Cucumbers love to grow in hot climates. They can’t survive in winter, that’s why you can’t grow them outside in the garden on cold days. The ideal time for planting the seeds of the cucumber plant is in spring after the danger of the last frost date.
The perfect temperature for growing cucumber plants is between 60 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit which is not possible on cold days.
What Happens To Cucumber Plants In Winter?
As an annual plant cucumber don’t regenerate after the growing season the exact lifespan of cucumber wines is 70 days after that they will die and can’t be regrown when the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit then this plant starts dying because it Can’t survive in the Frost Low temperature and will stop the growth of cucumber plants and it can cause chilling injuries.
Water-soaked spots, plant decay, and pitting are the science of chilling injury. When cucumbers grow in a climate where the temperature fluctuates they will produce fruit that has a bitter taste.
Can We Grow Cucumbers In A Greenhouse?
If you want to extend your growing season of cucumbers then you must grow them in a greenhouse. Because you can control the weather conditions inside the greenhouse and your cucumber vines will produce delicious fruit for you.
At night you can warm the greenhouse by using a heat source. If you are not using heaters then in that case also the greenhouse provides a warm environment for cucumber vines.
In a greenhouse, you can start the growing season of cucumber before April. It means you can easily grow your cucumbers in winter in a greenhouse even in the cold months.
What Is A Greenhouse?
A greenhouse is a place where your cucumber plants grow in a controlled environment. This is an enclosure that has a transparent roof and walls.
Sunlight can easily enter from the transparent roof and walls into the greenhouse during the daytime. But your plants are safe from wind, storms, and harsh weather on cold days.
A greenhouse is constructed by using glass, a reflective shade screen, bubble insulation, polycarbonate walls, heavy-duty sheets of plastic, and twin-wall corrugated plastic.
The material you use for building a greenhouse depends upon your needs. If you choose glass for your greenhouse then it looks so beautiful but it is dangerous.
Glass is also expensive and your greenhouse will not be sturdy. Polycarbonate is sturdy and looks like glass. It is also very cheap, that’s why it is a good option although it is not as clear as glass but sunlight easily enters the greenhouse for your cucumber plant.
Fibreglass is a very sturdy option but it is not crystal clear like glass. Greenhouse also has sun lamps, heating pads, and humidifiers to control the environment of the greenhouse.
Benefits Of Growing Cucumbers In A Greenhouse
There are many benefits of greenhouses because you are not stuck in seasoned gardening. Besides its advantages, greenhouses also change your lifestyle and help you to live a more environmentally friendly life.
As you know cucumbers are a summer crop but you can plant them in the winter in a greenhouse. Following are some benefits of a greenhouse.
- The controlled environment of the greenhouse provides favorable temperature, moisture, air, and light to your cucumber plants.
- Your cucumber vines are safe from insects and other animals that can damage or destroy your crop. Your cucumber vines will give you a higher yield when they are safe from extreme weather conditions like heavy rain and droughts.
- As there is less danger of best so you don’t have to use toxic and dangerous pesticides.
- You can easily customize the greenhouse according to the needs of your cucumber plants.
- As there is no fear of weather so you can start your growing season anytime in the year. You can easily decide when you want to plant cucumbers.
How To Grow Cucumbers In A Greenhouse?
- Buy high-quality cucumber seeds and sow them before the frost date of fall. As you are preparing the seedlings inside the greenhouse then frost can’t damage them as the seeds get the required temperature and humidity so they will germinate on time. It is better to use little flower pots that are made from peat so you can easily transplant them in the pot or container without extracting them. In this way, the root system of the cucumber seedlings will not disturb and their initial growth will be perfect. After 3 weeks the seeds will germinate. This is the perfect time of transplanting them.
- When you see seedlings are 4 to 6 inches tall then you can transplant them into your desired pot or container.
- Fill your pot or container with a high-quality potting mix that contains all the essential nutrients that are required by cucumber plants.
- Cucumbers are vining plants; they will grow taller that’s why they need more space to produce higher yields. If you are using a 2-3 gallon pot then you can plant only one cucumber vine in it.
- In case you have a five-gallon pot then you can plant two cucumber vines. Cucumber plants need ample space for their strong root system.
