Urban Garden Cucumbers

Cucumbers are lovely fuzzy vines that produce delicious crisp fruits all season long!

Cucumber urban garden

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Nutrition

Cucumbers are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin K and potassium.

The fruits are about 90 percent water, making for a wonderful way to get extra liquid on hot days.

Eating

Cucumbers grow tiny rough bumps to discourage pests, brush these off and enjoy!

Fresh Cucumbers raw, with a sprinkle of salt, are delicious. Cucumbers are clutch in salads, with dip and in gazpacho.

A great harvest will get you pickling in no time.

Sliced cucumber in iced water is also lovey.

Storage

DO NOT store in the refrigerator, cucumbers are a warm weather fruits and will start breaking down quickly in cold conditions.

Why are my cucumbers bitter?

If cumbers develop in very hot weather or without enough water, they may be bitter.

The bitterness is caused by a compound called cucurbitacin that accumulates under the skin near the stem. There is no harm in eating these.

Peel the skin extra deep as it’ll help get rid of the cucurbitacin. Cucumbers from the same plant will often lose their bitterness as the season progresses.

Great Verities

For pickles Wisconsin SMR 18 will pump out pickle sized cucumbers and is highly disease resistance.

A great slicing cucumber is Marketmore 76.

For something exciting try lemon its fruit are round, yellow- skinned and delicious.

Getting started

Cucumbers are best started indoors, 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost.

If cucumber are grown indoors too long they will be stunted and produce poor results.

Sow ¼” in potting mix.

Cucumber like heat, and often will not sprout unless temperatures are 75- 80f to create these conditions, use a heating mat.

Planting

Cucumbers should be planted in a place where they get lots of sun.

Take lots of care when transplanting as the roots are very tender.

Plant 10”-12” apart, in rich soil (amend with compost) with good drainage and lots of organic material.

WARNING: Cucumbers are vines that can cover 8 square feet in a season, be prepared to go vertical, keep them trimmed or give them room.

Growing

Growing

Provide lots of water! Keep weeds back with mulch.  Cucumbers cannot tolerate temperatures under 31F do best in a range of 70 -90F they take about 60 days of growing before first picking.

Go vertical!

Most city gardeners grow cucumbers vertically. They produce trendrils that allow that to grasp thin poles, trellis or netting.

Cucumbers thrive when grown vertically.

On pollination

Most verities of cucumber produce both male and female flowers that need to cross pollinate, encourage pollinators with companion plants that will attract pollinators.

Pruning

Remove flowers if there are less then 6 leaves on the plant, only allowing 1 fruit per shoot at a time will also help productivity.

Use garden scissors to trim off the ends of vines (cut where a leaf steams into the plant at a 60 degree angle). This will help manage space and can help boost productivity.

NEVER trim more then 20 percent of growing plant matter at one time.

Harvesting

Pick early and often, the more you pick, often the more you get!

Cucumbers are best when they’re a glossy dark green.

Letting cucumbers stay on the vine will cause the seeds to develop and the vine will slow down or stop creating new cucumbers, you can tell a cucumber has been on the vine too long if it’s started turning yellow.

Tradition

Cucumbers are believed to come from India where it is thought cultivation began about 3000 years ago.

The Roman adored cucumbers, growing them year around (In the winter they would grow the plants on carts, wheeling them outside during the warm day and inside for the cold night). The Romans are believed to have spread cumbers throughout Europe.

Cucumbers were brought to the Americas with the very first explores.

Family

Also known as Cucumis sativus, cucumbers are a member of the gourd family cucurbitaceae, related to pumpkins and zucchini.