If you're thinking about introducing vegetables into your container garden, cucumbers are an excellent choice.
People consider cucumbers to be vegetables, but they're actually fruit! They are extremely low in calories and contain about 96% water. Cucumbers have a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so eat them unpeeled. You can eat your cucumber harvest, make pickles or give cucumbers away to friends and family.
Easy to Grow
Cucumbers are easy to grow in containers and can be started inside if you have enough space, bright sunlight, and the right guide.
To get a good harvest;
● Choose the right variety and seeds.
● Choose a location with bright sunlight and space for a trellis.
● Start seeds indoors in a nursery.
● Pick an optimal pot size.
● Transplant into an organic potting mix.
● Fertilize and watch out for pests.
Your choice of cucumber depends on the kind of crop you want. There are two major types of cucumbers:
Bush cucumbers tend to be shorter and more compact and have smaller yields. You can start a nursery in 2-week intervals to always have a fresh crop to harvest.
Only plant as many bush cucumber plants as you can manage.
2. Vining cucumbers
Vining cucumbers have large leaves growing on climbing vines. They grow fast and produce rapidly. Vining varieties like “northern pickling” and “lemon cucumber” grow best when trained up a trellis or fence.
NURSERY AND TRANSPLANTING
Cucumbers are heat-loving vegetables and shouldn’t be planted outdoors until the soil is warm.
To plant cucumbers, sow them 2-3 feet apart, 12” to 1” deep, and work them into the soil.
The seedlings need bottom heat, so place them on a heat mat or water heater. During germination, it is recommended to place the seedlings under grow lights.
Cucumbers are heat-loving vegetables and shouldn’t be planted outdoors until the soil is warm. Don’t try and rush cucumbers into containers too early as they’ll be prone to cold or frost damage.
Start cucumber seeds indoors about 3 weeks before you plan to transplant them into a container. If you grow cucumbers indoors, you have to harden off your seedlings to gradually acclimate them to outdoor conditions. Do this by gradually exposing them to stronger sunlight until they are used to full sun.
Handle your cucumber seedlings with care as you transplant them to their growing containers.
HARVEST AND STORAGE
You will know when your cucumbers are ready for harvest as they become plump.
Aim to harvest them slightly underripe, don’t wait for them to yellow or they will get bitter as they get bigger.
Follow the rule of thumb for harvesting your cucumber fruits:
● Use a sharp and disinfected shear to cut the fruit off the vines - don’t use your hands, or you might damage the vines.
● Check your seed packets for the optimal times to harvest your cucumber fruits.
The most common use of cucumbers is in summery salads and green smoothies, but if that gets old, you can pickle your cucumber harvest and enjoy them as a sour side to savory dishes.
Bonus: add extra moisture to your skin with regular cucumber face masks!