Cucumber is one of the most favorite vegetable varieties to grow for the home gardeners during hot days of summer. These are the warm-season vegetable plant. The best way to grow cucumber outside is to use of compost or manure before planting them in a site with suitable moist soil.
Have you ever imagine for your yummy sandwiches, you can just step into your backyard and have the cucumber whenever you want. Yes, they are quite easy to grow in your backyard garden; because of that vegetable growers more prefer this yield during the summer season.
By growing conditions, there are mainly two types of cucumbers available. Both need different types of production treatment of crop, which are as below:
If you can have your greenhouse for the production of your crop, then nothing is better than that. The greenhouse cucumber plants produce long, smooth fruits just as you buy from your nearby vegetable markets. This variety of plant does not need pollination. The pollination process causes the production of bitter fruits. Therefore you should remove male flowers from the plant.
The ridge type cucumber plant can grow outdoors. Comparatively, the fruits of this cucumber plant are shorter in length, and the outer surface is also found rough. Therefore they are undoubtedly appropriate for the gardens without a greenhouse.
This plant produces both male and female flowers. Therefore, the pollination process is clearly carried out for the producing of new seed flowers by bees. Well, that should not be the concern because insects perform this task very well.
It is a myth that we can only grow cucumber plants in a greenhouse. As I mentioned above, there are varieties available; some are suitable for indoors, and some are for outdoors. If you prefer growing cucumber plant outdoors then accordingly you should have to follow the production procedures, cautions to look after of your crop well.
The best way to grow cucumbers outside
Before sowing seeds, you should be aware of the type of cucumber plant which you are going to grow for your garden. The planted portion of your garden should receive full sunlight, and the soil of the site should be moist and enriched with required nutrients.
The cucumber plants are sown outdoors in gardens from early March to April.
Requirements of Growing Cucumber Plants Outside
- Sufficient sunlight
- Evenly moist, fertile and well-drained soil of selected site for crop
- Soil pH should be 6.8 or higher.
- Plenty of organic matter or manure into soil before sowing process
- Continuous water supply
How to Grow Cucumber Outside?
- You should start sowing seeds about a month before your last spring frost date because these plants are extremely susceptible to frost action. For the germination of seeds, the temperature of soil must be 65ºF. You should not directly go outside for sowing seeds.
- For an early crop, you should put seeds flat on top of the refrigerator or water heater in case you don’t have a heat They should be kept in the suitable temperature of 70ºF at the bottom before transplanting outside.
- You should select an appropriate sunny site with the shade of cool winds for growing crops.
- The site soil should be inert or neutral chemically. You should go for a soil testing if you are uncertain about the type of soil of chosen site. You should improve the soil by adding organic matter and manure into it in case of different soils which are as below:
- Before planting, you should mix up the cucumber seeds in compost or manure at a depth of 2 inches. For improving soil, you should add up manure separately into it 6 to 8 inches deep.
- If you directly sowing seeds in the earth of ground, then sow them 1 inch deep and 6-10 inches apart.
- If you are transplanting young plants grown from seeds, plant them in single rows at a distance of 90 cm apart.
- If you have limited space or if you want to plant cucumbers in a vining form then set up trellises. The trellises will shield the fruits from harm by lying on the moist
How Will You Take Care of Cucumbers Outdoor?
- You should cover up seeds with netting or berry basket while you are sowing the seeds into the earth.
- After the transformation into seedlings, you should begin to water them frequently. When they turn out into fruit form, increase a gallon per week.
- When seedling grows 4 inches tall, thin them or trims them down so that they can remain at a distance of 1 to 2 feet apart.
- Keep soil evenly moist so that the fruits cannot become bitter.
- Apply a small amount of compost along the cucumber plant rows. Side-dress them about four weeks after sowing process. Spread the adequate amount of fertilizer e,g a tablespoon of 5-10-10.
- You should keep in mind one thing the fertilizer should be of low nitrogen/high potassium and phosphorous formula. Apply it on plants, one week after bloom. You should avoid excessive use of fertilizer as it results in the inferior quality of fruits.
- You should apply a constant flow of water to the plants. The inconsistency of watering leads to the production of bitter fruits. Water the plants slowly in the morning and early afternoon.
- When you have limited space for planting, then you should prefer vertical vines.
Harmful Pests, Diseases, Insects for Cucumber Plants
The poor pollination by bees, rain, cold temperature or insecticides mostly creates a deficiency of cucumber fruits. Below are some pests and insects which majorly cause the damage to the yield:
You should take measures for the prevention and control of pests and insects:
- Keep your eye on cucumbers for the build-up of insect pests.
- Particularly the most damaging cucumber beetle, you should make strategies to break up insect’s life cycle and habits. You should cover young seedlings with lightweight row covers until they begin flowering.
- If you are going to use pesticides, then use natural and less-toxic pesticides. The perspective of using natural pesticides comes up with a difficult as they are not proved effective for the crop destructive cucumber beetles.
- As a natural insecticide, you can also apply kaolin clay. It works as a repellent for the insects.
- The insecticides like malathion, bifenthrin, cyhalothrin kill extremely destructive insects and useful predators and parasites as well.
- When you buy pesticides, considerably read the label on them. This makes you clear that when should you harvest cucumbers after applying the insecticides.
The cucumber plants are summer vegetable plants. They need constant water and sunlight. The soil condition of selected site should also be satisfied the requirements which I mentioned above. If you want to grow cucumber plants outside and you are a new home gardener, then you should first check soil conditions of your garden. Accordingly, pick the type of cucumber plant for growing.
You can also improve the fertility of soil by adding up manures. Thereafter, follow the procedure of planting step by step which I detailed above. I hope now you get the deep idea of how to grow cucumber outdoors.