Raised bed gardening is a successful way to grow cucumbers and it is relatively easy if you know a few pointers. I have a small area in my yard that grows the most beautiful weeds. The interesting thing about cucumber plants is they grow best in areas that weeds just seem to love. I decided to clear the area and plant a raised cucumber garden patch. I have planted cucumber plants and learned a few simple tips to grow a successful cucumber garden.
Where should I plant?
Cucumber plants love a mostly sunny spot
Raised beds and organic gardening methods are ideal.
The area for a patch must be open on at least two sides and get plenty of open air.
Put up a small fence around your patch to discourage rabbits, deer and other vegetable loving animals.
If you have a flower garden or pots nearby it encourages bees, which fertilize your plants and ensure many cucumbers.
My mother and grandmother taught me that cucumbers love to congregate on hills in groups.
In a 5 by 5 feet area form hills about 2 ½ feet apart making four hills.
Plant two to four plants in each hill.
Stake your Cucumbers
Tomato cages work great for the tendrils of cucumber plants as they grow to search for places to climb.
Three or four, 1 inch square, wood stakes that are about 4 to 5 feet high placed around the hills make excellent stakes. Some people use PVC plumbing pipe, fencing or trellises to place around the cucumber plants. Twine or old sheets torn into long strips are useful when tied around the stakes at different heights for plants to climb.
It is essential to have something for the cucumber plants to climb up upon because it keeps the cucumbers off the ground and away from rodents, insects and moisture.
Feeding cucumber plants
Once you have the plants in the ground water and fertilize. I use Miracle Grow for vegetables.
Water the plants daily or twice daily in extreme dry heat. If it has been rainy just be sure to water enough to keep the ground moist.
Watering is very important in dry weather. Water the plants regularly to keep the ground moist, your cucumbers will dry up or not grow as large as possible. In dry weather and lack of water, cucumbers will become bitter.
Fertilizing with water incorporated fertilizer, like the Miracle Grow, once a week in dry weather is important to make the plants produce many cucumbers.
Harmful to cucumbers
Slugs, beetles and caterpillars love to eat the leaves and the cucumbers so the best thing to do is keep an eye out and manually remove the insects. Watering the whole cucumber plant helps knock and keep many of the pests away.
Chipmunks and other animals love cucumber plants too. Having cats and dogs on your property may keep many of the animals away, but nighttime is when most will find your vines. Small spaced chicken wire stapled around the bottom of your patch enclosure and dug down about an inch into the soil will help. Many of the animals just climb right over. I found if I leave an overgrown or bad cucumber or two on the ground, they eat that before going for the growing cucumbers, but be careful it does not draw even more animals.
Soon you will have cucumbers to eat and give to your family and friends that love homegrown cucumbers. Enjoy the bounty.
More from Jackie Moore Wagner:
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