Successfully growing cucumbers in a vegetable garden – Elle Decoration


Posted May 3, 2024 at 10:01 am.


Harvesting beautiful cucumbers in the vegetable garden – ©tianyu wu/iStock

Cucumbers are made up of more than 95% water and are known to quench thirst. That’s why it accompanies all summer meals, salads or drinks. Grow a few plants to harvest all summer long. When and how to sow and plant cucumber plants? How to pamper them to harvest them in abundance all summer long?

Cucumber is part of the large cucurbit family, like squash, zucchini or watermelon. Little energizing and hydratingstill tempting from appetizer to dessert. ELLE.fr guides us through the main steps to have beautiful cucumbers, from sowing to planting, including maintenance throughout the summer..

Why not sow your cucumber plants?

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©RomeoLu/iStock

When to sow cucumbers?

Sowing time may vary If you want to anticipate the first harvests, wait to sow them in the vegetable garden or interrupt the sowing to increase your chances of success. Continue indoors while waiting for temperatures to reach around 12°C.

Sowing under cover

from March, you can start the first seedlings under cover in pots. In areas around the Mediterranean basin, you can start as early as January because you will be planting them outside earlier. Allow a good month or so of cultivation under cover before transplanting them into a larger pot while waiting for planting.

Sowing in the vegetable garden

It will take place only after the last spring frosts have completely passed in mid-May and early May in the south of France. Temperatures must reach 12°C and the soil must be warmed to facilitate seed germination. Choose a sunny spot because zucchini plants need heat to grow.

How to sow cucumber seeds?

Sowing under cover

Fill the buckets a mixture of soil and compost in equal parts. Make a small hole 2 cm deep and have 3 seeds. Fill the gaps, pack and then water. Always keep the soil moist and, if necessary, transplant the plants into larger pots before removing them. Keep the pots warm at 20°C until planting.

Sowing in the vegetable garden

Remove weeds and rocks. Turn the soil over so that it is very soft and add compost because zucchini plants are greedy to develop. Online or not, dig holes 25-30 cm deep and space them approximately one meter apart. Place 3 seeds on the hole and seal again. Firm it with the palm of your hand or the back of a rake, then water it.

How to plant a cucumber plant?

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©Olga Simonova/iStock

You have a choice between yours seedlings sown or purchased seedlings, ready for planting. The best time for planting is from mid-May to the end of June. The ground is warm enough to accommodate the young bunches. Stagger your planting times and locations to keep your cucumbers longer. Also, play around with varieties with longer or shorter fruit to appreciate flesh with a different flavor. Dig a 20 cm hole and place the moistened clods there. Place them one meter apart. Fill the gaps and compact. Water immediately after planting. Mulch and place the tunnel if a cold night is expected. Cucumber appreciates growing in pots and containers. Pay attention to the hole and the drainage layer. Fill it with a special enriched vegetable substrate and place the root ball. The growing advice remains the same. It can be nice to pick your own cucumbers on the balcony or terrace. There are medium-sized varieties suitable for narrow growing areas..

How to care for a cucumber plant?

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©mgstudio/iStock

Watering

Ask for cucumbers, like tomatoes lots of water all summer, approximately two waterings per week and more during hot weather. Allow the soil to dry between two waterings and do not wet the leaves. Drops of water on the leaves can cause the appearance of fungal diseases such as mildew. To reduce chores, have straw at the base or install a drip irrigation system that will deliver the correct amount regularly.

Size

Is recommended get cucumbers in quantity. When the plant has 4 leaves, pinch back above the first 2 leaves. This pinching will allow the main stem to branch out to form several. Then cut above 4Thursday sheet and so on. At the end of the season, cut back the leaves to allow the cucumbers to ripen in the sun.

Tutoring

Depending on the varieties, you can let him run on the ground or climb the support to save space, prevent slug attacks and facilitate harvesting. A fence, wire or net fixed between 2 stakes will serve as a trellis for cucumbers. Choose supports of at least 1.5 meters.

Mulching

This protective cover will be from spring protect the feet from possible colds and maintain the moisture needed for the proper development of the plant. It will prevent the growth of weeds and the sun’s rays, which can dry out the soil, and allow the harvest of clean cucumbers. Mulching is also necessary if you grow cucumber stems. Choose your mulch in straw or in the form of black cloth that absorbs the sun’s heat.

Note: strengthen your cucumber plants by spraying nettle manure every 15 days (follow the dosage indicated on the package). It will strengthen the plants’ natural defenses and their immunity to diseases.

Harvest your own cucumbers

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©philipimage/iStock

Depending on the variety, allow 3 to 4 months between sowing and harvesting, i.e. between July and early October. To harvest cucumbers, cut off the tails with pruning shears or a knife to avoid damaging the stem. Don’t make them too big or you will have less pulp and more seeds. Store them in the bottom compartment of the fridge for a few days. Peeled or unpeeled, it is usually enjoyed as an aperitif with herb sauce or in pieces, in a fresh salad, as a spread, in cold velouté, in tabbouleh; There is no shortage of recipe ideas. At the end of the growing season, pull out the plants and throw them in the compost.



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