The Vegetable Garden

Cucumber

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Cucumber
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CucumberCucumber is a tender, warm-season vegetable that produces well when given proper care and protection. The vines of standard varieties grow rapidly and require substantial space. Vertical training methods and new dwarf varieties now allow cucumbers to be grown for slicing, salads and pickling, even in small garden plots.


 

Varieties

Long Green Slicing

  • Burpless (hybrid - 62 days to harvest; the original sweet, long, Chinese-type hybrid; does well on a trellis)
  • Marketmore 76 (68 days; very uniform, dark green, straight fruit; multiple disease resistance)
  • Straight 8 (58 days; AAS winner; long-time favorite; excellent flavor; evenly dark green fruit)

Long Green Slicing (compact plant)

  • Bush Crop (55 days to harvest; delicious; 6-8 inch fruit on dwarf, bushy plants)
  • Fanfare (hybrid - 63 days; AAS winner; great taste; high yield; extended harvest; disease resistant)
  • Salad Bush (hybrid - 57 days; AAS winner; uniform 8 inch fruit on compact plants; tolerant to a wide variety of diseases

Pickling

  • Bush Pickle (48 days to harvest; compact plant; good for container growing)
  • Carolina (Hybrid - 49 days; straight, blocky fruits with white spines; medium-sized plant with good vigor; disease resistant)

When To Plant

Cucumbers are usually started by planting seeds directly in the garden. Plant after the danger of frost has passed, and the soil has warmed in the spring. Warm soil is necessary for germination of seeds and proper growth of plants. With ample soil moisture, cucumbers thrive in warm summer weather. A second planting for fall harvest may be made in mid- to late summer.


Cucumbers may be transplanted for extra-early yields. Sow two or three seeds in peat pots, peat pellets or other containers 3 to 4 weeks before the frost-free date. Thin to one plant per container. Plant transplants 1 to 2 feet apart in rows 5 to 6 feet apart when they have two to four true leaves. Do not allow transplants to get too large in containers or they will not transplant well. Like other vine crops, cucumbers do not transplant successfully when pulled as bare-root plants.

Spacing & Depth

Plant seeds 1/2 to 1 inch deep and thin the seedlings to one plant every 12 inches in the row or to three plants every 36 inches in the hill system. If you use transplants, plant them carefully in warm soil 12 inches apart in the row.

Cucumber, Fanfare
Cucumber, Fanfare
Cucumber, Wisconsin SMR-58
Cucumber, Wisconsin SMR-58