There are many kinds of cucumbers: picklers, slicers, gherkins and bush cucumbers. You can pickle any small size cucumbers. To learn how to pickle cucumbers, do a Google Search to discover how. Slicers have large cylinder-shaped fruit that are great for slicing and serving fresh.
You can eat raw cucumbers fresh off the vine after washing them or you can slice them and add them to salads. There or so many ways to use cucumbers. That is the reason for their popularity.
Sow your cucumbers in a sunny area in your garden in well drained soil. Cucumbers like warm and humid weather. They also generally need fifty to sixty days to grow and produce. Add an organic fertilizer like 5-5-10 to the soil before sowing. Add more fertilizer right after the blossoms form then again three weeks later.
Mulch the soil with hay straw when the weather gets very warm. This helps preserve moisture around the plants. Water the base of the plants deeply and regularly in the early morning or late evening. Do not water so much as to create a muddy mess. Avoid getting leaves wet since wet leaves are susceptible to disease.
Cucumber plants produce long vines that require lots of space. It is a good idea to place a trellis for your vines to climb during development. This way they are off the ground, precluding the introduction of soil borne disease and insects.
Cucumbers require lots of nitrogen. If your leaves turn yellow this is an indication of a shortage of nitrogen. Once the plants start to grow, it is a good idea to add compost around the plants for more nutrients as cucumbers need a lot of food.
Cucumbers are ready to harvest in 50 to 70 days. Use a pair of scissors to cut the cucumbers from the vine. This avoids damaging the plant and makes for ease of harvesting. If your cucumbers are stressed while developing, they can become bitter. This can be avoided by watering the plants regularly. If your crop is bitter you can cut off one to two inches of the cucumber tips. The bitterness is usually concentrated in the tips while the rest of the cucumber can be perfect.
Cucumbers are easy and fun to grow. Their crisp, juicy fruit adds crunch to salads and can be eaten raw for a refreshing treat. With care, your cucumber harvest can be a nutritious addition to your family diet.