They’re good looking, nutritious and can be added to every meal… I’m talking about Cucumbers, one of the must have plants for every home garden! These green, cylindrical plants pack good quantities of essential minerals like Manganese, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Potassium. Also, they’re a rich source of Vitamins C, K and A, and have a pleasant, refreshing taste. Growing cucumbers isn’t too difficult. It is, in fact, one of the simplest and most engaging of all gardening activities.
You can start cucumber seeds indoors 6-8 weeks from the final frost date for your area. Plant cucumber seeds at a depth of 1 inch, with a single seed in every pot. Make sure the mix stays moist right until the seeds germinate. Place the pots at a sunlit spot. You can also employ artificial lighting apparatus to keep the seeds warm. For details about the ideal temperature conditions, refer the instructions on the seed packet.
Once the danger of frost is over, you can start acclimatizing the seedlings to the outdoor conditions. I’d suggest you place the pots at a spot where they’re protected from the wind. Once the soil temperature reaches 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you can transplant cucumber seedlings outdoors. Look for a site that offers full sun for 6-8 hours a day. Cucumber plants are quite fond of organically rich soils. I’d hence recommend you incorporate plenty of peat moss or organic compost to the soil.
You can plant cucumber seedlings both in rows and raised beds. And if you’re short on space, you can also grow cucumbers in containers. Allow a separation of 2-3 feet between adjacent plants, and at least 6 feet between the rows. If you’re growing Straight Eight Slicing Cucumber or other vine varieties, you’ll need to use a trellis or tomato cage to support the plants.
Caring for cucumber plants isn’t too hard. Deeply irrigate the plants once every week, throughout the growing season. A week after the first blooms appear, fertilize cucumber plants using a balanced fertilizer. Cucumbers respond well to regular feeding and should be fertilized once every 3-4 weeks.
A little effort, some patience and you can have the pleasure of picking delicious cucumbers from your own yard!