Thinking of planting cucumbers for the first time? These simple tips will help you wait for your first harvest in just two months.
Cucumbers are probably one of the most common crops in gardening. They come in two forms, bush and wicker. Cucumber bush varieties are compact and ideal for small plots and container gardening. The wicker ones produce prettier, flatter fruits and are less likely to suffer from insect infestation. Cucumber varieties are also commonly divided according to the purpose of the crop – short fruits are good for canning, and large ones for eating fresh.
It is advisable to choose a well-lit place for growing cucumbers. If you follow a few simple tips, you can harvest the first crop of early-ripening varieties (in the absence of unexpected spring frosts) in 65-105 days.
Planning and preparation
- Choose species with high disease resistance.
- Allocate a bed with cucumbers sunny place with fertile and well-drained soil.
- For an earlier harvest and to reduce the risk of insect infestation of seedlings, plant seedlings at home in separate containers (or special seedling containers with dividers) one month before the last anticipated spring frosts.
- If you choose a wicker variety of cucumbers, prepare supports.
- Plant seedlings only after the threat of frost has passed and the ground has warmed up sufficiently. Cucumbers are extremely sensitive to cold.
- Do the next planting in 4-5 weeks to harvest in late August or early fall.
- Keep a distance of about 15 cm between the plants, and bury the seeds themselves 2.5 cm.
- When the plants reach a height of 8-10 cm, thin them out, leaving 30-60 cm between them, depending on the fruit size stated by the producer.
- Lack of water makes the fruit grow bitter, so keep the soil slightly moist.
- Fertilize cucumbers 4 weeks after planting. Use 2 handfuls of compost per plant, spreading it around the trunks. Cover the top of the compost with a thick layer of mulch.
- Inspect the shrubs regularly to see if any insects have appeared.
- To prevent insect infestation, cover plants with translucent material until they begin to bloom and bear fruit.
- If you decide to use insecticides, it is better to first try folk remedies or look for the least toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, these solutions are not very effective, especially against cucumber beetles.
- Kaolin shows itself as an effective preventive measure.
- It is undesirable to use broad-spectrum contact insecticides – they also kill beneficial insects.
- Regardless of the selected product, be sure to read the instructions for the product, how long after treatment you can harvest and eat the crop without risk to health.
- When the fruits start to reach a sufficient size, harvest every few days and don’t let the cucumbers turn yellow on the beds-they take away from the plants’ strength for further fruiting.