I love growing cucumbers, but cucumbers aren’t exactly my favorite veggie out there, in fact, they’re kind of my least favorite vegetable ever. I wasn’t on board with the whole cucumber thing, until my neighbor gifted me a few of her home grown cucumbers. and they changed my life! There isn’t anything in the entire world more delicious than a home grown cucumber that’s been soaked in vinegar and made into a pickle. If you aren’t a cucumber lover either… try growing them yourself! Use these amazing 10 tips for the most delicious vegetables ever.
1. Adequate Sunlight Is Everything
Cucumbers are a squash plant, and squash plants are notorious for loving a ton of sunlight. Make sure that yours grow the best by putting them in an area of full sun. If you live in a hot climate, plant them in an area where they will get a little afternoon shade.
2. Make Sure They Have Enough Water
Alright, this tip might seem a little bit obvious, but it’s easy to over water AND under water your plants. Healthy cucumber plants need only a few inches of water per week. The soil should always be slightly moist!
3. They Just Need Space!
Cucumber vines can grow to get super out of control, super fast! To prevent cucumber overgrowth, keep your plants about 3 inches apart, and your garden rows should be spaced about 5 inches apart.
4. And They Were All Yellow..
Noticing that your cucumber leaves are turning an unsightly yellow shade? It could be because your plants are lacking enough nitrogen. Add composted manure to your garden to remedy the deficency.
5. Check Your P.H. Balance
Checking the P.H. balance of your soil will really help to make sure that your fruits and vegetables are healthy and well supported. When growing cucumbers, make sure that your PH balance is set between 6.0 and 7.0. Learn how to test your soil (without a kit!) with this guide from Preparedness Mama.
6. Harvest Often
This is probably the easiest tip in this article! Harvest your cucumbers regularly, and as soon as they are ripe (cucumbers should be only about 6 inches long when picked!). Harvesting your veggies regularly will stimulate the growth cycle, and give you a higher yield.
7. Prepare For Beetles
Cucumber beetles are a common pest while the plant is first developing. Keep your plants insect free and super healthy by covering your garden rows with row covers. After the first flowers have appeared, remove the covers so pollinators have easy access. Your plant will be strong enough to protect itself at this point.
8. HOW You Harvest Is Just As Important
I mentioned that frequent harvesting is super important, but it’s important that you harvest them correctly as well! To keep your plant disease free, harvest cucumbers with a knife or garden shears. Cucumber stems should be cut 1/4 inch above the fruit.
9. Compost, Compost, Compost
Composting is crucial to ensure that your plants are getting enough nutrients. When planting, add compost to your soil. After the flowers have sprouted, cover your garden with an additional covering of compost.
10. Don’t Forget the Trellis
If you don’t have a ton of room, and if harvesting your cucumbers is kind of challenging, grow your cucumbers on a trellis! It keeps fruit off the ground (away from many pests!) and allows for easier harvesting access.