If you enjoy fresh slices of cucumber in your salad, or a jar of crisp pickles in the fridge, then growing cucumbers is a great addition to your garden!
I grow them primarily because I’m a pickle freak and I like canning my own cucumbers, but also because it’s one of the fastest producing and highest yielding plants.
Sometimes I walk out to the garden, pick a ripe cucumber, and slice it up. Then I whip up a bowl of vegetable dip using sour cream, fresh garden herbs, minced garlic, and sea salt seasoned to taste.
Using this ‘garden herb dip’ with fresh cucumbers is fabulous!
You can also cut them into thick slices, batter them, fry them, and serve them with ranch dressing. 😀
Pickling is fun too. Brine them in a vinegar solution using fresh dill, a jalapeno pepper or two, whole peppercorns, a dash of sugar, and few garlic cloves and you get jars of crisp and tangy dill pickles!
This picture’s for you Jessica! 😆
In a short two months the plant bears fruit. The varieties below are excellent for canning because the cucumbers don’t get larger than 6″ and the vines produce continuously throughout the growing season. Sow the seeds directly into the ground once all signs of frost are gone. Similar to butternut squash, plant them in “hills” to keep the seedlings warm and be aware that the plants need full sunlight and a decent amount of space too. Once the plant is bearing fruit check the vines daily because they grow fast, and the more you pick them, the more cukes form on the vine! Make sure the soil is rich in nutrients, and that it stays moist but drains well. Inconsistent watering makes them grow into weird shapes and taste funny.
Consistent watering and picking is key!
The seed varieties I use are as follows:
- Burpee Picklebush Cucumber seed
- Bonnie Plants Boston Pickling Cucumber seed
I hope you’ll consider cucumbers for your home garden too. Enjoy 🙂