Table of contents
- Introducing the Cucumber
- Cucumber Growing Tips
- Cucumber growing tips trellis
- Cucumber growing tips from seed
- Cucumber Growing tips Australia
- How to grow cucumbers in pots
- Cucumber Growing Tips – Health
Introducing the Cucumber
Cucumber growing tips will help you grow a big crop of long green beauties. Eat what you can and simply pickle any surplus. Growing and eating this vegetable is fun and good for your health.
Cucumbers grow on a vine and in most regions thrive during summer. However, in the tropics, they are at their best in winter, when conditions suit them most. That said, some varieties grow well all year round in the tropics.
There are almost 100 varieties of cucumber grown around the world. One of the best varieties to grow in the tropics is called ‘Suyo Long’. There are other varieties that also handle the tropics.
Despite common reference to cucumber as a vegetable, it is technically a fruit. However, as people commonly refer to it as a vegetable, that is how it is described in this guide.
Cucumber Growing Tips
Sun and Soil
Cucumber grow into quite large vines, so make sure they have space to grow. Plant them in a loose, organic soil where they will get plenty of sunlight.
Cucumber growing tips trellis
Either plant on mounds or near a trellis that the vine can grow up. We grow our vines sprawling along our fence. Cucumber vine on a trellis is less susceptible to disease. In addition, when your cucumbers are ready to harvest, they will be at a convenient height for you.
As the vine grows, simply (and gently) train the new growth in the direction you want the vine to grow.
Cucumber growing tips from seed
Time needed: 4 minutes
How to grow cucumber from seed.
Sow 3 seeds about 2cm (0.5-1in) deep into each hole in a seed tray.
- Water and Sun
Place your seedlings in full sun and make sure you water regularly. Cucumber is a thirsty plant. So water first thing in the morning and remember to water the base of the plant to avoid wetting the foliage.
Germination normally takes places from 3 to 10 days.
- Locate a trellis
Establish a trellis in a sunny location that is easy to water. This will be your cucumber plants final home.
- Tranplant and thin
Transplant seedings into your trellised garden bed. If more than one seedling grows well, you may need to thin them out.
You can harvest at around 10 weeks. Cut off your cucumbers with a sharp knife or pruners. Do not pull them off, as this may damage the vine.
Cucumber Growing tips Australia
Use a fertiliser rich in nitrogen, phosphate and the potassium. Be sure to apply the fertiliser to the base of the plant so you do not burn the leaves.
However, very high feeding of nitrogen will see your cucumbers send their energy into growing more vines, leaves and shoots, when what we really want is more flowers and fruits.
Hence, cucumbers need moderate nitrogen and high phosphorus and potassium, so an organic plant food with the first number lower than the last two (like 3-4-6) would be the best.
Cucumbers love water, so the odd torrential downpour will not worry them. Indeed during the tropical dry season they may need more water than nature can supply. During periods when there is no rain, make sure you give them a daily water.
Cucumber Growing Tips on Pests and Diseases
Insect pests and diseases are more of a problem during the wet season. This is due to the hot humid conditions.
The major pests in the tropics are leaf eating beetles, aphids and caterpillars. So you can pick these off your vine at home, or if the challenge is bigger you can use an insecticide.
Regular application of ‘white oil’ can help address these pests. Indeed white oil is an effective organic pesticide that you can make at home.
Harvest with a knife or snippers and cut the stem above the fruit. Pulling them off can damage the vine.
How to grow cucumbers in pots
Most aspects of growing cucumbers in pots is the same as outlined above. You will still need a trellis for the vine to grow on. It could be a fence, tree or even the railing of your balcony.
You will need to water more regularly if you are growing in a pot. Alternatively, you could consider growing in a wicking bed or pot so your plant will have access to water if you are away for a long weekend.
Cucumber Growing Tips – Health
Good growing practices can produce that many cucumbers that it is impossible to eat them all. Many growers pickle those they cannot eat, so they will keep and be enjoyed later. Eating them is not only enjoyable, it has many health benefits.
This tasty low calorie vegetable is great for weight loss. In addition, it is enjoyable to eat, filling and mainly water!
All of the water in cucumbers and the fibre, means eating a lot of them can help you keep hydrated and also help with constipation.
Cucumbers have vitamins A, B, C, K, as well as copper, manganese, and potassium. Consequently, this makes cucumber a great food to eat to boost your immune system.
Antioxidants like the beta carotene in cucumbers help to combat free radicals in your body. These free-radicals can damage cells and can lead to disease, so eating cucumbers can help you stay well.
Cucumber is a great source of prebiotic fibre that will have a positive effect on your gut health.
Thank you for reading our cucumber growing tips.
Other Tropical Vegetables
- Malabar Spinach
- Pak Choi
- Perpetual Spinach
- Snake Beans
- Sweet Potato