Last Updated on December 6, 2021 by masudalam
Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to grow cucumbers on the ground? Store-bought cucumbers may sound boring to you, which is why you could be thinking about growing cucumbers on the ground.
How to grow cucumbers on the ground? The simple answer is with lots of care! Yes, you heard that right! Though you can grow, it will still need tons of care and attention. It’s possible that you are a beginner and have no idea about growing any vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers.
So, if you are ready then let’s find out more about the cucumbers.
Choose The Best Cucumber Varieties to Grow On The Ground
Growing cucumbers on the ground may sound like a daunting task! But it doesn’t have to be when you know what measures to take. Firstly, You should know the variety and what is the best one for growing on the ground.
Let’s dig in.
- Pickling Cucumbers: You can opt for pickling cucumbers as these are smaller in size. You may have noticed this variety when it comes to making pickles so if that’s your cause, you can consider this particular variety of cucumbers. The pickling cucumbers could be Boston pickling, Supremo, Bush pickle, and a lot more.
- Slicing Cucumbers: There is another common variety that you come across when making salads. It’s the slicing cucumber. So if you are fond of salads, you can consider this variety. The slicing cucumbers could be Ashley, Early pride, Fanfare, and a lot more.
When preparing the soil for growing cucumbers, it’s wise for you to bear in mind that the better the soil, the better will be the cucumbers. So you need to focus on the preparation of the soil.
Cucumbers need water and nutrition to grow. The soil has to be fertile. Adding compost to the soil will be great for retaining moisture. You can also add manure for proper growth. The plant will bloom in summer so you have to bear that in mind.
The soil has to be well-drained. It shouldn’t be soggy at all. Check the pH level of the soil. It’s better to be between 6.5 and 7.0.
You add fertilizer to the soil as it can be great for the growth of the plant. Adding compost and manure is the key when preparing the soil for growing cucumbers plus, you have to provide water in adequate amounts for the growth of the cucumber plant.
Transplant or Direct Seeding
Transplanting the cucumber can be a bit tricky. The direct seeding method is preferable. It’s better to consider direct seeding two weeks after the last frost date. You don’t want the cucumber seeds to be frosted, which is why it’s better to wait for the right time.
It’s also possible to start sowing the cucumber seed indoors in a pot or container and later transplant it to the ground.
Direct seeding is suitable when you know the outside temperature is suitable for the plant. For seed germination, the soil has to be warm. So temperature plays a vital role when it comes to deciding whether to opt for direct seed or transplanting. Also, humidity plays a crucial role.
Let’s discuss the procedure of planting. Knowing the last frost date is essential for planting cucumbers. It’s better if the temperature of the soil is 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you plant it before the frost date, the chances of frost would increase. It’s better to wait. You can also consider sowing the cucumber seeds indoors before finally planting them outside.
When planting the seeds, you can plant them 1 inch deep into the soil. It can be up to 3 feet apart in a row. However, it’s better if you check the instructions on the packet.
You can plant cucumbers in the soil by direct seeding and also by transplanting the plant to the soil. The soil has to be warm for the cucumber seeds to germinate. If the soil is warm enough (more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit), you can expect to see the seedlings in a few days. In fact, the soil has to be moist so when planting the cucumber seeds, make sure you are supplying enough water.
Caring for the cucumber plant is a must if you want the best results and especially when growing cucumbers on the ground.
In order to care for the cucumber plant, you need to care for the following;
The purpose of adding fertilizer to the cucumber plant is to make it more fertile. Fertilizing the cucumber plant can help with the outcome. You can add fertilizer when planting the cucumbers. You can also add it while mulching. Finally, when the plant starts to develop, you can consider adding the fertilizer every two weeks. You can use a granular fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer for your cucumber plant. Just make sure you are not overfertilizing. You can follow the instructions on the packet if you use a store-bought fertilizer for the plants. You can also use compost to fertilize the cucumber plants.
Watering is essential for the growth of cucumber plants. You can start with one inch per week. The soil has to be moist, so if it feels dry, you will need to add more water. Overwatering can be dangerous for the plant. Let the plant develop strong roots, the drying soil will tell you when more water is required, but ideally, you can opt for once a week (one inch). Whenever in doubt, you can check the condition of the soil as it can tell you whether or not your plant needs more water. Some areas may require more water for the cucumber plants.
Proper lighting is essential for the growth of the cucumber plant. There should be enough warmth so make sure you select the site for the cucumber plant that receives enough sunlight. The cucumber plant will need full sunlight so when selecting the site for planting, it’s better to keep the proper lighting conditions in mind. Not getting enough sunlight will affect the plant and you definitely don’t want that! So focus on the lighting and make sure the cucumber plant gets enough nutrients and water as these two ingredients along with the sunlight play a major role in the health and proper growth of the cucumber plant.
