Two basic types of cucumbers exist on the market. Slicing and pickling cucumbers. Both taste great, but slicing cucumbers remain the top pick for slicing and eating alone or in salads. Slicing cucumbers get to be about eight inches long or longer. These cucumbers have a smoother skin than to pickling cucumbers and a slightly sweeter taste as well as a softer skin.
Pickling cucumbers grow to a length of about four inches long at maturity. Their skins are a bit more sturdy and smoother than slicing cucumbers. Their flesh is also firmer than that of the slicing cucumber, making them an excellent choice for pickling.
If garden space is an issue, choose one of the bush varieties of cucumber. A bush variety will not spread and vine as far as do the more traditional types of cucumbers.
You may start cucumber plants indoors or plant seeds outdoors when there is no more danger of frost in your growing area.
How to Start Cucumbers Indoors
Place potting soil in a container. Next, place two to three seeds about one inch deep in each container, and cover the seeds with soil. Water the cucumbers when the top of the soil becomes dry. In about one week, the leaves will emerge. Next, the true leaves of the cucumber plant will come forth.
Taking it Outdoors
You can plant the container-grown cucumbers outdoors when the plant has several leaves and when the temperature outdoors is warm enough. Be sure to allow the plants a chance to harden off by placing them outdoors in a protected area for a few days or weeks before planting the cucumbers outdoors.
Place the root ball of the cucumber plant in a hill or row in a sunny part of the garden. Be sure to place the entire root ball underground. Water the new plant in gently but thoroughly. New cucumbers will need to be daily watered until they are established. Give your cucumber plants plenty of room to grow, as the vines take up a lot of room.
Starting Outdoors from Get-go
Cucumbers are also easily started outdoors directly in the garden when there is no more danger of frost in your area. To plant cucumbers directly into your garden soil, first prepare the soil by tilling the ground and adding fertilizer or compost if necessary. All garden vegetables do better in rich soil that has compost and fertilizer to keep the soil full of nutrients and light in texture. You may create hills and place several cucumber seeds atop each hill, or the cucumbers may be planted in rows.
Space cucumber hills about 18 inches apart. Keep the soil around the cucumbers evenly moist until the plants are established. At that point, they may be watered several times a week just like the rest of the garden.
If you have a small garden and would like to grow cucumbers, you may train your plants’ vines to go up a trellis or through the rows of other plants. Training your cucumbers to climb a trellis also keeps the cucumbers off of the ground. Trellising may also keep your garden looking neat. Just be careful if you hoe or cultivate around your plants, to not break the vines.
If you choose a bush variety of cucumbers, they will not spread via their vines as much as do regular vining varieties of cucumbers. Their bushy habit makes bush variety cucumbers perfect for growing in small gardens and on patios in containers.
Many cucurbits, like cucumbers, prefer not to be transplanted. So if you start your cucumbers indoors, be sure to move the cucumber root in a ball and don’t disturb the roots any more than necessary. Also, be sure the soil temperature is at least 60 degrees F. and that the danger of frost has passed before placing the little plants in the soil.
Varieties of Cucumbers
Bush Champion cucumber is bush style cucumber which takes two-thirds less space than the typical cucumber and produces eight to 12-inch fruit. The small plants will give you a large harvest of mosaic resistant, highly productive cucumbers.
Marketmore 76 cucumber is an often grown, popular variety of cucumber that slices well, tastes great and has uniform dark green eight to nine-inch fruit. This variety has very few yellow patches at harvest. This variety is excellent for home gardens.
National Pickling cucumber is a plant that provides a huge harvest over a long season on sturdy vines. Cucumbers average between five and seven inches long and two and a half inches wide, which make them perfect the perfect size cucumbers for pickles and relishes.
Burpless Hybri has a mild, burpless flavor for both slicing and pickling. The 12-inch medium green, crisp cucumbers are low in acid and grow well on a trellis.
Off You Go!
Hopefully this helped inspire you to proceed with your cucumber growing plans. Shoot a message if you get stuck on any of the steps, would be happy to help!