Friday, 13 September 2013 14:24

How do Cucumbers grow?

Did you know Cucumbers are 96% water?

 

  • Latin Name:

    Cucumis sativus

  • Growth:

    How are cucumbers grown?

    USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 11. Click here to view USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

    Cucumbers are  fast-growing summer annuals that like full sun and loamy soil.  They grow on a vine so don't need a large amount of space to produce a good crop.

    Cucumbers are ready to pick 50 to 70 days after planting.

    Spring: Cucumbers are planted in the ground as soon as threat of winter frost is over or can be grown in a greenhouse under the proper conditions.

    Summer:  Healthy plant grows, flowers and ripens.

    Fall:  Harvest time. Remove or cover plants before the frost set in. 

    Winter: Can only be grown indoors.

    Cucumber Growth Time Lapse

  • Propagation:

    How are cucumbers propagated?

    Cucumbers are grown from seed that is either purchased or saved from the inside of the fruit 

    In areas with cool weather and short summers, cucumbers are started indoors, and are ready to be transplanted when they have 4-5 fully developed leaves.

    Sprouting Cucumber Plants

  • Harvest:

    When are cucumbers harvested?

    Cucumbers are ready for harvest around 50 to 70 days after germination. 

    The cucumber is picked when it is green and immature for the best taste.

    Fruit that has yellowed is past its prime.

    Regular slicing cucumbers are harvested when they are 6 to 8 inches long. 

    Dill cucumbers are harvested at 4 to 6 inches, and cucumbers meant for pickling are around 2 inches long. 

    If a cucumber matures but is left on the vine, it will cause production of the entire plant to stop, so be sure to clean the vine of all fruit.

  • Storage:

    How do you store cucumbers?

    Wrap cucumbers in plastic wrap to help retain their moisture.

    Keep at room temperature if intended for use in 2 to 3 days.

    If refrigerated in an airtight container, they will keep for up to 10 days.

  • History:

    Where do cucumbers come from?

    Cucumbers are native to India and have been documented in Western Asia for over 3,000 years. 

    Cucumbers appear in the Bible, (Numbers 11:5), and were available in Egypt at that time. They soon became a popular food item for the Romans who cultivated them in greenhouses as well as fields.

    Production moved to Europe in the 9th Century and then to North America by the 16th century.

  • Top Producers:

    Which countries produce the most cucumbers?

    China, Iran, Turkey, Russia, and the United States, are the top cucumber producing countries.

  • Varieties:

    What are some common cucumber varieties?

    Common varieties used for standard slicing cucumbers include the Maketmore and Straight 8 varieties. Smaller, compact slicing varieties include Fanfare and the Salad Bush.

    Pickling varieties include Liberty hybrid and Pickle Bush. They are shorter in length and have bumpy wrinkled skins.

  • Products:

    How are cucumbers used?

    Most cucumbers are consumed raw, as an ingredient in many recipes or pickled.

    Cucumbers are also used in many beauty and health products because of the antioxidants and vitamin K that refresh and regenerate the body and skin.

  • Top Health Benefits:

    Are cucumbers healthy?

    Cucumbers are a low calorie no-fat food.

    They are approximately 90% water and hydrating for the body.

    The peel is an efficient source of dietary fiber that helps prevent colon cancer.

    They are a good source of potassium, an electrolyte that helps reduce blood pressure.

    Cucumbers contain moderate levels of antioxidants and a high amount of vitamin K.

More in this category: Cucumber time lapse video »