Pest & Disease Control
It’s important that you know if there is an issue with your cucumber plant. For example, if there are not enough fruits of the plant then it means that there is an issue of pollination by the bees. The pests that can affect the cucumber plant include squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and many more. It’s wise that you identify the pest affecting the plant at the right time so that you can take effective control in case of disease as some of the pests may also transmit disease.
If cucumber beetles affect your plant then there are chances that these beetles may carry the disease. Cucumber plants are also susceptible to scab disease, powdery mildew, and many more diseases. In case of powdery mildew, you can apply fungicides. When you spot a sign of disease or if there are chances of pest infestation, it’s time to take the measures to stop the growth and save the health of your cucumber plant.
Harvest & Storage
It’s important that you pick the cucumbers when it’s still green and crips as that’s the time when it’s freshest. Don’t wait for the plant to get yellow as it won’t be ideal for you. You want to consume cucumbers when it’s fresh.
If the cucumber plants mature, they can stop producing. So, you should focus on picking the plant as soon as it’s ready. If you are not supplying enough water, the cucumbers can turn bitter. Also, if the cucumber grows too large in size then again there is a chance that it will start tasting bitter.
It’s important for you to bear in mind that cucumbers can grow quickly especially when it’s the harvesting season so you have to pick it accordingly. It’s better if you pick every two days. Also, it depends on what variety of cucumbers you have in your garden.
In order to improve the shelf life of the cucumbers, you have to keep them in the refrigerator. It’s better if you wrap the cucumbers in plastic wrap and then place them in the refrigerator. In fact, when you visit the superstores in your area, you will notice how the cucumbers are tightly wrapped in plastic.
Quick Tips to Bear In Mind When Growing The Cucumber Plant
When growing the cucumber plant, bear the following tips in mind:
- Make sure you are supplying enough water to the plant. If the soil appears dry, it means more water is required.
- Don’t plant the cucumber seeds too soon before the last frost date of the season. Wait at least two weeks to harvest. It’s better as you don’t want the plant to get frost. You can however start growing the plant indoors and later transplant it when the temperature of the soil is appropriate for the cucumber plant.
- Make sure the pH level of the plant is between 6.0 and 7.0. It’s suitable for the growth of the cucumber plant.
- The soil of the plant has to be well-drained and moist. Add manure and compost to the soil so that you can make the most of the cucumber plant.
1. Can you plant cucumbers directly in the ground?
Cucumber seeds can be planted directly in the ground. It’s better to wait for the right time for the plantation. You have to find what’s the date for the last frost and it’s better to plant after two weeks of this date. Also, you can try planting it indoors before finally planting it to the ground. The key is to make the right decision at the right time and provide an adequate supply of water.
2. What’s the easiest cucumber to grow?
There are different varieties of cucumber that can be easy to grow such as space master cucumbers, Lebanese cucumbers, apple cucumbers, and a lot more. It also depends on what’s your goal and what type of cucumber you plan on adding. You can harvest pickle bush after 52 days of harvesting and space master is available after 56 days. So if you are keeping an eye on quick harvest, you know what to do!
3. Why are my cucumbers bitter?
It’s possible that you may not be supplying adequate water to the plant that’s making them bitter. The bitterness in the cucumber plant is due to a lack of water supply. It could also be because of the temperature fluctuations. If the temperature is too hot or too cold, it can stress the plant during the growing season and thus, making it taste bitter. Also, cucurbitacins ( an organic compound) give a bitter taste to cucumbers so it depends what’s the level of it.
4. How often should cucumbers be watered?
Once or twice a week, you can water the plant deeply. The key is to keep the soil moist for proper growth. Cucumbers need water and sunlight for their growth. You need to water the plant one inch deep. Check the soil, if it feels dry then it means you are not watering the plant enough. If you are a beginner, it may take some time, but eventually, you will learn how to take care of the cucumbers in your garden. The key is to add moisture to the soil as you want to provide the ideal growth conditions.
5. Can I plant cucumbers and tomatoes next to each other?
Yes, it’s possible to plant cucumbers and tomatoes next to each other. They both need water and nutrition to grow which makes it suitable to plant the two next to each other. For example, the soil pH required for cucumbers is 6.5 and it’s the same for tomatoes also. Both plants will need well-drained soil. So, if you are thinking of planting cucumbers and tomatoes next to each other in your garden, you can go ahead and do it.