Plant seeds in rows 1 week before last expected frost about 1 inch deep and 12 inches apart. Cucumber roots are sensitive so if you plan on transplanting the seedlings be sure to do it before the become root bound. Keep the soil moist and make sure you water them from below. If you sprinkle water on the vines they will mildew. Cucumbers require a compost or slow acting all purpose fertilizer in the spring and again very lightly once a month through the growing season. English cucumbers need to be grown in greenhouses, they should not be pollinated by bees or they will lose both form and flavor.
Pick cucumbers when they are dark green, firm and of moderate size. If cucumber are yellow and tough they are overripe. Picking cucumber off the vine will increase production amounts. The harvest usually lasts 4-6 weeks long. Store cucumbers in a cool moist environment. They will keep refrigerated for 5 days. Pickling cucumbers is the best way to store them long term.
- Aphids are the problem if cucumber leaves curl, pucker or turn yellow. Vigorously spray the leaves in the morning to rid the leaves of aphids.
- Cucumber beetles only cause minor problems themselves but they can spread disease that can devastate plants.
- Slugs eat big holes in the leaves. To prevent slugs either pick them out or provide a barrier around the garden made out of sand, cloth or ashes.
- Eat cucumbers raw alone or with a dip such as plain yogurt or hummus.
Nutrients in Cucumbers
Cucumbers are very low in calories, fat, sodium and carbohydrates. You will find these nutrients in each 1/2 cup serving of sliced raw cucumber:
- Vitamins A, C, K