Trellised so fruits are more visible. Growing Information Propagate by seed Germination temperature: Germination may take 10 days or longer at cooler temperatures. Cucumbers are very sensitive to cold. They need warm soil and air, whether direct-seeded or transplanted. Seed will not germinate if soil temperature is below 50 F, and germinates only slowly at 68 F. Thin to 8 to 15 inches apart in rows or 2 to 3 plants per hill. Snip off plants when thinning to avoid disturbing the roots of nearby plants.
For early crops, use black plastic mulch and row covers or other protection to speed warming and protect plants. Direct seed into holes in plastic.
Cucumbers seeded into black plastic usually produce larger yields, as well earlier ones. For extra early crops, start plants inside 3 to 4 weeks before transplanting. Sow 3 seeds per pot in 2-inch pots. Thin to one or two plants per pot. Grow above 70 F during the day and above 60 F at night. Be careful when hardening-off plants not to expose them to cold temperatures.
Plants with one or two true leaves transplant best. Transplant into black plastic mulch or warm garden soil after danger of frost has passed and weather has settled. Be careful not to damage roots when transplanting. If using peat pots, make sure they are saturated before transplanting and completely buried. If using row covers, remove when flowers begin to blossom to assure good pollination. For a continuous harvest, make successive plantings every 2 to 3 weeks until about 3 months before first fall frost date.
About 1 month before first frost, start pinching off new flowers so plants channel energy into ripening existing fruit. To save space, train vining cucumbers to a trellis.
This also increases air circulation reducing disease problems , makes harvest easier and produces straighter fruit. Set up trellis before planting or transplanting to avoid root injury. Space plants about 10 inches apart. Pinch back vines that extend beyond the trellis to encourage lateral growth. Most cucumbers have both male and female flowers. The male flowers blossom first and produce pollen, but no fruit.
Other varieties produce female flowers predominately or exclusively. Seed packs of these varieties include a few seeds usually marked with dye of another variety that produces male flowers to provide pollen. Pale, yellowish leaves indicate nitrogen deficiency. Leaf bronzing is a sign of potassium deficiency. Stripped or spotted cucumber beetles - Construct tents of fine nettting or cheesecloth or use floating row cover over young transplants and seedlings.
Put in place at planting and remove before temperatures get too hot in midsummer. Control of beetles is important to prevent bacterial wilt in cucumbers but less important in other vine crops. Aphids - A hard stream of water can be used to remove aphids from plants. Wash off with water occasionally as needed early in the day. Check for evidence of natural enemies such as gray-brown or bloated parasitized aphids and the presence of alligator-like larvae of lady beetles and lacewings.
Squash vine borer - Remove borers by hand and destroy. Destroy crop residues after harvest. Bacterial wilt Erwinia tracheiphila - Remove and discard or destroy infested plants. Control cucumber beetles that spread the bacteria. See striped or spotted cucumber beetles.
Control as soon as they appear. Some varieties are less susceptible to bacterial wilt but may not be readily available. Powdery mildew - Avoid crowding plants. Space apart to allow air circulation. Eliminate weeds around plants and garden area to improve air circulation. In autumn, rake and dispose of all fallen or diseased leaves and fruit.
Plant resistant varieties such as Marketmore 76, Slicemaster and Raider. Scab - Avoid wetting foliage if possible. Water early in the day so aboveground plant parts will dry as quickly as possible.
Cucumber mosaic virus - Remove and discard or destroy infested plants. Manage aphids that spread virus. Eliminate perennial weeds such as milkweed, marshcress and yellow rocket; and avoid planting next to susceptible ornamentals.