How to successfully grow cucumbers in the vegetable garden
November 4, 2016
Cucumbers are a fantastic addition to the summer vegetable garden. The crisp sweet slices are generally enjoyed by children and are great to add to salads, salsas and side dishes. I had such an abundance of fruit last year I did try making a jam with it also but I wouldn’t call that a success. It was very very sweet and a little on the odd side. It was one of those foods your brain tells your mouth doesn’t work.
This year I am planting the same variety I grew last year, it was a prolific producer of beautiful thin-skinned, sweet fruit. The variety comes in the Kitchen Garden Box, it is called Mid East Peace. As with all of the seeds in the Kitchen Garden Box, Mid East Peace is a certified organic seed, open pollinated from my supplier Birdland Organic Seed. This plant variety is an heirloom and is particularly well suited to hot summers.
The cucumber seedlings shown in the first image above are ready for the garden. Note, planting in the vegetable garden during late spring invites snails, slugs, birds, slaters and all manner of other garden pests to the table to eat. The new seedlings are irresistible to them so be sure to protect the plants with a cover/cloche of some sort until they are large enough to be unattractive to the bugs.
Two cucumber plants will produce PLENTY of fruit for a family of four over summer. You may need to raise 4 seedlings in-case any are stolen by bugs when they go into the garden. Plant the seedlings into the garden, against a trellis of some sort. I like to have one plant on each side of the structure.
If 4 seedlings all develop into strong established plants that are beginning to climb, select the best ones and remove the extras.
Cucumber is a climbing plant. A trellis will provide a frame for it to climb and will help to keep the fruit off the ground, away from pests and all for air flow.
The plants may be prone to mosaic virus and also mildew. If they are infected by mosaic virus the plants should be removed from the garden and destroyed to prevent the virus spreading to tomatoes. When watering cucumber plants do so at the base of the plant. Avoid watering over the top of the plants. Water well when the fruit is developing.
Remove any leaves at the base of the plant that are yellowing as it grows. The plant can grow to a large size so be sure to select a frame that is large enough to allow for this.
Keep the soil around the plants weed-free and moist, provide fertaliser as the fruit begins to develop.
Keep the plant well maintained using secateurs to remove dead or yellowing leaves. The fruit and stems can be spiky so you may also need gloves. Give the plant some help by winding it onto the frame as needed. they can be prolific producers, depending on the variety.
Cucumber flowers require pollination to produce fruit. It is advisable to plant flowers that attract bees close by. You will see from the image above that there are flowers planted all around my summer vegetables for this purpose. There are many benefits of planting certain flowers in a vegetable garden. You can read more about that here .
They will grow well alongside corn and beans, as well as beetroot and carrots.
When the fruit is a suitable size, firm and glossy it can be cut from the plant. Avoid twisting or pulling the fruit to remove it. The vine is strong and you may damage the plant.
Try some of our family favourite recipes using cucumber.
I am sure that you will come up with many of your own wonderful recipes once you start collecting your daily supply of cucumbers also.
Order your Kitchen Garden Box now to start your cucumber, and the other summer seeds.
Don’t delay and you can be adding fresh salad and meal ingredients to your summer meal table daily leading to significant saving to your grocery budget.
Are you growing cucumber in your vegetable garden this summer?
Stay up to date with the latest by following Kyrstie on social media.