Soil and Planting

Soil

These plants tend to like loamy soils. This soil will look dark in color, have a lot of organic material, and feel as moist as a rung out sponge. If you compost, or know where to get very good quality compost, fantastic. Use pure compost in my opinion. Pure Compost Plus Sand | Pickles Of Wisdom

This is rich soil created from the breaking down of leaves and food scraps by either bacteria or bugs (worms especially). You can test drainage before planting by placing soil into a small flower pot. Pour water over it, and if the it uniformly moistens the soil and drains out the bottom easily, you’ve found what you need. Pre-made potting soils will be made of inert and unsustainable plant material (usually peat moss) for correct drainage and texture needed for root stability, but will have added fertilizer that will completely drain out over time, requiring you to add more. You want your soil to be alive with microorganisms creating nutrients continuously. With compost, microorganisms will put nutrients into the moist soil constantly, and that will last for the life of the plant and beyond.

Planting

When deciding on location, take into consideration the amount of heat your area gets during the day. If you aren’t sure, keep a close eye on your cucumber stands and be ready to take action. Depending on where you live, you might get temperatures from 68-86F (20-30C). Growing in these temperatures might not require temperature control. Growing cucumbers in full sun should make for a bountiful harvest. If you see wilting during the hottest part of the day, you won’t need to water them right away. Shade cloth or tall plants just to the west could provide your cucumbers relief from the heat. Make sure they aren’t being completely shaded, they need close-to-full sun.

You will be growing a vine that will take up a lot of room where they are planted. Plant three seeds per hole, about one inch deep, spaced twelve to twelve and a half inches (30-45 cm) apart. 2015-03-22 16.23.36They will outgrow this area fairly quickly, and will be putting out tendrils for climbing. You can use a trellis, wire caging like that for tomatoes, or put in posts made of bamboo or something similar using string to create lines that the plant can cling to. These cucumber vines might even become a source of shade for other garden plants. They can grow large and their leaves are no exception. Planting close together will make the plants climb each other. Unfortunately, unwinding tendrils and replacing in a new area does not work, they are sensitive to this and the tendril will die. If you plant with a trellis, be prepared to let them do their thing!

Once the seeds sprout, check out Plant Care!

Have you had success in training your vines on trellises?

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