Growing cucumbers for your own daily meals is simply exciting!
Planting organic fruit vegetables is very simple and it fits best with both no till gardening and small space gardening concepts. It is an inexpensive investment.
Cucumbers are best used as summer vegetables; mouth watering salads and snacks.
Pickled cucumbers help us to improve our appetite and digestion too.
I have been growing cucumbers for a number of years. This year I found a different variety from a garden seeds supplier which is located in a small town; and I started growing Dutch Inmaakaugurk Hokus cucumbers since early spring.
One reusable basket
Some short bamboo sticks
Some long bamboo stakes
How to Sprout Cucumber Seeds
1. First day, select some good looking fat seeds (picture 1 above).
2. Rinse them and place them in a non-transparent container; add water and stir them with a plastic fork; let it stand for 5 minutes.
3. Select those good ones and throw away those floated seeds in your compost bin; add enough clean water to cover the seeds; and let it stand indoor over night for easy germination.
How to Transplant
1. The next day, prepare a thin layer of potting soil in a reusable plastic container; or a tray; and spray the soil wet with natural Chlorine free mineral water, if you are short of rain water.
2. Thereafter, remove your soaked seeds from the indoor container and place them firm on the soil; cover some thin soil over the seeds and sprinkle a little water on top. Place this tray in a greenhouse; or indoor with a cover to protect them from the cold; or the sudden frost; until the little plants crawl out from the soil. Then support them with the lightest and shortest stakes, such as the tooth-picks.
3. When three leaves appeared (above picture 2), move them to their individual growing basket together with the tooth-picks (picture 3).
4. When they are strong enough (picture 4), transfer them together with the basket, to your outdoor open-ground natural garden (above picture 5).
*Cucumber plants need plenty of water.
*Remember not to wet their leaves and keep the soil moist everyday.
When to Harvest:
Harvest cucumber fruits before 10 am or on a cloudy day; to ensure best juicy and non-bitter cucumbers (above picture 11).
Every morning you will be cheered by the yellow cute little cucumber flowers (picture 13&16 below) throughout the whole growing season.
You will notice that, these 5 cucumber plants can be grown together in a small location .
If you grow it in a basket; or container; it only occupied one small corner; 1/6 from the grow bed (picture 7).
If you are worry of the underground garden pests;
you may dig a deep hole on the raised bed ground;
before you land the basket on it. In this way;
the pests will stay far from the bottom
of the basket.
When the creeping vines are a little longer, more bamboo sticks are needed for support (above picture 15).
Help the vines to creep along the sticks firmly and secure them loosely with some inexpensive plastic wires; or recyclable strings; make sure the vines are not touching each other (below picture 17&20).
When they feel secured, they will be stronger and happier to produce more organic cucumbers for you.
You will notice that; when the rain and sun come often together in the month of September; all the colours of the leaves would be faded and turned brown (picture 18).
If you have a bigger space, top this cucumber fruit vegetable plant when three leaves appeared; the same way as topping pumpkin vines. In this way, the plant will split into two growing directions and you will be harvesting more cucumbers than keeping only one vine.
We have a very short summer; so; I can only keep one vine. However; this variety is very productive; and I have more than enough of supplies for a family of two.
Each cucumber is weighing at about 220 grams (below picture 21).
Growing cucumbers and building a spray free vegetable garden for a school frugal gardening project is certainly reward-able!