Saturday, December 21, 2013

Cucumbers - our best grower

     I think that cucumbers are some of our easiest growing veggies- every year. Maybe we live in a good place to grow them. My grandparents always had them in their gardens as did their grandparents so maybe it is the area. All I know is that even when very little else grow our cucumber plants produce and produce well! Even the first little front flowerbed veggie garden we grew (which really only had some success and was very small) produced lots of cucumbers. I know I mentioned this in a previous post, but found the pics to show you- my son named the first cucumber we grew Roy E. Boy and wouldn't eat it. He carried that poor thing everywhere until he rotted. Here are some photos are proof:

This is right after he named Roy E. Boy:

He brought him everywhere- in the car

 He literally loved ole Roy:

     One of the best things about cucumbers is that you don't really need that many plants to get a decent amount of cucumbers (unless you plan on pickling them or something). We love to eat them and three plants are enough for us.

      We did do something new this year, which was to grow our cucumbers up a trellis (nothing fancy just a metal one you can buy at the store), and I think that is the way to go if you can. You could also use some wooden stakes and twine which would be cheaper. It helped keep them from getting too wet and rotting and we had no trouble with any weird diseases (though we don't generally). It was easier to find the cucumbers meaning we were able to pick smaller ones (though on occasion I grow a few big ones for E- he thinks that is pretty cool).

     Make sure you pick a sunny spot as they love this. It isn't a bad idea to mix some compost in for nutrients. Then you can either plant the seed directly into the ground or you can start transplants indoors about 3 weeks before the last frost. We have done it both ways and it has worked alright each time. We did have better success last year, but I don't know if that is because of the transplants or the trellis (probably both).

     If your plants bloom but don't produce then you probably have low pollination - one tip to increase this is to spray some sugar water on the leaves to attract the bees. Also, once they start producing make sure you keep picking them or they will stop producing.

If you are interested in growing cucumbers please check out the almanac website- they have a lot of information.   They also have information about common problems with cucumbers.

Happy Growing!

Mommy and E