Featured Plant: Cucumber

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One of my favorite summer fruits are cucumbers! They can refresh a salad. They can be pickled. They add a crunch to cold noodle dishes. And they have great beauty benefits. =)

Ever since we built the raised garden bed, I’ve planted cucumbers. The number of fruits vary each year, but with each year, I’m learning more and more. Here are some tips I’ve learned:

  • Use a trellis to help cucumbers climb. I think cucumbers will grow just fine without a trellis. When the cucumbers (and other fruits in general) grow on the ground, they stay moist, and are prone to rot.

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  • Fruits will only fruit when the plant has been properly pollinated. Plant pollinators in your garden. I like to plant marigolds because they’re incredibly hardy, easy to grow, and helps deter many bugs and pests. But other good flower options are sunflowers, nasturtiums, pansies, and alyssum. If you don’t have flowers, you can always try hand-pollination!
  • Cucumbers are mostly water (95-96%). So they also require a lot of water. This year, I’ve been very diligent about watering the garden when it hasn’t rained. No more dry, crunch leaves!
  • Check the leaves every day for signs of pests and disease.  You can sometimes find pests on the underside of the leaf. So make sure to check both sides. There are numerous natural remedies out there, so make sure to do your research and find what works for you. I like to use essential oils to help repel pests. Peppermint can help with ants and flies. While citronella, lemongrass, and eucalyptus are great for general insect repellents.

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What kinds of tips do you have for growing cucumbers?

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