Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to Grow Cucumbers in the North

Image: Rusty.Grass
Cucumbers are easy to grow in the north and come in a number of varieties suitable for all gardens. Choose a variety according to space and use. Pickling cucumbers are best for making pickles while slicing cukes are great in salads. Grow in containers, along a trellis or in hills on the ground.

Vegetable Type: Annual
Name: Cucumis sativus
Family: Cucurbitaceous (gourd)

How to Start Cucumber Seeds in the North

  • Cucumbers can be sown directly in the garden in the north because they take 70 days or less to mature. 

When to Plant: After all danger of frost has passed
Soil Type: Fertile, well-drained, slightly acidic
Light: Full sun
Spacing: Sow cucumber seeds 1" deep and 4-5 per hill, with hills 6' apart
Thinning: Thin cucumbers to 2 per hill when seedlings reach 2" tall
Watering: Keep well watered especially during dry periods
Fertilization: Amend soil with finished compost or composted manure to keep fertile
Mulching: Mulch to prevent weeds and retain moisture
Weeding: Weed when plants are dry to reduce the risk of spreading disease
Average Days to Germination: 6-10 days

Common Cucumber Pests and Diseases

Cucumber Pests 

Cucumber Beetles: Small yellow insects with black spots or stripes. Known for chewing holes in the leaves of cucumber plants, often killing them off. Spray with warm soapy water  and handpick to control them organically.

Cucumber Diseases 

Bacteria Wilt: Causes plants to wilt and die off. Pull diseased plants to keep bacteria wilt from spreading. Only pull plants that don’t recover from wilt during cooler temperatures. Some plants may wilt during the heat of the day.

Powdery Mildew: Caused by a fungus and resembles white dust on plant leaves. Small powdery spots can spread. Plant resistant cucumbers & rotate crops to prevent powdery mildew. Spray affected plants with neem oil to control those already affected.

Downy Mildew: Caused by a fungus which appears as small yellow spots on plant leaves, browning and drying them causing them to die off. To prevent, plant disease resistant cucumbers and dispose of parts of the plant already affected.

How to Harvest Cucumbers

  • Twist and snap cucumbers from the vine when they reach desired size (size varies per variety)
  • Harvest before they turn yellow and plump

Best Varieties of Cucumbers to Grow in the North

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1 comment:

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