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In this series I’m compiling the quick and dirty info on growing specific vegetables. Just the basics. No fluff, no frills. When you’re sitting down in the late Winter, surrounded by seed catalogs, and your garden plan in front of you, you want a quick reference. How far apart can you plant? What pH do they need? How much water? What vegetables can you plant next to others? Which should you avoid?
This quick and dirty 30 second guide to Cucumbers should help you answer all those questions quickly, without having to sort through article after article. I’ve always wanted a quick cheat sheet like this, so hopefully you’ll find it useful too!
Cucumbers initially seem like tasty bricks of water, nutritionally, they may surprise you. On the off-set, one cup of peeled, sliced cucumbers contains 12% of your daily recommended dose of Vitamin K. However, it doesn’t stop there. Cucumbers also contain a lot of phytonutrients we don’t normally measure.
They contain three types of phytonutrients: flavonoids, lignans and triterpenes. Without getting into the scientific-y details, these are antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and possibly anti-cancer ingredients.
Personally, I grew up eating slices of cucumbers in balsamic vinegar. Later, while living in Mexico, I learned to eat them from bags. They’re served as street food, covered in chili powder and lime juice. It’s still one of my favorite ways to eat them!
While I don’t like pickles (yuck!) Baby Jack does (weirdo). So I’ve never made pickles from cucumbers, but I may just have to learn.
If you’re growing Cucumbers this year, here’s what you need to know:
1 inch per week
Direct sow 2 weeks after last frost
Beans, Corn, Peas, Radishes, Sunflowers, Okra
Avoid Planting With
Potatoes, Aromatic Herbs
36-60 inches (without trellis), 12 inches (with trellis)
Low maintenance. Climbing varieties will need some sort of trellis or support.
Saving The Seeds
To save cucumber seeds, remove the seeds from the fruit and allow them to ferment for at least three days. Then wash and dry. Since cucumbers open pollinate, you can unintentionally cross-pollinate and get seeds for strange hybrids. Diseases can also be communicated through the seeds, so only harvest from those plants that were disease free.