cucumbers, Cucumbers in your own backyard – pre-breeding and cultivation, Best Garden, Home And DIY Tips

Cucumbers in your own backyard – pre-breeding and cultivation

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Cucumbers are an extremely popular vegetable for the garden. Here you can find out what you need to consider during pre-breeding and cultivation in order to achieve a lush harvest!

Cucumbers are one of the most popular vegetables for home gardeners. It can be grown in a greenhouse, in a bed or in a tub on the balcony. Classic cucumbers, also known as snake cucumbers, are mainly grown in the greenhouse. However, there are special varieties that are suitable for planting outdoors.

Prefer cucumbers and plant them

Cucumbers can be served in the cold frame or in the house from the middle or end of April. To do this, three plant seeds are each planted in a pot with potting soil and placed in a sunny, warm place. If the soil is kept evenly moist, the first seedlings can be seen after a few days. The germination time is about one to two weeks. But only leave the strongest seedling per pot. All others are removed early. This ensures that you only have plants in the bed that will ultimately bring a rich harvest.

If you don’t want to prefer your own cucumber seedlings, you can get young plants from specialist shops. But only buy strong, healthy cucumber plants – anything that is ailing should not find its way home. When choosing the variety, it is advisable to use grafted specimens: These are resistant or at least more robust to various diseases.

As soon as the snake cucumber plants have two to four leaves in addition to the cotyledons, they are large enough to survive in the bed. However, you should definitely wait for the ice saints (mid-May) before moving outside, as cucumbers are sensitive to late frosts. Before planting the snake cucumbers, enrich the soil with sufficient compost, because cucumbers are heavy eaters and need a lot of nutrients.

Then place the cucumber plants as deep as possible in the bed or in the bucket with a capacity of at least 20 liters and pile up the soil a little – this way, adventitious roots (lateral roots) develop more intensely. In the case of grafted plants, the grafting points should be above the ground.

Tip: You can recognize the optimal depth of the young cucumber plants by the fact that the cotyledons are also covered with soil.

If you want to grow the cucumbers in the bed, the cucumbers need a distance of 130 to 170 centimeters between the rows and 40 centimeters in the row.

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The right location for snake cucumbers

Snake or salad cucumbers need a lot of light and warmth. Humus-rich and loose soil is ideal as a substrate. This heats up quickly and can still store enough water. Sunny and sheltered locations in the garden are sufficient for the cucumber – however, a place in the greenhouse would be ideal, since the sensitive snake cucumbers are shielded from temperature fluctuations and strong environmental influences here. Dill, beans and lettuce are very suitable as bed neighbors, but the cucumber does not get along so well with other heavy eaters like tomato or cabbage plants.

Just as important as the ideal location are the climbing aids, which must be attached to the bed or tub immediately after the young cucumber plants have been planted. Vertical cords are particularly suitable in the greenhouse, while climbing poles or trellises or grids are ideal outdoors. These climbing aids not only make harvesting easier, they also encourage the plants to grow.

Tips on growing and caring for cucumbers

Cucumbers also need regular care to produce a good harvest. Water the cucumber at regular intervals so that the soil always remains slightly moist, but there is still no waterlogging. If the snake cucumber plant is exposed to drought for longer, the cucumbers can end up tasting very bitter. As a heavy eater, the cucumber is also happy to have plenty of nutrients. On average, cucumbers need one to three liters of water per plant per day.

During the growth phase of the cucumber plants it is important to wrap the tendrils around the stalks every now and then. New shoots are also directed up several times a week. When the main shoot of the cucumber plant has finally grown so large that its tip has reached the roof of the greenhouse or the upper end of the climbing aid, cut it off. The side branches can be cut with a sharp knife just behind the first flower.

Did you know?
Cucumbers need a change of location every now and then. Otherwise, diseases that persist in the soil (e.g. gray mold) can also affect the new generation of plants. As a rule of thumb, a gap of four years between two snake cucumber crops at the same location is suggested. Since a complete change of soil is very time-consuming, it is advisable to grow the cucumbers in a pot. This means that the floor can be changed annually without great effort.

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Tips on growing and caring for cucumbers

Cucumbers also need regular care to produce a good harvest. Water the cucumber at regular intervals so that the soil always remains slightly moist, but there is still no waterlogging. If the snake cucumber plant is exposed to drought for longer, the cucumbers can end up tasting very bitter. As a heavy eater, the cucumber is also happy to have plenty of nutrients. On average, cucumbers need one to three liters of water per plant per day.

During the growth phase of the cucumber plants it is important to wrap the tendrils around the stalks every now and then. New shoots are also directed up several times a week. When the main shoot of the cucumber plant has finally grown so large that its tip has reached the roof of the greenhouse or the upper end of the climbing aid, cut it off. The side branches can be cut with a sharp knife just behind the first flower.

Tip: For an optimal fruit size and quantity, you should continuously reduce side shoots below 60 to 80 centimeters in height to two to six leaves. This will also prevent jungle-like growth.

If the conditions are optimal, the first cucumbers can be picked after two months. Harvest without hesitation: Frequent picking even promotes the formation of new fruit, so that the harvest is more abundant. In the case of salad or snake cucumbers, you can remove the ripe cucumbers three times a week. Separate the fruit with a sharp knife, otherwise the tendril may be injured.

The cucumbers are ripe when the skin is evenly colored and smooth to the touch.

Diseases in lettuce and snake cucumbers

Salad cucumbers or snake cucumbers are particularly susceptible to disease. Above all, fungi such as powdery mildew, gray mold or Sclerotina wilt cause problems for the plant. In the event of an infestation, damage limitation is often only possible, i.e. the prompt removal of all affected plants.

To prevent the cucumber plants from getting sick and the cucumbers themselves to be as big and tasty as possible in the end, it helps to ventilate the greenhouse regularly. The recommended climbing aid not only promotes the growth of the plants, but also serves as a kind of “clothes horse” on which the leaves can dry off well after rain. In addition, the aforementioned frequent changes of location, observing the crop rotation and avoiding direct proximity to plants that are also susceptible to fungi (including tomatoes) help. You can, however, make sure to buy varieties that are resistant or tolerant to powdery mildew when you buy them.

Young cucumber plants in particular are extremely popular with snails and should be protected from them as much as possible.

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