Do you want to learn how to grow cucumbers step by step? If your answer is yes, then you are in the right place. We will tell you everything you need to know about growing cucumbers.

Our Cucumber Growing Guide will cover everything. Starting from choosing the right variety, site selection and soil preparation, planting, growing, care, and harvesting.

We will also tell you how to take care of specific problems such as pest attacks and diseases that affect the growth and flowering.

Let us begin!!!

1) Choosing Plants

The most familiar cucumbers are the dark green slicers, but there is also light green (Armenian), yellow (lemon), and white cultivars. The “burpless” cultivars may be easier for some people to digest.

growing cucumbers

Non-bitter cultivars are less prone to becoming bitter when drought strikes and are less attractive to cucumber beetles. Choose disease-resistant cultivars if cucumber mosaic virus or mildew has been a problem.

Gynoecious cultivars, which bear only female flowers, have higher yields than standard cucumbers. They tend to bear all their fruit at once. A few seeds of a standard cultivar will be included in the seed packet to pollinate all those female flowers.

You can grow seedless greenhouse-type cultivars outdoors, but they will develop seeds unless you prevent pollination (by insects). Cover the plants with floating row cover before they flower and leave it on through harvest.

2) Site and Soil for Growing Cucumbers

Cucumbers will grow in full sun or part shade (such as under tall vegetables like corn). Choose a well-drained site with fertile soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.8. Dig or till the soil 8 inches deep. Spread 10 to 20 pounds of compost per 100 square feet and work it into the top few inches, or prepare individual hills of compost.

how to grow cucumbers

If drainage is poor, build raised beds or plant your cucumber seeds or transplants in hills 2 to 3 feet wide and 8 to 10 inches high.

3) Planting

When to Plant

Direct-sow cucumbers when all danger of frost has passed. Both the soil and the average air temperature should be at least 60°F.

For a continuous supply of cucumbers, make a second planting five weeks after the first and a third planting three weeks later (if you still have eight frost-free weeks left).

How Much to Plant

Grow 1 or 2 cucumber plants per person. Fifteen to 20 plants of picklers will yield about 24 pints.

planting cucumbers

Planting Outdoors

Plant cucumber seeds outdoors three to four weeks after the last frost date.

  • For hill planting, plant 4 to 6 seeds in hills 2-3 inches apart on all sides.
  • Plant the seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep in the soil. Cover the seeds with soil and water the soil.

Thinning

To avoid disturbing roots, use scissors to snip off extra seedlings. For row plantings, thin to one plant per foot. In hills, thin to three plants per hill.

4) Seasonal Care

Follow these care guide-lines for early, mid-season, and late plantings to get maximum yields.

Cover with floating row cover

how to grow cucumbers

Protect early-season plantings from cool temperatures with row cover or cloches. Cover all plantings if you have had problems with cucumber beetles. Remove covers when flowers appear.

Fertilize

Give each plant a cup of compost tea or fish fertilizer every week until the first flowers form. Spray plants with kelp when the first blossoms appear.

Water

Keep the soil moist at all times or your cucumbers will produce poorly formed, unappetizing fruit.

Mulch

Apply an 8- to 10-inch layer of clean straw when the seedlings are about 1 foot long. Harvest regularly. Once plants start to bear, check them daily for harvestable fruit. Fruit left on the vine too long may become bitter and will depress the production of more fruit.

Clean up

Once production drops off, pull up plants and add them to the compost pile or till them under.

5) Harvesting Cucumbers

Cucumbers are ready to harvest in 50 to 70 days. Begin picking as soon as the fruits are large enough and before the seeds start to harden.

harvesting cucumbers

To avoid injuring the vines, clip off the fruit. Harvest frequently—daily for pickling types—to keep the vines productive. Remove any overripe fruit immediately. You can refrigerate cucumbers for one to two weeks.

6) Extending the Season

To get a head start on the season, cover the soil with black plastic several weeks before planting. Cut holes in the plastic when you are ready to plant seeds or transplants.

For the biggest jump, start with transplants. Sow seeds indoors three weeks before your last expected frost. Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep, two to a pot.

how to grow cucumbers

The air temperature should be 70° to 85°F; don’t let it drop below 60°F at night. Thin to one seedling when the first leaves appear. Set out transplants one week after the last frost, and cover with cloches.

7) Solving Problems related to Growing Cucumbers

Use this table to identify problems on your cucumbers. Scan the list of symptoms to find the description that most closely matches what you see in your garden. Then refer across the page to learn the cause and the recommended solutions.

Growing cucumbers

For some problems, by the time you see the damage, there is little you can do to save your crop. In the future, your best choices are to plant resistant cultivars whenever possible, rotate your cucumber patch to a new location each year, and protect young plants with floating row cover.

Caution: Cucumber, melon, and squash leaves are easily burned by insecticidal soap and copper-containing sprays. Use the most diluted sprays recommended on the label, and use them sparingly in the cool of the morning or evening.

Do not spray drought-stressed plants or plants in direct sun. Also, avoid spraying when the temperature is above 80°F.

Flower and Fruit Problem

Sr No.SymptomsCauses Solutions
1Flowers Appear, But no FruitLack of female flowers Lack of pollination The first flowers are usually male and do not form fruit. Female flowers have a swelling at the base of the flower; male flowers don’t.

