Are you growing cucumbers?
If not you should consider them as when you grow them properly and tend to the plants you’ll have such a delicious crop to eat, pickle, etc. I have a few suggestions. Did you know that the cucumber is related to squash, pumpkins, and melons, which are mostly native to America but will not cross with them?
One-half oz. of cucumber seed will plant l00”. Some like to grow pickling cucumbers, while others like to grow the slicing cucumbers to eat fresh or in salads. The pickled cucumber has a smoother and more fine-grained flesh and its skin is usually so thin you won’t have to peel it. Sure you can slice the picklers and also pickle the slicers, this is up to you. Let me tell you about each of these cucumbers.
The slicers are dark, shaped to yield more uniformly round slices, are smoother and longer. I do prefer to peel them at times unless they are very young and tender. The picklers tend to have more irregular shapes, and warts or bumps. They won’t keep as long as the slicers.
Cucumbers thrive in a heavy soil that will retain moisture and should be thoroughly dug to a depth of six to eight inches. When planting sowl” deep, l5″ apart in rows 60″ apart, or 5 to l0 plants to a hill 60″ apart from each way. When the plants are 3″ to 4″ high, you’ll need to thin them to 3 or 4 plants. Plant, when the soil is warm after danger of frost, is over. If available, add a spade full of well-rotted manure at the bottom of each hole and cover with five inches of soil.
When you are cultivating the cucumbers it should be done very lightly and frequently until the vines cover the ground. Planting in hills is better than in rows, but that is a personal preference, some say rows, others say hills. I have planted both and had great success, just give the vines enough room. Infertile soil, one vine could cover 25 square feet.
Each vine will bear two kinds of blossoms, the staminate or male usually being produced first, then the pistillate, or female blossoms, may be distinguished by the fact that the small Cucumber appears just below the bottom. Not until blossoms of these types are produced will there by little cucumbers.
Cucumbers have shallow roots and require irrigation is the climate is dry. Water at least twice a week once the vines start to have flowers and set the fruit or the cucumbers may have large seeds and also tough skin. They can grow in full sun, but in very hot areas need some partial shade. I also would recommend mulching with straw or grass clippings.
When the cucumbers are ready to pick try to pick them at least six to seven times a week. If the cucumbers are allowed to mature on the vine and you don’t pick them correctly, they will stop producing.
If you choose to have a trellis or fence to support the vines this works excellent. You can also have the soil well cultivated, mulched and then the vines will grow over the mulch. This will help keep them moist.