Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)
Germination Soil Temp:
Days to Germinate
Date to sow Indoors:
Date to sow Outdoors
1/2 - 1 inch
80 - 95 Degrees
3 - 4
3 weeks before last frost
After last frost
6.0 - 7.0
70 - 80 Degrees
18 inches trellised
or 36 inch mounds
Moderate N, High P and K
Avoid following gourds
Cucumbers are war season plants that are closely related to squash, pumpkin and melons. Vine cucumber crops will cross with water melon, pumpkins and some squash. Accidental crossing does not influence the quality of the current season's crop and is only a factor if saving seed.
Soil should be well-drained and high in organic matter. Crop rotation should be done every year to avoid soil-borne diseases.
Broadcast 6 pounds of 5-10-10 per 100 foot row. Mulch with compost or sidedress with composted manure.
Planting dates should be May 1 and July 1. Vine crops should be planted in hills with 5 seeds at a depth of 1 to 3 inches. When plants develop four leaves, thin to one to two plants. Vining cucumbers can be trained to trellis on a 4-foot fence or a cattle grate.
Keep planting bed weed free while plants are growing. Also, keep soil loose and mulch it with compost. Water as necessary, but avoid wetting the foliage. Plants are monecious, meaning male and female flowers are produce separately on the same plant. Thus, insects must be present for pollination. Poor fruiting formation may be from a lack of pollination. Therefore, avoid spraying insecticides.
Nasturtiums, radish and marigold
Pickle: Bush Pickle and Calypso
Bush Slicing: Bush Crop, Fanfare and Salad Bush
Slicing (vine): Bupless, Marketmore, SliceMaster and Straight 8
Bitterness in cucumbers is due to genetic and environmental factors, including temperature, water and variety. To avoid bitterness, choose hybrid varieties and avoid growing cucumbers in cool or shaded locations. Also, provide consistent and uniform moisture. Cucumbers should be harvested every other day. Plants will stop or slow production if they are not harvested regularly.
Cucumbers are abundant in water and silica. Nutritionally, cucumbers provide fiber, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, and vitamins A and C. The ascorbic caffeic acid in the flesh will prevent water retention.
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Source: UT Extension, PB1578 - Tennessee Master Gardener Handbook