Growing Cucumbers in Your New England Garden is Easy and Fun For All Ages
Cucumbers are one of the easiest vegetables to grow, and will do well either in the ground or in containers with at least 8 hours of sun per day. They sprout quickly from seed and can grow inches per day in the heat of the summer!
Pick the Right Variety of Cucumber for Your Garden
The biggest difference between cucumber varieties is whether they grow like vines on a trellis or in a compact, bush variety that stays around 2-3 feet from the base. Depending on your gardening space and/or setup, we usually prefer the climbing varieties with support to ensure that the fruit stays off the ground and is easier to see and pick when ripe.
Plant your seed directly into the soil or in a good size (5 gallon plus) pot.
Just plant the seeds in mounds of 5 or 6 if using bush varieties and about 8 to 10 inches apart if training up a trellis. Make sure you plant the seed very close to the trellis so that as soon as the cucumber sends out its tendrils (long stringy filament) they can grab onto the trellis quickly and start your cucumbers skyward!Cucumbers are great to plant if you are an impatient gardener - the seeds can sprout in as little as 3 days in warm temperatures and can be planted as late as July 1st without sacrificing too much in the way of overall yields and plant size. We've found that planting too soon is worse, because the plants either grow so slowly or not at all until the daytime temps are in the 70's and the nighttime temps are above 55 degrees.
Water Your Cucumbers Deeply and Thoroughly Once a Week
Cucumbers DO NOT like to dry out. It will cause the developing cucumbers to fall off the vine and will cause the ones that are there to be deformed and bitter-tasting. Cucumbers are one of the fastest developing vegetables besides summer squash and zucchini, going from a flower to a fall-sized fruit in less than a week in most cases. Because they are mostly water and they produce so many cucumbers so quickly, they need A LOT of water to keep up that pace.
Watch Out For Mosaic Virus and Other Disease
Ever see a white tinge on the leaves of cucumbers, or notice that all of sudden most of the leaves die off at once. That's no accident of nature. It happens during the mid to late summer, and happens much more frequently when either a plant is stressed (not enough water for instance), or when people water late afternoon or evening. This is a BAD IDEA. Leaving water on the leaves invites problems; the answer, water thoroughly and deeply early in the morning so that the sun will dry the leaves early in the day.
Find 100 Recipes For Cucumbers
Cucumbers are prolific producers. With just a few plants, you may find yourself harvesting 5-10 per week in July, August and early September. Share with neighbors or family and friends. Everyone appreciates a fresh cucumber without that scary wax coating on it that you find in the grocery stores. If you run out of people to give your cucumbers to, they will store in the refrigerator for about a week if you wash, dry thoroughly and then wrap each cucumber separately and tightly in plastic wrap. It will prevent the cucumber from going soggy and buy you some time to find more ways to use cucumbers in your dishes!