How to grow cucumber

Cucumber and pickle is easy to grow as long as a few basic practices are followed.

Core cucumber facts

Name – Cucumis sativus
Family – Cucurbitaceae or gourd family
Type – vegetable, annual

Height – 1 ½ to 6 ½ feet (0.5 to 2 m)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – ordinary but well drained

Harvest – 3 to 4 months after sowing, from May to October.

Caring for your cucumber from seed to harvest requires several mandatory steps for them to develop well.

Sowing and planting cucumber

Sowing cucumber seeds

Sow in seed holes with 3 seeds per hole from March to June.

Transplant to the growing bed in May at the earliest, since freezing still occurs before that.

  • Space plants 32 inches (80 cm) apart.

Planting cucumber seedlings

If you purchase cucumber seedlings from a nursery, plant them directly in the ground when the last frosts are past, after the middle of May.

Pruning and caring for cucumber

Cucumber fruits start out as pickles.Growing and caring for cucumbers is quite easy if adequate growing conditions are set up.

The trickiest step is pruning. If well pruned, a cucumber plant will grow well and the harvest will be plentiful.

  • Growing cucumber along the ground (for cucumber plants grown directly in the ground):
    Pinch just above the second leaf, and wait for two stems to form. Pinch each of these two stems just after the 4th leaf, and then prune all the other branches one leaf after each fruit.
  • Growing cucumber along a single stem (for cucumber plants grown vertically in greenhouses):
    Let the main stem grow up to about 6 ½ feet (2 meters), then pinch it: side shoots will form between each leaf, called “suckers”.
    Along the lower 28 inches (0.70 cm), remove suckers regularly, as well as any fruits that develop directly on the stem.
  • Pickle
    Nothing special is needed other than pinching the head off just after the second leaf.
    Harvest fruits more regularly because leaving them on the plant will lower productivity.

Common cucumber diseases

To avoid this, avoid wetting leaves. Cucumber is very vulnerable to diseases, especially powdery mildew.

Watering directly at the base of the plants will keep them from catching it.

Learn more about cucumber

Native to Asia, running along the ground or climbing to great heights, this exact same plant produces both pickles and cucumbers.

Cucumber likes heat and requires regular but reduced watering.

 Smart tip about cucumber

Three small cucumbers in a wicker plate.Planting cucumber in hot weather will stimulate growth.


Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Ripe cucumber on vine by Julia Schwab under Pixabay license
Young cucumber by Irina under Pixabay license
Cucumber on treillis by Monika Bohr under Pixabay license
Three cucumbers by Peter Sitte under © CC BY 2.0
On Instagram : young cucumber bunch by Andy under Pixabay license

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