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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Cucumber Gardening Tips: Care, Feeding, Trellising and Transplants!

Cucumber Gardening Tips: Care, Feeding, 
Trellising and Transplants!

Come mid July from heat, bugs, diseases or all three... your cucumbers can get beat up. A lot of time, here in Maryland Zone 7, I get great production from my cucumbers from late June until the end of July. But then the plants just get beat down. That leads me to my first and most under utilized tip.

TIP ONE: Start some new cucumber transplants mid July. Select a fast maturing variety and start the seeds outdoors in 8 ounce cups. Replace your old beat up plants with 2 week old transplants come the end of July. They should be up producing by the end of August.

Your cucumbers might be a bit weathered and worn. You can use Epsom Salt as a way to green them up and it is probably a good idea to give the a nice large liquid feeding with a balanced liquid fertilizer that covers N-P-K and micro-nutrients. This is true for both container and ground planted cucumbers. If you are growing cucumbers in containers, you should be feeding them at least 2x's a month when they are producing.

TIP TWO: Give them some Epsom Salt and a liquid fertilizer that is well balanced.

Sometimes you get lots of flowers and little cucumbers that seem to turn brown and die after growing. That is because the female flower with the tiny cucumber wasn't fertilized. You can actually hand pollinate cucumbers to increase production.

TIP THREE: Learn the difference between male and female cucumber flowers and try your hand at hand pollination. This will help you get more mature cucumbers.

Cucumbers can take up a lot of space in the garden. Trellising cucumbers is a great way to save space and better manage pests and disease. It is a lot easy to spray cucumbers that are growing vertically. You are able to get both sides of the leaves much more easily.

TIP FOUR: Grow your cucumbers vertically. It makes care much easier!

Cucumbers are often attacked by cucumber beetles and other insects for that I use Neem Oil and soap to make a spray. They also can get powdery mildew. For that I use a baking soda spray. Spraying before problems arise is key. Know when problems show up in your garden. Write down the dates and start spraying 2 weeks before they arrive. AND.... ALWAYS test spray anytime you make a spray, it is important to test a few leaves with the spray and wait 48 hours to see if any damage occurs.

TIP FIVE: Start spraying 2 weeks before problems arise in your garden. I use Neem Oil for insects and baking soda at times as an anti-fungal.

Good Luck with Your Garden, Gary (The Rusted Garden)

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