Posts Tagged ‘cucumber’

Growing Cucumbers In Containers

When you are ready to plant, be sure the weather consistently reaches 70 degrees. Then sow your cucumber seeds directly into the pots. Plant 6 or 8 seeds in a cluster about a half inch deep. When you see two sets of leaves on the seedlings, choose two or three of the seedlings that look strongest, and thin the rest. Do not pull the seedlings out of the soil, as you may damage the roots of the ones you wish to keep. Just cut or pinch the others off at the soil line.

The best things you can do to ensure successful cucumbers is to water very consistently, and to use a lot of fertilizer. Cucumbers grow very quickly and very well if tended properly. Cucumbers should be given a good, balanced fertilizer about once per week, and make sure their soil never, ever dries out completely. Dry soil will stunt their growth and make them bitter and hollow, so it is extremely important to keep them well-watered.

If you need help keeping the soil moist, you can spread a layer of peat moss or a light mulch mixture over the top of the soil in the container. This will help keep moisture in the soil longer, and will also help protect delicate surface roots.

You can raise four to six cucumber plants in a single 20-inch container if you have a four foot trellis set up behind the container. Cucumber plants do remarkably well when trained up a trellis, and doing so will help keep them off the ground and help maximize your space. Allowing the vines to grow on the ground not only takes up a lot of space, but puts the fruit at ground level, making them much easier for animals to steal.

It is important to harvest your cucumbers on a regular basis. You should pick them when they are fairly small. If you wait too long, they will become bitter. Not only that, but cucumber vines that have too many cucumbers reach full maturity will shut down production and will not produce any more cucumbers for the season! So you can see it is important to keep on top of your cucumber harvesting. The more often you harvest, the harder the plant will work to produce fruit, thus getting you maximum harvest from your plants.

Here are a few recommended varieties for growing cucumbers in pots:

Salad Bush – These cucumbers is small, only growing to about 8 inches in length. The vines are relatively short, making them ideal for growing in containers.

Suyo – This is a lovely Japanese variety that has very few seeds, and grows very long and crisp. The flavor is extraordinary, and they are very easy to grow. The do need a very strong trellis for support, because they grow quite long and large, sometimes over a foot in length!

Sweet Success – This variety is very popular because they are self-pollinating. The fruits are virtually seedless, but a few small seeds will form inside most of the fruits. If you harvest them early, there will probably be no seeds at all. The fruits typically reach about 10 inches in length, and they do require a good trellis because of their size and weight.

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