The Q&A Archives: Cucumbers

Question: Any Cucumber tips for me on insuring I have a good crop of cucumbers? I heard used coffee grounds are good to mix in the soil.

Answer: Coffee grounds are a source of nitrogen and they help loosen garden soil so adding them to your veggie garden will be somewhat helpful. They will reduce the pH (acidify the soil) to a small degree. You can get similar results by incorporating compost, aged-manure or even shredded leaves.

Cucumbers are a subtropical plant and require full sun. Cucumbers also require a decent amount of growing space in your garden, so you?ll need to take this into account. If you?re short on space, vertical structures such as trellises can help make up for limited space in your garden. There are also a number of dwarf varieties if you?d like to grow your cucumbers in containers.

Cucumbers are happiest when the average temperatures are around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant your cucumbers in the late spring or early summer when there is no risk of frost. Even a light frost can kill your plants.

In general, cucumbers are not picky about soils. However, make sure your soil is well-draining and has a pH of around 6.5. Add plenty of organic compost to your garden soil before you grow cucumbers. This will ensure that they have the proper nutrients to grow strong and healthy. Additionally, your soil will have the proper drainage to let your plants thrive when you add compost. Adding organic compost is really one of the best ways to improve both soil drainage and balance soil pH.

Applying mulch to your garden can also help your cucumbers. The mulch will retain soil moisture, keep weeds from establishing, and can add nutrients to the soil. Use at least 4 inches of an organic mulch such as wood chips or bark. A permeable synthetic weed barrier can also help to retain moisture and keep weeds out of your garden.

You can grow your cucumber starter plants indoors up to 2 weeks before you?re ready to plant. Remember to wait until all risk of frost has passed to transplant. You can also plant seeds directly in the garden. Arrange your garden in small hills and plant around 4 seeds per hill. Separate your seeds by about 3-4 feet. You can also ground your cucumbers in rows. Space your rows about 6 ? feet apart, with the seeds about 2 ? feet apart in the rows. Remember that some cucumbers varieties are suitable for container gardens.

Best wishes with your garden!

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