One of the rewards of growing cucumbers is the beautiful blossoms they
quickly add to your spring garden. The cucumber is a fast germinating plant
with a short growing season and a bountiful harvest.
When growing cucumbers, remember that they are a tropical plant and like the
tomato, need a soil temperature of about 80? Fahrenheit (27? Celsius) for
seeds to germinate. Many gardeners begin planting cucumbers indoors, using
peat pots to start the seeds so that the roots aren?t disturbed upon
transplanting. Alternatively, after the soil is warm, cucumbers can be
seeded directly into your garden, since their short germination time is
generally four to five days. To preserve soil temperatures, simply give them
an overcoat of dark plastic during cool nighttime hours.
Although cucumber vines grow rapidly and require substantial space, they can
easily be trained to grow vertically on a trellis for greenhouse gardening.
One especially appealing idea is growing cucumbers in a container behind a
cherry tomato. This way of planting cucumbers is a colorful, eye-catching
addition to your patio or deck and easy pickin?s for your salad bowl!
In the past, some gardeners have forgone growing cucumbers because of the
difficulty in pollinating them. The cucumber blossoms with two types of
flowers, male and female. The male flower (staminate) is first to appear and
then wilts and falls off, often before the female (pistil late) blossom
makes her entrance! However, the second round of blossoms will contain both
male and female flowers, pollination will take place and your cucumber
plants will be off to a running start!
Moreover, a running start it is, for you?ll find that when growing
cucumbers, the fruit matures almost as rapidly as the vines grow! Many
varieties of cucumbers are ready for harvest in as little as 55 days after
seed germination. Harvesting cucumbers is also quite simple, for they can be
picked in just about any size. However, don?t wait until you see yellow
(unless of course, you are growing a yellow variety!). When green cucumbers
turn yellow, they are past their prime; their fruit will be dry and their
There are 122 different varieties to choose from when growing cucumbers. Try
planting cucumbers in several different varieties to find your favorite!
From germination to harvest, you?ll find that planting cucumbers is a
thoroughly enjoyable part of gardening whether you choose to plant them in
your garden, your hobby greenhouse, or in a container.
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