Some people believe cucumbers are fruit and some believe cucumbers are vegetables. I do not matter to me, because I love it anyway. But the supreme court in 1983 makes cucumber a vegetable, so we are going to respect this decision.
In my opinion, cucumber is the most refreshing vegetable of summer. I don’t why but I cannot get enough of them, I always wanted to eat them all day long, especially during lunchtime.
Health Benefits of Cucumbers
- They are great in weight management. Eating cucumber will make you feel like you are full by slowing down the digestion. When you feel full, you will eat less and that will help you in losing weight or not gaining weight.
- Cucumbers are 95% water content. So they will save your body from dehydration. We know dehydration can cause big problems, so it is good to stay hydrated. Eating cucumbers will help you in staying hydrated.
- You can protect yourself from cancers like breast cancer and ovarian cancer by eating cucumbers because they contain polyphenols, which has anti-cancer properties.
- Vitamin B1, B5, and B7 are great in helping during anxiety and depression. These B vitamins are also present in cucumbers.
- Several studies on animals prove that cucumber extract can lower inflammation in the body. So they are good to reduce extra inflammation in your body.
- As I mention above, cucumbers had a lot of water in them, they also have a great number of fibers. Both of these ingredients are great in stomach health.
- Cucumbers are also great for high blood pressure patients and diabetics. Cucumbers contain sterols that help in reducing cholesterol and then blood pressure. Cucumbers also container certain type cells that help the pancreas in the production of insulin.
- If you wanted to get rid of bad breath, cut a cucumber into slices and put a slice on the roof of your mouth. It will kill bad breath causing bacteria.
- Put a slice of fresh cucumber on your puffy eyes to decrease the puffiness. The skin of the cucumber is also good against sunburns.
- Rinse your hairs with the cucumber water to get shiny and silky hairs.
These all benefits are enough to get you motivated in growing your own organic and pesticides free cucumbers. Here is the method to grow cucumber directly from seeds.
Where To Get The Seeds?
You can buy the seeds of cucumber from any seed store. Always buy the seeds of the popular variety of your area, if you are a beginner. Or I always encourage you to try every variety, so you can find the best variety that works for you all the time.
You can order the seeds of cucumber online from Amazon here. Or you can extract the seeds from a fresh store-bought cucumber. Just remember, always extract seeds from fresh cucumber, not from old wrapped in plastic sheet cucumber. Because we don’t know fresh they can be.
When To Sow The Seeds Of Cucumber?
Cucumber seedlings are not a fan of frost. So you should so the seeds after the chance of the last frost. If you want to grow the seedlings indoors in a seed tray, you should sow them two to 3 weeks before the last frost.
How To Sow The Seeds Of Cucumber Indoor?
Before sowing the seeds, you should make the best soil for seed germination. There are different kinds of soil are available that you can use to sow the seeds. Multipurpose compost is great for seed germination. You can make your own DIY multipurpose compost at home.
You can also make a potting mix for seed germination. Use 60% coco coir and 40% organic compost. Here are a few guides for you to make your own soil recipes at home:
- Is Multipurpose Compost Suitable For Vegetables?
- How To Make Potting Soil At Home
- How To Make Compost At Home Using Kitchen And Garden Wastes
Fill your seed tray or you can use small disposable glasses for seed germination. Just remember, make some drainage holes at the bottom of your containers. Fill the containers with soil, sow the seeds about 1 inch deep in the soil. Cover them with the same soil. Do not bury them too deep.
Give them water using a water sprinkler and place your seed tray or glasses near a window for small sunlight. Do not give them full sunlight at this time. You can transfer them to a location with full sunlight after the germination starts.
But if you are living in a very cold climate, keep your seed tray where it gets full sunlight after sowing the seeds.
You can also sow the seeds of cucumber directly in the final location like raised bed, container or garden bed. For that, you should wait and sow the seeds after the last frost of spring. Because frost can kill your plants.
Transplant Seedlings Into Final Location
The seeds will germinate in just 5 to 10 days, some will take a little longer but they will germinate. If some seeds are taking more then 10 days, it means they need more sunlight.
After 4 to 6 weeks, the seedlings will produce several sets of true leaves. At that stage, they are ready to transfer in their final location. You can grow them in bigger containers, in a garden bed or in a raised bed.
The Best Soil To Grow Cucumber
Cucumbers are very heavy feeders. The plants will produce huge fruits if they get good soil. So before transplant, you should amend your soil. If you are growing in containers, you should use potting soil.
If you are growing in a raised bed, you should add more organic compost or manure before transplanting. If you are new in a raised bed gardening, here are a few guides for you:
For a normal ground, you should add organic compost and organic animal manure and mix them with the top layer of soil. Remember, compost and manure should be fully decomposed.
Carefully, pull the seedlings from the seed tray with the root ball. Roots can be easily damaged, so be careful or Plants will not grow. Make a hole in the soil, slightly bigger than the root ball, put the seedling in the soil and fill the remaining hole with more soil. Firm the soil with your hand and water them thoroughly to save them from transplant shock.
Harden them off before transplanting the seedlings, if your climate is too cold or your seedlings will die. You can also grow them in a greenhouse if the temperature is not suitable outside. Use trellises inside the greenhouse to overcome the space problem.
Spacing Between Plants
The best way to grow cucumber is vertical. You should grow them using trellises. Using trellises you can grow more plants in a small space. You can grow 2 plants in a square foot if you have a plan to use a trellis.
Also Read: 12 BEST Trellis For Cucumber In Raised Beds
If not, 1.5 feet space would be great between each seedling during transplant. Or you can thin the seedlings to make this kind of space if you are growing directly in the soil.
Plants of cucumber are water-loving. You may have to water them on a daily basis. Always check the moisture level of the soil before watering. Do not overwater them or let the soil dry. You can lose flowers or even kill your plants in both extreme conditions. Give water close to the surface of the soil, water on leaves or flowers can cause different problems. So give water to the soil, not to leaves of plants.
After 50 to 75 days, cucumber will be ready to harvest depending on the variety you are growing. Some time plants will take more time if there are sunlight, water or nutrients problems. Just cut the mature fruits from the plant using scissors. Small fruits will be ready in a week to two.
You can eat them as fruit, use them in a salad or you can make pickles or cucumbers. Some people cut them in slices and some people like whole fruits in a pickle.