its place of planting.

Even if it needs sun and heat, the cucumber can also adapt to the less temperate regions of France.

For my part, I manage to collect crates of them although I live in the mountains.

But I choose very hardy species like « Lemon » or « Généreux ».

The latter has an advantage: the young fruits can be prepared like pickles.

If you live in a warmer region, for example in the south, the choice is less limited.

The original varieties are yours, such as the yellow, orange, round or white cucumber…

2. Sow the seeds under cover

You can start sowing cucumber as early as March.

On the other hand, it must be done in a greenhouse or under shelter.

For what ?

Because it fears the cold and the nocturnal frost.

We can even say that too cold a temperature is fatal for him.

So, I advise you to put the seeds in small pots in a bright and sheltered place.

Let the plant grow until May.

The ideal is for the young plant to have a stem of about 15 cm and in perfect health before taking it out of the greenhouse.

3. Plant the seeds in the vegetable garden when it is no longer freezing at night

Most of the vegetables that are planted in the ground in the vegetable garden fear the cold, and in particular night frosts.

That’s why you should not rush to transplant young cucumber shoots.

It is also said that they should not be buried until the Ice Saints have passed..

They are celebrated on May 11, 12 and 13.

Our elders never started their vegetable garden before these dates…

And I tend to believe this ancestral and popular wisdom.

So, no outdoor planting of seedlings before mid-May.

4. Space cucumber seedlings sufficiently

Cucumbers are creeping plants that take up a lot of space.

The stem spreads out to sometimes be over a meter long.

It is therefore necessary to provide sufficient space between each foot for them to develop normally.

This is also a rule to follow for all cucurbits such as squash, melon or gherkin.

The ideal, according to Paul, is to provide at least 1m30 between each row and 50 cm between each foot.

Oh yes ! You need space when you start growing cucumbers!

But this distance is important for the fruit to grow and take the sun well.

But also so that the leaves catch the light well.

The other advantage is that diseases cannot easily spread from leaf to leaf.

Fresh, non-stale air must be able to circulate between each plant.

5. Choose the right place in the vegetable garden

First of all, you have to choose a very sunny exposure.

Indeed, cucumbers need at least 8 hours of sun in summer to grow. But also to have a sweet flavor.

Then, you have to find a well-drained place, because cucurbits hate having their roots soaking in water.

It is a risk of rotting and insured diseases.

If your soil tends to be heavy or muddy, then add a handful or two of sand to each planting hole.

This allows water to flow without stagnation.

6. Enrich the soil before planting

Whether your soil is rich or not, you still need to add a little fertilizer.

There are different choices of more or less natural intakes.

Here are my 3 favorites:

  • If you are an organic gardener, you must have compost in your home. Well, good news, it’s perfect for cucumbers. It gives them everything they need and it costs nothing.

  • Adding horse manure once a year is also a good solution, as it is very rich in nutrients for young cucumbers. And you know what ? It is also a fertilizer that can be totally free. Just go and ask for it in a stable near you.

  • Finally, a little nettle manure is full of vitamins and potassium for the vegetable garden. Again, it’s easy to prepare and 100% free.

Whatever your choice of chemical or natural fertilizers, it must be applied before planting the seedlings by mixing it with the soil.

But feel free to reapply during the fruit’s growing season at least once.

7. Mulch the base of the plants

Mulching has become very common in gardens, whether you are in permaculture or not.

It consists of spreading wood chips or grass clippings at the feet of the vegetables..

What’s the point ?

Well quite simply to keep the humidity and the freshness to space out the waterings.

Which is very interesting in these periods of water restriction.

The other advantage is that it protects the base of the stems from pests such as slugs or small rodents.

8. Install stakes for growing cucumbers

Cucumbers can be left to crawl or climbed on a stake. There are two schools according to the gardeners.

If you have little space in the garden, I advise you to make them climb.

Plant a tutor every 50 to 60 cm and a young plant at the foot of each tutor.

Then, as the plant grows, you will see small tendrils developing.

It is thanks to this that the gourd clings and climbs along the stake or fence.

If necessary, help the stems attach to it initially with a small string.

As it grows in height, it saves floor space.

You can even make them run on a fence.

9. Water the soil regularly

Watering is important for the cucumber especially if a correct harvest in terms of fruit is expected.

To reap abundant fruit, it takes 12 liters of water per kilo of cucumber. In other words, it is a water-intensive vegetable.

If the seedlings should not be overwatered at first, the plants that have fruit forming will be thirsty.

So, put water every day, especially during hot weather.

Watering for such a fragile vegetable is always done at the foot, but never on the leaves. Because it promotes disease.

With these little tips, the yield for your whole family will be incredible!

Your turn…

Have you tried these tips for growing cucumbers well? Comment in the comments to find out if it worked for you. We can’t wait to read you!

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