The Q&A Archives: How do I grow cucumbers?

Question: I'm a 12 year old boy. I'm very interested in gardening and I want to grow some cucumbers this year. But I have a few questions that I need help on.<br><br>Should put a fence around my garden so animals won't eat the cucumbers? Should I put something under the cucumbers to prevent rotting? I should I fertilize the cucumbers? (Should I pour or spray?) Do I need a support if I want to plant one of those cucumber "hills"?

Answer: Have you had trouble with animals in your garden before? Certainly, rabbits, woodchucks, etc. can be a nuisance, though I haven't had any trouble (yet!) Put a fence up if you'd like--or just take your chances.<br><br>Some people like to grow cucumbers up onto a trellis. I made a "teepee" last year using 8-foot straight saplings tied together at the top. I then wrapped twine around the outside every 8" or so, to give the vines something to climb on. Or you can use other types of trellises. <br><br>You can also just let your cucumber vines sprawl on the ground. You don't need to put anything under them--just inspect the plants frequently. Otherwise, you'll end up with some giant, overmature cukes hiding under those vines! There are also "bush" varieties that don't grow long vines. <br><br>Be sure to wait to plant your cukes until the soil has warmed up...they like warm weather. If you have a rich, loamy soil with lots of organic matter, you can fertilize your plants when you see the first blossoms. If your soil isn't so rich, try fertilizing weekly with a weak fertilizer--use either an organic plant food like fish emulsion or kelp extract, or a synthetic 10-10-10. Follow label directions carefully.<br><br>Keep a close eye on your young plants for cucumber beetles. These black and yellow striped or spotted insects can really damage young seedlings.

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