The Cucumis sativus , known as cucumber, is a very popular plant for the refreshing taste of its fruit, widely used in salads and dishes of the Mediterranean diet. It is an annual plant that has its origin in India, where it has been cultivated and consumed for more than 3,000 years.
In addition to its culinary use in raw form, it is also widely consumed as pickles and in sauces and, in addition, it is often used by the cosmetic industry for its moisturizing and whitening properties for the skin. Likewise, it is a food with diuretic and cleansing properties, which is why it is also used in diets of these characteristics.
If you want to learn how to sow and grow cucumbers at home , keep reading this article, where we will teach you how to do it step by step.
When to sow cucumbers
Cucumber is usually sown in spring , around April. However, if you live in an area with a cool climate, you can wait until well into June to avoid the risk of low temperatures or frost that could kill the plant. In the same way, in very hot climates we can plant them earlier, even at the end of winter if you sow them in a seedbed.
In addition, there are those who recommend making two sowings spaced 4 or 6 weeks apart , in order to be able to enjoy the harvest for a longer time.
How to sow cucumbers
The cucumber can be planted directly in the orchard or garden, but since it is a plant that the cold can do a lot of damage, we recommend sowing cucumbers in the seedbed for, later and when the temperatures are already high and stable, In early summer transplant the cucumbers to the ground. Learn how to seed cucumbers step by step by following these simple guidelines:
- The first thing is to prepare the substrate for the seedbed. For this, you can buy special substrate for seedlings at any specialized store, or make one yourself with a mixture of soil with humus, perlite and coconut fiber.
- The same thing happens with the seeds of cucumber as with the substrate: you can buy them, or use those from harvests of previous years. Dampen the substrate before starting, and plant two to three seeds per seedbed, no more than 2 centimeters deep.
- Once planted, try to keep the seedbed in an area with natural light so that the seedlings do not stagnate, that is, they grow weak due to lack of light, and do not puddle the substrate when watering or fungi could appear. In about a week you should see your seeds germinate, and another three weeks later they will be ready to be transplanted.
How to grow cucumbers
After the month from the sowing of the cucumbers in the seedbed, their seedlings must be transplanted to their final location outdoors or in a pot. If the plants are on the ground, respect a minimum distance of 40 centimeters between each plant.
Follow these tips to learn how to grow cucumbers at home successfully :
Ideal soil for growing cucumbers
Cucumber requires soils with a large amount of nutrients, so you will need to fertilize. We recommend always using organic fertilizers, such as worm castings, compost or bokashi . In addition, it is very important that the soil has good drainage. Giving a layer of compost just after transplanting will also prevent the appearance of so-called weeds.
Watering the cucumbers
This is the most delicate point with the cucumber, because although waterlogging is fatal for the plant, it also needs regular and abundant waterings to develop properly. If your soil becomes waterlogged due to overwatering or poor drainage, it is very likely that your cucumbers will be attacked by fungi, spoiling your harvest.
Cucumbers like the heat, but if you live in an area where the temperatures are very high, you should not expose it to the worst hours of the summer sun. Find it a semi-shady location, where it is covered from the midday heat.
Pruning the cucumber plant
It is good to remove wilted leaves or leaves that do not seem in good condition from the plant. In addition, pruning some secondary stems will favor fruiting and production of it.
Finally, you can guide the plants or use wire fences so that the plant can climb up them and the fruits do not remain at ground level. This step is not necessary, but it is recommended.
When to harvest cucumbers
Cucumber is a very productive vegetable, and in just approximately two months from sowing you will be able to start harvesting the cucumbers . It is important to influence its large production capacity, 25 kg per square meter, so it is better not to over sow if you do not want to end up with excess cucumbers.