- You can also transplant the seedlings on the ground or raised bed inside the greenhouse. There should be 12 to 15 inches of space between two plants.
- Cucumber vines need proper support so it is better to install a trellis or stakes at the time of transplanting. Tomato cages are also a good option. Perfect and sturdy support is essential for cucumber plants because they produce fruits that need to train on support. There are many advantages of trellises. Your plants will get proper air circulation and there are fewer chances of pests and diseases. Harvesting becomes easier as the fruit will not hide under the leaves. When you train your cucumber vines or proper support it looks very beautiful.
- 12 Best Trellis For Cucumber In Raised Beds
- Trellis For Cucumbers In Pots
- Tips For Growing Cucumbers In Containers
How To Keep The Greenhouse Warm For Cucumber Vines In Winter?
You can easily grow your vegetables in a greenhouse during the winter. Cold nights will not damage the growth of your plants because they will get a sheltered spot. Following are the tips to keep your greenhouse warm for growing cucumber plants.
LET THE SUNSHINE IN
The location of the greenhouse is very important because if you build the structure of the greenhouse under the shade of tall trees or other buildings then it will not receive full sun exposure.
Such obstacles create shadow and sunlight will not reach inside the greenhouse for your cucumber plants. So you must choose a sunny location where 6 to 8 hours of sunlight enters the greenhouse so cucumber plants produce a higher yield for you.
ADD THERMAL MASS
A thermal mass helps to absorb heat during the daytime and release heat at night. This will help to increase the temperature of the greenhouse.
If you have a small greenhouse then you can keep one-gallon plastic jugs and fill them with three-quarters of water. Before placing the jugs you must paint them with black color.
It will increase heat absorption. For a larger greenhouse, you should use 55-gallon barrels that are painted black color. Fill these barrels with water and place them in direct sun.
USE A GERMINATION MAT
The early stage of cucumber plants is very important. A germination mat helps to maintain optimal root-zone temperature. So you can grow the seeds of cucumber plants during the winter. The young seedlings adjust to a favorable environment and thrive well.
As the plants are covered inside the warm environment of the greenhouse so the lower temperature will not bother them. At that time you should cover the plants so the plants get fresh air and the humidity level will not get too high.
CREATE SOME COMPOST
Create a pile of compost and place it in the middle of the greenhouse. This will raise the temperature of the greenhouse. If you don’t know how to make compost at home then this method is not ideal for you.
This is another method of increasing the temperature of the greenhouse. You have to attach a layer of bubble wrap to the interior walls of the greenhouse. This layer will help reduce the heat loss.
INSTALL A HEATER
This is another method of warming a greenhouse. Although it is very expensive because you have to install some heaters. Some heaters are available in the market that are specially designed for greenhouses. If you are heaters then you should not neglect the ventilation.
Diseases That Can Affect Cucumbers In A Greenhouse In Winter
The plants in a greenhouse need proper ventilation. If cucumber vines do not get fresh air. In that situation, humid warm air encourages fungal diseases in the cucumber plants. Following are diseases that can damage your cucumber plants when you grow them in a greenhouse.
1- POWDERY MILDEW
When you see powdery growth on the upper and lower cucumber leaves. It means your cucumber vines are affected by powdery mildew. The fruit produced by infected plants is also not good.
To avoid this problem you must choose a disease resistant variety. If you want to prevent your cucumber vines from powdery mildew then you should maintain the humidity level below 50%.
2- PHYTOPHTHORA CROWN AND ROOT ROT
This disease causes damping off young cucumber seedlings. When you see a light to dark brown discolouration start to develop in the roots and lower stems of cucumber vines then after these initial symptoms soon the plant will die.
Over and underwatering is not good for your plant if you want to prevent your cucumber vines from phytophthora crown and root rot then you should maintain a frequency of water.
3- BACTERIAL WILT
This disease is spread by cucumber beetles. Bacterial wilt spread very quickly and damages the entire cucumber plant. When you see any infected part then discard it to stop the disease from spreading.
4- ANGULAR LEAF SPOT
This disease spread due to high humidity in the greenhouse. The circulation of fresh air is very important. You should not compromise on it. Over-watering also becomes the reason for spreading angular leaf spots.