Cucumbers (cucumis sativis) were native to northwester India and by the 18th century, cucumbers were commonly grown all over the globe. CUCUMBER is a vine fruit- fit the definition of a fruit because they develop when the flower is fertilized and also contain the seeds of the plant. Cucumbers thrive when the weather is hot and water is plentiful. Cucumber, Plant History, Growing Tips and Care!
They can be started indoors and transplanted outside in late spring, but they are more disease resistant if direct sown outside. Cucumbers bear male and female flowers. Female blooms have a small swelling at the base, the makings of a fruit. If vines bloom but don’t fruit, something is interfering with pollination so. you may need to do- hand pollination.Cucumber plants grow rapidly and they require water to keep them healthy. Lack of water causes foliage to wilt quickly in the summer sun. Cucumber is related to watermelons, gourds, pumpkins, muskmelons melons and squash.
If vines bloom but don’t fruit, something is interfering with pollination so. you may need to do- hand pollination.Cucumber plants grow rapidly and they require water to keep them healthy. Lack of water causes foliage to wilt quickly in the summer sun.
There are three main varieties of cucumber: slicing, pickling, and seedless. Cucumber is related to watermelons, gourds, pumpkins, muskmelons melons and squash.Cucumber plants grow in two forms- bush and vine:
These cucumber plants bear fruit earlier than vine types, and they are easy to care for and harvest into the fall season. Perfect for containers and small gardens. Cultivars include :
Bush Champion – (60-80 days) 9 to 11 inches long.
Parks Bush Whopper – (55 days). Large 8 to 12 inch fruit on dwarf.
Bush Crop – (55 days). 6 to 8 inches long. Very productive. Hybrid.
Fanfare – (63 days) Disease tolerant. 8 to 9 inches long. Hybrid.
Pot Luck-(50-58 days) 6½ to 7 inches long extremely productive.
Salad Bush- (57 days) 8 inches long. Hybrid.
Spacemaster (58 days) 7 to 8 inches long.
Vine cucumbers take up a great deal of garden space when left to sprawl on the ground. They can be utilized as screens in the landscaping. Varieties such as :
County Fair 83 (48-53 days.) Fruit to 3 inches long almost seedless strong vines for home gardens. Hybrid.
Dasher II (55-60 days) 8½ inches long Hybrid.
Saladin (55 days) 5 inches long. European origin. Hybrid.
Slice Master Hybrid (48-55 days) 8½ inches. Hybrid.
Sweet Slice (55-62 days.)10 to 12 inches long. Hybrid.
Sweet Success (55-58 days). 12 to 14 inches long.
Cucumber Growing Tips Soil, Planting and Care
Cucumbers are very easy to grow. Plant seedlings 36 to 60 inches apart. For vines space plants 1 foot apart. A five-gallon or larger pot can easily support one or two plants and provide fresh cucumbers all summer long! Cucumbers do not like to have their roots disturbed. Cucumbers really don’t need much attention once established in the garden. Trellis your vines.
Very important- steady moisture, you can use black or brown mulch- a warm, moist soil is essential for top production. This will speed up growth. The mulch will also keep weeds at bay. Mulch is especially important to keep the fruit clean for bush types and vines not growing on a trellis.
Harvest and Storage
You can pick cucumbers whenever they’re big enough to use. Check vines daily as the fruit starts to appear, vines produce more fruit the more you harvest. Don’t let the cucumbers get over sized – they will be bitter, and will also keep the vine from producing more.Yellowing at the bottom-signals over ripeness; you have to remove the fruit immediately.You can keep harvested cucumbers in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days.
Cucumber Insects & Diseases
Insect infestations often cause damage to cucumber foliage. Cucumber beetles can cause the most damage (chew holes in leaves and flowers,scar stems, fruits and they spread a disease that causes the plants to wilt and die) aphids –slugs and spider mites.
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