Thursday, May 14, 2015

How to grow cucumbers 2

Cucumbers have certain requirements if they are to bear much fruit. Here are some of their basic needs:
  • Nice, deep soil (cuke roots are 3 to 4 feet deep!)
  • Well-drained soil, preferably in hills or raised beds
  • Warm temperatures
  • Lots of space going up a trellis or fence (cukes can grow 6 to 8 feet tall!)
  • Plenty of water during the growing season
Preparing the soil
Get rid of any large debris. Using a spade, dig 8 to 12 inches into the soil. Turn each shovelful of soil completely over and break it up to make sure it's nice and loose. Now work the soil into ridges that are 4 to 6 inches high and at least 3 feet apart. 

Fertilizing beforehand
Before planting, for each 10 feet of row, work into the soil 1 cup of 10-10-10 or 10-20-10 fertilizer.

Planting
Make a thin, 1-inch-deep furrow down the center of each ridge. Plant a few seeds every foot or so, then cover the seeds with about 1 inch of loose soil. Gently tamp it down. Planting extra seeds is fine, since you will remove extra plants soon after they come up.

Watering
Be sure to water your cucumbers at least once a week, and probably more often.

Fertilizing as they grow
When the vines are about a foot long, feed them about 1/2 cup of fertilizer for each 10 feet of row, or 1 tablespoon per plant.

Weeding
Be careful when you pull weeds around your cucumbers. Don't hoe or dig any deeper than 1 inch as you may cut the delicate feeder roots. I have run that experiment.

Next: How to grow cucumbers 3

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