Gardening

How to Grow Cucumber in the Garden: Everything you need to know

Good afternoon gardeners, today we are going to see everything about how to grow cucumber, which is one of the most consumed summer vegetables in our country.

The cucumber ( Cucumis sativus ) , originating in India, is an annual plant belonging to the Cucurbitaceae, the same family as squash , pumpkins , squash , watermelon or cantaloupe . One of the most remarkable characteristics of the cucumber are the tendrils , these appear as elongations on its stem that are rolled up on themselves, whose usefulness is to climb or better grasp the tutor.

How to grow cucumber in the garden

To grow cucumbers in our garden, the following must be taken into account:

How to sow cucumbers

If you start with seed, it will be necessary to sow after the winter something in the spring , about the month of April or May. It takes about 6 days to germinate and 2 to 4 months to produce (depends on the variety). Cucumbers are large plants, so when sowing or transplanting the ideal distance between plants is about 80-100 cm and between lines of plants about 90-110 cm.

If you have it in a planter, it must be large and at least 1 meter deep. As it is a climbing plant, it is advisable to place a trellis since the plant is small. Several seeds can be sown in the same area and then the weakest plant can be removed.

Type of soil that cucumber needs

cucumbers need very well drained and fertile soils . It is necessary that it is properly subscribed. A compost very rich in organic matter is recommended , such as worm castings . You can make a mulch  on the ground so that the fruits close to the ground do not get dirty and thus we will also keep the humidity of the crop constant.

Climate to grow cucumber

It depends a bit on the variety that we are going to grow but in general, cucumbers need a very warm climate , because the cold and wind stop their growth. For this reason, despite the heat of the summer in the greenhouse, it develops very well. They need a lot of sun during the day , so in full sun they will grow to their fullest.

In the central hours of the day as the sun can become very strong if we see that it becomes harmful, we can choose to place a shading mesh in the plantation, and if it is in a greenhouse it can be painted white , to that the light is reflected and the plants are not burned.

How to water cucumbers

It is a very demanding crop in terms of irrigation, because it needs constant humidity during its growth and flowering; but on the other hand, its roots do not tolerate waterlogging because they would quickly drown, hence the importance of good soil drainage and not leaving it waterlogged.

How to prune cucumbers

As previously mentioned, it is convenient to place a trellis from the youth of the plant so that the plant clings to it, it will have to be guided by pruning. The first pruning begins when the cucumber plant has about 6-8 leaves , here it can be done in two ways: either cut the apex of the central stem or wait for it to have some branching and begin to emerge.

After this first pruning, the following ones will have to be continued simply by pointing the tips , with this we will achieve a production with larger cucumbers and maintain the adequate size of the plant.

How to harvest cucumber

Each cucumber plant can produce about 9-10 cucumbers . The correct way to collect them is when the tip is rounded and the color clears up, so we must make a clean cut at the end of the peduncle . It is advisable not to wait for them to ripen on the plant because they could be more bitter.

Properties and benefits of cucumber

The cucumber provides few calories but a lot of energy.  As the main component of cucumber is water , it will help us to stay hydrated but at the same time it is a great diuretic, so its consumption should not be abused because it will cause the inverse effect that is dehydration. It provides our body with various vitamins,  among them are those of groups   A, BC and E , as well as magnesium, potassium and a lot of fiber.

The vitamin of the B complex helps to preserve the good state of the defenses. It is highly recommended to calm heartburn. It levels the uric acid in the body which is quite beneficial for people suffering from hypertension.

Like many vegetables, cucumber can be consumed raw or cooked , in the first way it maintains all its properties and in the second way there are many recipes that contain it as the main ingredient.

As a last tip, when it comes time to remove the crop at the end of its life cycle, it is recommended not to deposit the remains of it in the compost bin or to ensure that the composting process reaches a temperature of 65ºC, so that the sanitization of the materials is complete.

Greetings gardeners!

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