Cucumbers are fruit plants that belong to the pumpkin family and it is scientifically known as Cucumis sativus.
This plant originates from South Asia where its cultivation started and today the highest producer of this plant is China; having an annual produce of 40 million tons.
Cucumber plants are lovely plants that thrive best in warm, subtropical climates and the cultivation of this plant began about 3000 years ago in India.
Among the numerous fruit plants all around the world, cucumber plants are the most water-enriched fruits with water making up close to 90% of the plant mass.
Cucumbers are very rich in vitamins (those that belongs to the B-group and C) and other minerals such as magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), iron (Fe), and phosphorus (P) and they can be consumed raw, pickled, and also for making salads.
Cucumber plants are popularly propagated via seeds and they can either be monoecious or dioecious depending on the variety of the plant i.e. they can either have both the male and female organ on a single plant, therefore, carrying out self-pollination while some others have the male and female organs separately and there are modified varieties that do not require any form of pollination.
Cucumbers are annual plants and they can grow to a height of between 1 to 6 feet and they develop yellow flowers that develop into fruits after pollination has occurred.
Cucumbers are early maturing plants and they are beautiful plants that each and every one of us should grow at our home especially during the warm season since they produce a lot of water.
The main pollinators of this plant are the bumblebee and bees and they grow well in almost all soil kinds as long as they are well taken care of and they are provided with necessary elements that will support their growth.
Cucumbers produce fruits that are cylindrical in shape with a length of 3 to 24 inches long and a single plant will produce between 25 and 125 fruits depending on how well it is managed.
In this article, we will take you through the steps to follow for successful cucumber propagation so you should read further to learn more. Enjoy reading!
Table of Contents
- 1 Types of Cucumber plants to Grow
- 2 When is the right time to plant Cucumbers?
- 3 How to Grow Cucumber at home
- 4 Conclusion
Types of Cucumber plants to Grow
Cucumber plants are very beautiful and lovely plants and this plant is quite interesting in that it gives variance to the type of plant that you can grow as a household owner.
However, there are majorly two types of cucumber plants depending on their growth pattern and they are the vining cucumbers and bush cucumbers.
In this section, we will discuss more about these types of cucumbers so you should read further to learn more.
This type of cucumber grows on vigorous vines that bear leaves and the vines are usually grown along trellis or fences.
This variety of cucumbers needs support so that they can perform well, even though they can be grown as crawling plants, this usually makes them less productive and occupies more space.
They grow by trailing along with supports such as poles, trellis, and any recommendable support for the vine.
This type of cucumber grows like shrubs and they perform quite well in containers and small gardens. They do not require any kind of support to grow; though their productivity is lower.
NB: Generally, cucumbers mature within six weeks and you can make a successive planting of this variety of plants to ensure that it is able to produce over a long period of time.
Also, either type of the cucumber plant can be dioecious or monoecious so you should know the variety of the plant you are choosing before planting commences.
When is the right time to plant Cucumbers?
Cucumbers are warm-weather plants and they do not perform well in cold weather. This plant always requires a temperature of about 70 degrees Fahrenheit for germination to occur so the time when the seed is to be planted must be supportive of the plant germination.
Cucumber plants are best planted when the last frost has passed and planting should be done at least two weeks after the last frost has passed.
Planting during late spring or early summer when the temperature is a little bit up will encourage the proper growth and development of the cucumber plants.
How to Grow Cucumber at home
Growing cucumber plants is very easy and being able to ensure an all-year production of cucumber plants is one of the most important goals of production at home.
Cucumber plants are very easy to grow as long as they receive the right and proper care and maintenance that will support an all-round performance. Below are the steps involved in growing cucumber at home:
Choose seed of suitable variety and type:
Before starting other things, you should select a variety of cucumber plant that thrives well in your area.
You should choose the right type of cucumber plant that will survive well in your environment or region and types that are resistant to common pests and diseases of cucumber in that region.
Also, make sure you are aware of the growth pattern of your plant i.e. if it is either vining or bush.
Select a growing site:
You should choose a site that receives full sunlight of about 6 to 8 hours daily and must be well-draining. The site must be very fertile and the pH of this soil should be between 5.5 and 6.8.
The soil should be able to hold moisture considerably well so as to ensure that moisture is always available to the plant.
Prepare the soil:
After selecting a site that is suitable for growing cucumber plants, you should check if the soil is in the right shape for growing your plant. If the soil is poor, mix aged manure or compost to the soil to improve it.
You should also reduce the compactness of the soil by adding organic matter and you can also check the pH of the soil through testing and then amending it in case it is too acidic or alkaline.
Make sure that the soil is in good shape; i.e. the fertility, pH level, soil structure, and water holding capacity are okay.
Make rows for planting:
You should make a row for planting and a spacing of 2 – 3 feet should be left between rows to ensure movement. The row should be well tilled to ensure the efficient movement of water, nutrients, and air within the soil.
Plant the seeds:
Seeds should be planted at a depth of 1 inch deep into the soil with a spacing of 1 foot between plants. Make sure that the hole is not too deep so that the plants can survive well under the environmental condition. Plant 2 – 3 seeds in each hole.
Water the plant:
Once planting is completed, the planting site should be properly watered so as to ensure that enough moisture is provided to the plant.
Watering should be done regularly so as to ensure the germination of the seeds. Make sure that the plant is regularly supplied with water as dry soil encourages the development of fruits with a bitter taste.
The planting area should be properly mulched just after planting has been done. This can be done with the use of chopped leaves, straw, and other organic materials. This will help reduce the growth of weed and also prevent exposure of the plant to soil-borne diseases.
Thin the seedling:
Once germination has occurred and seedlings have reached a height of about 4-inches, it is important that you practice thinning.
You should leave the healthiest and strongest seedling and gently pull out the others to ensure efficient growth.
Make trellis for your plant (optional):
Once the plants begin to germinate, if it is a vining type, it is essential that you make a trellis for your plant so as to support its growth.
Install supports to the end of each pole, link them together at the top, and carefully tie twines to the base of each plant to provide support.
Once the plant begins to grow, it is important that you train your plant around the twine or support. There are durable materials like tiny metals that can be used instead of twines for long-term use.
Cucumber plants need water to perform well so you should supply the base of the plant with water regularly. Water should be supplied to plants in the morning or early in the day to avoid exposure to diseases.
Also, make sure that water does not touch the leaves so as to keep it healthy and in good shape at all times.
Being able to grow your own cucumber plants at home is quite fascinating and taking a simple step to grow this plant around your home will help provide you with a good supply of this plant.
Enjoy growing cucumber plants with the simple steps discussed above. Have a superb gardening experience!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !