When soil temperatures start to warm up above 60 degrees starting in mid-March, it is time to plant cucumbers. Cucumbers are gratifying to grow, because they are quick to harvest and provide an abundant harvest. To plant, prep your soil two weeks before planting (early- March) by preparing a garden container or garden plot by working in compost 8” -10” for a deep-root system.
Install a sturdy trellis that is up to 6 feet tall to increase yield and improve air movement around the leaves, making them less susceptible to foliage disease. Plant seeds 1’’ deep in furrows under the trellis with spacing 4-6” apart. Allow 3-5 days for germination. Cucumbers do not transplant well. It is best to sow directly in your prepared container or garden bed.
In May, inter-plant or start Suyo Long Asian variety of cucumbers. When pickling and slicing varieties start to succumb to the stress of temperatures above 90 degrees, these ultra-long cucumbers will keep producing through the hottest parts of our summers.
Keep cucumbers watered and well-fertilized with a slow release organic plant food, such as, Mircro-Life. Allow 48-60 days to harvest. The harvest lasts six weeks, so plant more every six weeks after your first planting to extend your harvest. Cucumbers grow fast; check daily and pick frequently to encourage more flowering and fruiting production.
A favorite and easy way to prepare cucumbers is fresh, sliced, salted to taste and added to a salad! Click here for a simple recipe for refrigerator pickles.
Carol Burton is the Director of Garden Education with over 20 years of experience working with school and community gardens. She regularly shares her knowledge of teaching students at workshops, garden demonstrations and through the Urban Harvest School Garden Guide.