Cucumber, otherwise known by their scientific name Cucumis sativus, are a staple in vegetable gardening and is a tropical vegetable that thrives in warm weather and plentiful water. Here are some tips to consider when taking care of a cucumber plant!
What Are the Different Varieties of Cucumbers?
Some cucumbers are for pickling, and these types are typically shorter and fatter – about 3-5 inches long. Some pickling cucumbers examples include the Gherkins, English Hothouse Pickling, Boston Pickling, and Parisian Pickling.
The other category is slicing cucumbers for eating in dishes like salads. These types of cucumbers include Lemon Cucumber, Armenian, Burpless, and Calypso. These cukes can range from 4-12 inches long, depending on where they originate.
How Much Sunlight Does a Cucumber Plant Need?
The best place for cucumbers is an area with direct, full sun for at least 8 hours a day. If you have the plant inside your home, you want it to be in a room with the full sun. If you have the plant inside your home, consider using a west-facing window that gets lots of sunlight in the afternoon.
What Temperature Works Best for Cucumber Plants??
The ideal temperature for cucumber plants is between 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything well below 60 degrees will run the risk of the plant developing frost damage.
Do Cucumber Plants Enjoy Humidity?
In general, cucumber plants enjoy humid environments. Try keeping the humidity in the 60% range during the day and in the 80% range at night. However, anything more humid can cause issues with the plant’s growth due to soggy soil.
How Often Do your Cucumber Plants Need to Be Watered?
The recommended amount of water for a cucumber plant is about an inch every week during germination and when the plant first grows. The best time for you to water is in the morning or early afternoon, so you don’t damage the leaves.
The best way for you to water them is with a soaker hose or drip irrigation. Keep the leaves as dry as possible otherwise, and it may lead to diseases like powdery mildew and bacterial wilt. If this becomes a problem, several varieties of cucumbers are disease-resistant, like Calypso and Sassy.
You will find that inadequate and inconsistent watering will lead to poorer crops. In addition, it can lead to problems with poor taste and odd-shaped fruit.
What Size Do Cucumber Plants Get to Typically?
Bush cucumbers can get to 2-3 feet in height, while vine cucumbers can reach over 6 feet.
What Soil Works Best for Cucumber Plants?
An all-purpose soil that drains well does best for a cucumber plant. Since this plant does great in warm to hot environments, you should aim for the soil to be around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You will have to wait about 2 to 3 weeks after the last frost for you to plant outdoors.
Do They Like Coffee Grounds?
Coffee grounds are a fantastic addition to your garden or container that has cucumber plants. Cucumbers do well in soil with a 6-7 PH level, generally suitable for vegetables. Vegetables tend to do well in the six range for a PH level, so adding coffee grounds can be nice to get the soil a bit more acidic.
Check out the are coffee grounds suitable for houseplants guide to learn more.
What Are Some Common Bugs?
Aphids and cucumber beetles both pose a threat to the leaves on a cucumber plant. Aphids colonize the leaves and buds. On the other hand, cucumber beetles can cause holes in the leaves, scaring on the stem, and even plant death.
How to Harvest Cucumbers?
To harvest cucumbers, make sure the fruits are evenly green, firm, and crisp. Next, use a knife or clippers and cut the fruit at the stem. Afterward, pull any damaged vines away.
What Type of Cucumbers Are Suitable for Indoors?
Depending on how you grow cucumbers, the growing forms are also essential to note when choosing your variety. For example, if you plan to grow in a container instead of a garden, it would be best to select bush varieties. Bush cucumbers are more compact and will not sprawl like their vining counterpart, making a container a good choice
On the other hand, vining cucumbers will grow more sporadically along the ground of your garden, and this calls for some extra precautions. However, if you want to save room, you can use trellises or tomato cages to encourage upright growth. A trellis that is 12-18 inches in diameter can support 2-3 vines.
How to Transplant Indoor Cucumbers Into a Garden?
If you’re transplanting your cucumber into a garden or sewing your very own seeds, the plant will need plenty of room to grow. Cucumber vines can grow to be 6-8 feet long and 2-3 feet wide. This means seedlings should be 6 inches apart in their rows, and each row should be 3-4 feet apart from each other. If you plan to plant them into your garden right away, sow your cucumber seeds 1 inch deep.
What Plants Work Well With Cucumbers in a Garden?
Cucumbers grow well with several other plants like pole beans, peas, corn, and broccoli. Radishes are one of the best companions because they can repel insects that can be harmful. However, make sure you keep them away from potatoes as they release a chemical that can inhibit cucumber growth.
What is the Typical Lifespan of a Cucumber Plant?
Often, you will find cucumber plants begin to produce fruit 50-70 days after sowing, depending on the variety. And though they will continue to grow fruit throughout the growing season, you may run into several problems that can shorten your plant’s life and yield.
As we talked about before, the first is the plants delicate nature towards frost and cold temperatures. Low temperatures will prove damaging. Other factors that will affect the health of your plant are problems with pests or diseases. Some of the most common are squash bugs, slugs, aphids, and cucumber beetles.
Conclusion: How to Take Care of a Cucumber Plant?
In summary, growing cucumbers will bring versatility to your vegetable garden and cooking with a wide selection between planting methods, growing patterns, and fruit types. When dealing with small gardens or potting, trellising will be essential to save space. And though it is delicate towards colder temperatures, it will become easy to grow with high yields once the warmer weather rolls around each season.