Cucumber

Space Needed

3 SF plus Trellis

Background

Cucumber has been known and used for thousands of years as food and medicine. Mentioned in the Old Testament of the Bible, it was widely eaten throughout the Roman Empire and made its way to China more than 2,000 years ago. Ancient Egyptians ate pickled cucumbers regularly.

Medicinal Value

Eaten as food, cucumbers aid in digestion and elimination, and may improve gout, eczema and arthritis. Used on the skin, cucumber helps heal burns, reduces swelling, cools and cleanses. In addition to fiber and nutritious water, They contain more nutrients like C,K,Beta Carotene,B vitamins, flavonoids and minerals.  They supply a certain brain protective flavonol and make a wonderful base for green juices

Ornamental Value

Cucumber is a sprawling vine that can be trained to an A-frame or trellis. Compact varieties can be grown in containers with a support.

Cultivation

Sow seeds directly in the garden about a week after the last frost date or when the soil has warmed to at least 60 degrees. At each planting spot, push 2 or 3 seeds about 1″ into the soil. Space the plantings about 2′ to 3′ apart. Seeds germinate quickly in warm, moist soil. They do not like to have their roots disturbed, so transplant with care, if you started the seeds indoors.

Cover the seeded area with floating row cover to keep pests from destroying the seedlings or infecting the plants. Remove the cover when the plants begin to bloom to allow access to pollinating insects. Train the vines to run up a trellis to save garden space. 

Harvest & Keeping

Pick cucumbers before the seeds fully develop. Slicing cucumbers are ready when they are about 6″ to 8″ long, but this varies by variety. It’s important to keep the fruit picked because the plant will stop producing if even one fruit is allowed to mature its seeds.

Fresh cucumbers will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. For longer storage, ferment them in a salt brine can them in a vinegar solution.

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