Cucumbers

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Lawn & Garden

Cucumbers are a favorite for their refreshing taste and texture. They’re also a popular pickling ingredient and add crunch to many vegetable dishes. In this article, we’ll discuss how to grow cucumbers.

About Cucumbers

Cucumbers are annual vines that can either sprawl on the ground or be trained to climb. The stems and large leaves are covered with short hairs, and the flowers are yellow. Some plants have both male and female flowers on the same vine, but only the female flowers produce the cucumbers. Some hybrid cucumbers have only female flowers but need some male flowers for production. These hybrids are usually more productive and set earlier than other varieties. Seed companies will include seeds that produce male flowers for such hybrid varieties, usually indicated by a pink dye on the seed.

Common Name: Cucumber

Scientific Name: Cucumis sativus

Hardiness: Very Tender (will not survive frost)

Try:

  • How to Seed a Cucumber: Learn how to seed a cucumber.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Grow a full harvest of great vegetables this year.
  • Gardening: We answer your questions about all things that come from the garden.

Growing Cucumbers


There are many varieties of cucumbers available for home gardeners. The crisp, refreshing taste of cucumbers and their versatility make them a must-have for both the kitchen and the garden.

Cucumbers are warm-weather vegetables and very sensitive to frost. They will grow anywhere in the United States because they have a short growing season, only 55 to 65 days from planting to harvest, and most areas can provide enough sunshine. Cucumbers need rich, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. To grow transplants indoors, sow seeds three to four weeks prior to planting in the garden. Plant cucumbers in inverted hills, leaving only the three strongest plants per hill. Cucumbers need plenty of water to keep them growing fast; don’t let the soil dry out. In hot weather, the leaves may wilt during the day even when soil moisture is high because the plant is using water faster than its roots can supply it. This is normal; just be sure the plant is receiving regular and sufficient water. Mulch to avoid compaction caused by heavy watering.

Harvesting Cucumbers

Harvest cucumbers promptly; mature cucumbers left on the vine suppress the production of more flowers. Pick the cucumbers when they’re immature — the size will depend on the variety. When the seeds start to mature, the vines will stop producing.

Types of Cucumbers

There are many varieties of cucumbers available for home gardeners. Here are just a few good varieties:

Here are some cucumber varieties that you can try growing in your garden. The Early Pride Hybrid can be harvested in just 55 days, and the straight, green fruit is 8 1/2 inches long. Cherokee is another 55-day variety that is good for pickling due to its smooth skin. The Straight Eight is an All America Selection that can be harvested in 58 days, while the Bush Champion produces 11-inch fruit on compact vines, making it a great option for containers. Sweet Success is another All America Selection that can be harvested in 58 days, and it produces thin-skinned, seedless fruit that can grow up to 14 inches long. Tasty Green Hybrid, on the other hand, is a burpless variety that produces 10-inch fruit and can be harvested in 62 days. Eureka is disease-resistant and can be harvested in 57 days. Finally, Cool Breeze is an early, disease-resistant, and seedless variety that can be harvested in just 45 days. If you’re interested in learning more about growing cucumbers or other vegetables, check out our articles on how to seed a cucumber, how to grow a full harvest of vegetables, and answers to common gardening questions.

FAQ

1. What are cucumbers?

Cucumbers are a type of vegetable that belong to the gourd family. They are usually eaten raw in salads and sandwiches, but can also be pickled or used in cooking.

2. What are the health benefits of cucumbers?

Cucumbers are low in calories and high in water content, making them a great option for weight loss and hydration. They are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and potassium, which can help improve bone health, boost immunity, and regulate blood pressure.

3. How do I choose a ripe cucumber?

A ripe cucumber should be firm, dark green, and free of wrinkles or soft spots. It should also feel heavy for its size and have a fresh, slightly sweet smell.

4. How should I store cucumbers?

Cucumbers should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or container to keep them fresh. They can also be kept at room temperature for a day or two, but will spoil quickly if left out for too long.

5. Can I eat the skin of a cucumber?

Yes, the skin of a cucumber is edible and contains many of the vegetable’s nutrients. However, if you are sensitive to pesticides or prefer a milder taste, you can peel the skin off before eating.

6. What are some ways to eat cucumbers?

Cucumbers can be eaten raw in salads, sandwiches, or as a snack with dip. They can also be pickled, grilled, or used in soups and stews.

7. Are there any negative effects of eating cucumbers?

While cucumbers are generally safe to eat, some people may experience digestive issues or allergic reactions. It is also important to be cautious of consuming cucumbers that have been treated with pesticides, as these can be harmful to your health.

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