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Grow & Care - Cucumber

Fast Facts

Light Requirements Full Sun
Temperature Adaptations Tender: Plant on average date of last spring frost, about when first apples bloom.
Acidity (pH) Tolerance 6.8 to 5.5 pH
Salinity (Ec) Tolerance 2.5
How Pollinated Insects
Growth Habits Annual

Additional Information

Fertilizer Requirements

Cucumbers can be heavy feeders. Before planting, use an all-purpose fertilizer (20-20-20) and side dress the hills and/or rows with a nitrogen fertilizer during bloom and fruit production as needed. Use about 1 tablespoon of 33-0-0 per plant.

Water Utilization

Grows best in well-drained soil but needs to be kept moist. Water deeply when soil dries out on top.

Plant Development and Care

If cucumbers are grown in high temperatures with inadequate water, the fruits will develop a bitter flavor. Most of the bitterness is near the skin and in the inch of fruit closest to the stem. Some new varieties contain a gene that eliminates all bitterness even under stress.

Growing cucumbers in moderate weather with even watering reduces bitterness. Plants generally should be seeded in warm soil. When plants are 2" high, thin them to about 1 foot apart or plant in hills 48" to 60" apart. Plants may spread 48" to 60". To save space, train vines up supports such as lattices, fences, cages, or trellises.

Cucumbers produce separate male and female flowers. Most varieties produce several male flowers before female flowers appear and fruits are set.

Male flowers grow on straight, smooth stems. The ovary or small, undeveloped fruit appears at the base of a female flower.

Occasionally, although a plant is producing female flowers they do not all set fruit. Existing, developing fruits may inhibit further fruit set until they are harvested or mature.

Insects, particularly honeybees, pollinate these plants. If bees are not available the plants may not set fruit due to lack of pollination. Insufficient pollination sometimes results in deformed fruits. When applying insecticides, use caution to protect pollinating insects.

Germination Time (Days)

13 days at 60 F
6 days at 68 F
4 days at 77 F
3 days at 86 F or higher

Seed Germination and Temperature Range

68 - 86 F

Common Fertilizer Deficiencies




Cucumbers grow best in soil that is rich in organic matter.