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CUCUMBER


  How To Grow Cucumbers


PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cucumis sativus
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Well-drained, moderate-high organic matter
pH RANGE: 5.5 - 7.0
MOISTURE/WATERING: Keep moist, not waterlogged; mulch helps maintain moisture
MATURITY IN DAYS: 55 - 65 after transplant
KNOWN PESTS: Striped or spotted cucumber beetles
KNOWN DISEASES: Powdery Mildew, bacterial wilt



OVERVIEW:

Cucumbers are best grown grouped into 3 or 4 plants in a single hill. If planted in rich soil, cucumbers will grow very quickly. Unless you plan on eating lots of cucumbers, plant sparingly as one hill will produce well. If space is limited select a cucumber variety that will climb well and use a trellis.

Pick cucumbers while young and tender to avoid any bitterness. Cucumbers are used mainly in salads and many varieties of pickles.


PROPAGATION / SOWING OF CUCUMBERS:

Sow cucumbers indoors 3-4 weeks prior to last frost or direct seed after all risk of frost. For indoor planting use 2 inch square jiffy strip pots and plant 1-2 seeds per square; thin to ensure one cucumber plant per pot. Plant cucumber seeds ½-1” deep, transplant or space plants 6” apart in rows 4-6” apart. Cucumber Plants are tender, so soil should be warm, 18-24°C (65-75°F) for germination to begin. If growing on a trellis, space plants 18” apart. Plant 3 to 4 cucumber plants per hill for effective pollination.


COMPANION PLANTING OF CUCUMBERS:

Bush bean, cabbage family, corn, dill, eggplant, lettuce, radish, pea, tomato are all good companions for cucumbers.


CARE & GROWING OF CUCUMBERS:

Cucumbers require full sun. As they are heavy feeders, an application of compost or well rotted manure worked into the planting area will help. Regular applications of a complete soluble fertilizer during the growing season is beneficial. Cucumber plants should not be allowed to wilt. Make sure cucumbers are well watered before transplanting. Spread a mulch around plants before they start to vine, to cut down on weeds and conserve moisture. The mulch will also help to keep the fruit clean.


HARVESTING OF CUCUMBERS:

Pick slicing cucumbers when they reach 6-8” long; pickling cucumbers at 3-5”. Keep mature cucumbers picked off the vines to encourage a longer, abundant yield. Harvest cucumbers for pickling early in the morning.




POPULAR CUCUMBER VARIETIES

Salad Bush Cucumber

If you live in an apartment, this is your cucumber. High yields in a small space. This hybrid will produce heavy yields of 8 - 10 inch fruit on bush plants. Perfect for small gardens or patio planters. Maturity 57 days.

Thunder Cucumber

The Thunder is known for its tolerance to Cucumber Mosaic Virus, Downey Mildew, Powdery Mildew, Anthracnose, Angular Leaf Spot and Scab. It offers a cool, crisp flesh with great flavour. Extra long, 8 1/2 inch long, dark green fruit produce well, even under stress. Excellent for slicing. Maturity 55 days.

Marketmore 76 Cucumber

An excellent outdoor slicing cucumber with good resistance to powdery and downy mildew. It produces dark green straight fruit with a good flavour. It will grow best in a rich soil, in a warm, sunny location. It is also suitable for culture in large pots. Maturity 65 days.

Straight Eight Cucumber

A very popular and well known variety producing smooth, straight, 8 inch, dark green fruit on vigorous plants. Continual yield. Excellent for fresh eating and pickling. Maturity 65 days.

Raider Cucumber

Rated #1 hybrid slicing cucumber. Excellent flavour and is extremely straight with smooth, deep green skin. A top quality cucumber. Vines are compact and vigorous. Maturity 50 days.

Fanfare Cucumber

All America Selections Winner! This award winning hybrid cucumber offers early maturity with excellent quality, higher yields, compact growth and extended harvest. Dark green cucumbers with a good flavor, uniform and slender at 8 - 9 inches long. Maturity 63 days.

Slice Master Cucumber

This hybrid can be started early, grows quickly and has a high resisitance to disease. Blossoms are mostly female. Cucumbers are dark green in color and average 8 1/2 inches long. A very good producer. Maturity 48 days.

Slice More Cucumber

Slice More cucumbers are a dark green, blunt fruit, with an average lenght of 8 1/2 inches. It is a heavy yielding, hybrid cucumber. They are crisp and juicy. Compact vines have a concentrated set with consistent size and shape. Maturity 52 days.

Sultan Cucumber

This beit-alpha variety is a sweet, thin skinned cucumber that are ideal as mini cucumbers. These hybrid cucumbers are so sweet and crisp that they can be picked and eaten when only a few inches long. Sultan cucumbers will continue to yield over a long period of time if kept picked. Powdery mildew tolerant and virus resistant. Maturity 55 days.





Burpless Cucumber Varieties

Burpless cucumbers have become very popular as they are less likely to cause indigestion, stomach pains or heartburn. These slender cucumbers require no peeling as the skin is soft and tender. For maximum yield of straight, clean fruit, Burpless cucumbers should be grown on stakes. Great for making crisp and delicious pickles.

Sweet Slice Cucumber

This is one of the most popular hybrid burpless cucumbers. An early variety with primarily all female blossom characteristics. They are dark green, straight and long, 10-12 inches in length. When picked young, they can be eaten without peeling as there is no bitter taste. Very fast growing with maturity at 45 days. Will tolerate the most common cucumber diseases.

Garden Sweet Cucumber

A great burpless cucumber. Garden Sweet produces 10-12" dark green fruit on vigorous plants. Maturity 55 days.





Pickling Cucumber Varieties

Regal Cucumber

The Regal is a highly recommended variety. It is a Hybrid pickler with excellent cropping abilities. An attractive variety that is slightly longer and slimmer than Calypso cucumber (see below). Good brining quality. Resistant to most diseases. Maturity 48 days.

Calypso Cucumber

This hybrid offers exceptional cropping abilities, whether for dill pickles or for slicing cukes. Calypso is a heavy producer. Resistant to most diseases. Calypso belongs to the gynoecious group producing mostly female blossoms. Maturity 50 days.

Patio Pickles Cucumber

These Patio Pickles are a space-saving hybrid cucumber perfect for whole dills or fresh. Produces fruits which are white spined with medium-dark green skin. Several plants should be grown to ensure adequate male pollen. An ideal variety if you want lots of cucumbers from a smaller plant. Maturity 49-55 days.

Cross Country Cucumber

One of the most highly rated and widely used pickling cucumbers in the country. Top quality hybrid pickling cucumber. Nice dark green skin with white spines and nicely shaped cucumbers. Yields are good and performs well under a variety of growing conditions. Resistant to diseases. Maturity 51 - 53 days.













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For better results with cucumbers - dig a hole approximately one foot square and fill the hole with a mixture of compost or rotted manure and soil. Raise the soil into a mound. Protect from high wind.






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