Grow a Healthy Crop of Cucumbers
Of all the vegetables in my garden, I find cucumbers to be the easiest to grow. I start with seeds each year and watch them grow into enjoyable produce that can be eaten raw, as well as cooked in soups and stews.
It is easy to start cucumbers in a small starting pot. Plant 2 - 3 seeds 1-inch deep in each pot. Pat the soil down lightly and keep soil evenly moist. You will start to see seedlings in about 7-14 days. When the seedlings are about 2" - 3" tall, they are ready to be transferred to your outdoor garden. Plant about 6" to 8" apart in hills 36" apart.
Cucumbers become mature and are ready to harvest in about 55 days. My husband and I planted the Garden Sweet Burpless Hybrid cucumber which is known to get at least 10" long. We planted our seeds on June 6, 2019 and harvested a 12" cucumber on July 25, 2019 (49 days).
Cucumbers are a vine-growing vegetable that can grow from one to six feet tall. You will need a large area to grow cucumbers because they can sprawl as much as 6 feet in length. On the other hand, you can train your vine to grow up a trellis or fence which actually makes it easy to see the fruit as it grows.
Because cucumbers feed heavily on nitrogen, they require a well-drained, highly fertile soil to grow. The soil bed should be at least 6 to 8 inches deep for the roots to provide adequate nurishment to the plant. Cucumbers grow best in soil that is a pH level of 7.0. Water them well. When you water your cucumbers, give them at least an inch of water.
Your personal watering system will determine how often and how long you water your cucumbers. Keep an eye on them. They will tell you when they need to be watered. If they start to wilt, then you know you need to water them.
When To Plant Cucumbers
Plant cucumbers in the spring, after the last frost.
To find the last frost date for your area, use the free online tool provided by The Old Farmer's Almanac. Enter a zip code in the search box and you will discover the area's Altitude, Last Spring Frost Date, First Fall Frost Date, and the number of days in the Growing Season.
Will Cucumbers Grow In Your Area?
Cucumbers grow heartily in plant hardiness zones 4-12. A plant hardiness zone is a numbering system developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is based on the climate in a particular location. The number helps you determine which plants are likely to do well in your garden.
Use USDA's free online interactive map to discover your plant hardiness zone. All you need is your zip code and the map will show you your zone number.
How Many Plants Should You Grow?
Cucumbers are prolific growers. In fact, four or five plants will supply a moderate consumption of cucumbers for a family of four through the summer.
Video Tells How To Grow Cucumbers Like A Pro
The following video by master gardener, Ed Buker, also known as, “Farmer Ed” shows you how to plant and grow cucumbers like a pro. Get additional gardening tips on how and when to plant, plus how to train your cucumber plant to climb up a trellis.
Today's Harvest - Cucumber
My husband and I have a small garden on our property and each day we select something from the garden to prepare for that evening's meal.
Today's harvest was a huge 12" cucumber.
I decided to make a simple cucumber salad to go with the BBQ'd chicken already planned for dinner.
I found this easy-to-make cucumber salad on the Betty Crocker website. I modified it a bit for my own taste. This is a very light and crisp salad. It is made with a tangy vinegar marinate and goes well with any meat or seafood dish.
Easy Cucumber Salad
- 2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup cider or white vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dill weed, finely chopped, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped, optional
- Place the cucumbers in a small glass or plastic bowl. Note: Since my cucumber was extremely large, it was the equivalence of four average-sized cucumbers. So, I sliced up and used only 1/2 of my cucumber.
- Place the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and pepper into a glass container that has a tight-fitting lid. Place the lid on the container and shake well. Pour this mix over the cucumbers. Cover the cucumber dish with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to blend the flavors. Note: I used a Mason jar for this step.
- Drain the cucumbers.
- Sprinkle with dill weed and/or parsley.
- Serve. To store this dish, cover it and keep it in the refrigerator.
Additional Salad Options
Some people include some or all of the following in their cucumber salad:
- Thinly sliced red onions
- Thinly sliced black olives
- Finely grated carrots, and
- Thinly sliced tomatoes
Note: Because this is a light salad, other vegetables should be sliced thinly so that they do not overwhelm the flavor of the cucumbers and so that they can absorb the marinade evenly.
|Serving size: 1/2 cup|
|Calories from Fat||0|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 0 g|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 7 g||2%|
|Sugar 6 g|
|Fiber 0 g|
|Protein 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 200 mg||8%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Botanists believe cucumbers originated in India, then traveled to Africa and Southeast Asia before arriving in North America.
When someone says they are “as cool as a cucumber,” they mean they are calm and unruffled.
I can see my competitors sweating, and I am cool as a cucumber.— Adam Rippon, American Figure Skater
Aggie Horticulture, via Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
Cucumbers, via Cornell University Growing Guide.
First and Last Frost Dates, via The Old Farmer’s Almanac.
Interactive Zone Heartiness Map, via United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Nutrition Information for Raw Fruits, Vegetables, and Fish, via US Food and Drug Information.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Marlene Bertrand