If you see both male and female flowers, but no fruit forms, the problem may be a lack of pollination due to low bee populations or cool weather. You can hand-pollinate the flowers.
2Flowers chewed; tunnels in fruit PicklewormsPale green caterpillars may be found inside the fruit. Pick and destroy damaged fruit. Spray plants with BTK when damaged flowers are found. Crush rolled sections of leaves, which have pupae inside.
Support fruit off the ground on tin cans or other supports to prevent worms from entering them.

In the future, plant tolerant cultivars or early-maturing cultivars as early as possible to miss late-emerging pests. Plant summer squash as a trap crop to lure pickle worms away from melon and cucumber.
3Fruit knobby, blotched, bitter, and off-flavored Mosaic viruses Pull and destroy infected plants. Control aphids, cucumber beetles, and other insects, and disinfect hands and tools after working with diseased plants to prevent the disease from spreading.

In the future, plant mosaic-tolerant cultivars and protect young plants from disease-carrying insects with floating row cover until female flowers open.
4Fruit misshapenDiseases
Poor pollination
If leaves also show symptoms of the disease, that is probably also the cause of the misshapen fruit. If no leaf symptoms are present, misshapen fruit may be due to poor pollination during hot or cool weather. Wait for the weather to moderate, or hand-pollinate flowers if bee activity Iis low.
5Fruit rots Diseases
Poor pollination
Contact with soil
If leaves also show symptoms of the disease, that is probably also the cause of the fruit rot. If young fruit on healthy plants rot from the blossom end, they may not have been well pollinated due to hot or cool weather.

Wait for the weather to moderate, or hand-pollinate flowers if bee activity is low.

If rot starts on the underside where the fruit rests on the ground. raise young fruit off the ground on tin cans or other supports, or spread clean mulch on the soil where fruit will rest.

Leaf and Whole Plant Problems

Sr No.SymptomsCausesSolutions
1Leaves with holes; leaves may wiltCucumber beetlesThese greenish-yellow, black striped or greenish-yellow, black-spotted insects can spread bacterial wilt and viral diseases as they feed. Spray plants with pyrethrins-rotenone as soon as you see beetles.

Drench the soil with parasitic nematodes weekly to control larvae. Remove and destroy all crop residues when plants stop yielding. In the future, plant beetle- and disease-tolerant cultivars and protect plants with floating row cover until female flowers open.
2Leaves with pale flecks;fine webbing under leaves Spider mites Spray leaves top and bottom with water once a week to control this pest, which thrives in dry conditions.
3Leaves with whitish, powdery spots; turning brown and dry
Powdery mildew Pick and destroy badly affected leaves. Rinse leaves thoroughly to top and bottom with water once a week to slow the spread of the disease. Severely infected plants yield poorly if at all, so pull them up and destroy. In the future, plant powdery mildew-resistant cultivars.
4Leaves with small yellow Downy mildew Spray copper or bordeaux mixture every 5-7 days to to brown spots; purplish reduce spread of the disease. In the future, plant tolerant mold on leaf undersides cultivars.
5Leaves with yellow, brown, or tan spots or blotches

Leaf spots Other diseases Spray copper every 7-10 days to slow the spread of the diseases. Thin plants to promote air circulation and avoid wetting foliage. Clean up and destroy crop debris.

In the future, plant cultivars with multiple-disease resistance and plan at least a 2-year crop rotation with all squash-family crops.
6Leaves turn yellow; leaves sticky and coated with black mold WhittefliesA few whiteflies do little damage—simply wash black mold off with water. Spray severe infestations with insecticidal soap. Pick and destroy heavily infested lower leaves, where immature whiteflies develop.

In northern areas, plant seed or grow your own transplants to avoid importing whiteflies from greenhouse-grown plants
7Leaves with pale to brown blotches; shoots blacken and diebackSquash BugsHandpick adults, which are oval and dark brown to black. and nymphs, which are powdery green. reddish, or gray. Lay boards around plants; check under them daily and destroy hiding squash bugs.

Spray severe infestations with rotenone to control nymphs, with sabadilla to control adults. In the future, plant tolerant cultivars and cover plants with floating row cover until female flowers open.
8Leaves and shoots distorted and curled Melon AphidsWash aphids off leaves with a strong spray of water. Spray severe infestations with insecticidal soap or neem. In the future, cover plants with floating row cover until female flowers open.
9Leaves small, distorted, and mottled yellow; plants stunted Mosaic VirusesPull and destroy affected plants. Control aphids, cucumber beetles, and other insects, and disinfect hands and tools after working with diseased plants to prevent disease from spreading.

In the future, plant mosaic-tolerant cultivars and protect young plants from disease-carrying insects with floating row cover until female flowers open.
10Leaves wilt at midday, but recover at night Bacterial WiltConfirm diagnosis by cutting stem of one plant; a string of sticky bacterial ooze inside indicates bacterial wilt. Pull and destroy severely affected plants. Spray plants with copper to reduce spread of the disease.

Spray pyrethrins-rotenone to control cucumber beetles, which spread the disease. In the future, cover plants with floating row cover until female flowers open to prevent insects from infecting plants.
11Vines suddenly wilt; stem rotted or chewed at the soil line Squash Vine BorersOnce a plant wilts, it is hard to save it. In the future, borers choose borer-tolerant cultivars. Cover plants with floating row cover until female flowers open, then spray just the bottom 6″ of the stem with BTK or pyrethrins-rotenone once a week, or wind a strip of cloth around the base of the stem to cover it

0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *