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Cucumber Tips, Tricks and Home Remedies

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Step by step growing instructions for cucumbers with many home remedies and tricks included.

General Tips

  • Cucumbers grow best in full sun, fertile and well drained soil.  They like their soil to be high in organic matter with almost neutral pH. Be sure to change location of your plants every year. Rotating their location helps reduce risk of soil diseases and better soil that has the nutrients they need.
  • Sow cucumber only when the soil is warm.  The tenderest greenhouse cucumbers are grown in 80ºF weather. Sometimes, warming the soil with a sheet of black plastic before planting can give you an early start on planting cucumbers.
  • If sowing seeds indoors before last frost, avoid planting in flats because cucumbers don't like to have their roots disturbed. 
  • The secret to a heavy, long production is to pick often!  If you pick the fruit when it is young, it tells the plant to produce more to make more seed for future generations, waiting until the fruit is fully mature and turning yellow, tells the plant that it's job is done.  So pick those cucumbers as soon as they are large enough to be used.
  • Harvest cucumbers when young for the best flavor and crispness.  Pick moist, green pods that are tender, and just slightly filled out.  If your growing beans for shelling, you can leave them on the vine to dry, but otherwise pick as soon as they are ready or the vine will stop producing.
  • Bitterness can be caused by genetics, growing conditions or old age. There are a few varieties that never become bitter.
  • Plant your first crop of cucumbers in May for harvesting in July and August, and your second crop of cucumbers in June for harvesting in August and September. When plants get too old, production and flavor are affected.
  • Always protect from cold and frost. If a hard frost is predicted, always pick all mature fruit and cover small fruit and foliage with several layers of newspaper.
  • Remember that cucumbers produce both male flowers (straight stem below flower) and female flowers (small fruit below flowers), when plants are young, they often produce much more male fruit than female.  Lack of fruit means lack of pollinated flowers.



  • Sow 2 or 3 radish seeds in your cucumber hills and leave there even after they seed. radishes repel cucumber beetles.  
  • Grows well with beans, lettuce, cabbage family, peas and tomatoes
  • Cucumbers repel raccoon, so plant near your corn. (My husband just informed me that it would be more beneficial to just throw cucumbers at them). Corn also repels cucumber beetles.
  • Marigolds repel cucumber beetles, aphids and flea beetles.
  • Tansy repel aphids, cucumber beetles and cutworm.
  • Nasturtiums repel aphids, flea beetles, cucumber beetles and cabbage loopers.


Bad Neighbors:

  • DO NOT plant near potatoes as cucumbers encourage blight in late potatoes.
  • Aromatic herbs cause slow growth to cucumbers.
  • Don't plant next to members of the same Genus. If one plant gets infected or infested by a pest, it will be easier to transfer to others.  They also compete for the same nutrients in the soil.


Pests and Diseases:

  • Cucumber Beetle:  holes chewed in the leaves, leaf stalks and stems by yellow green beetles with black stripes or spots.  Plants may wilt and die.  Use our homemade recipe Found Here or spray with a commercial product.
  • Bacterial Wilt: A few leaves wilt and dry and may be chewed. Wilted leaves usually recover at night but then wilt again on sunny days and finally die. Fruit shrivels.  A small home test can be done by cutting a wilted stem near the base of the plant and squeeze out the sap, watching for it to be milky white. Touch a knife to the sap and withdraw slowly. Look for a white ooze that strings out in a fine thread as you withdraw the knife. Remove and discard all infected plants promptly.
  • Anthracnose: Yellow, water soaked areas on leaves that enlarge rapidly, then turn brown and dry. The spots then fall out leaving holes in the spot. Whole leaves and vines die.  Large fruit is spotted with sunken, dark brown circular spots. Pinkish ooze may come out.  Small fruit shrink and die.  This disease is most prevalent in humid or rainy weather. Prevent by growing varieties that are resistant, avoid overhead watering, clean up crop residue or turn it under the soil at end of season.  Treat infected plants with a commercial, disease control chemical.  Follow directions
  • Powdery Mildew: A white powdery growth covers the upper surfaces of the leaves.  Areas of the leaves and stems turn brown, wither and die.  Fruit may be covered with white powdery growth.  Prevent by growing varieties resistant to powdery mildew.  Tread my using our homemade recipe Found Here, or by using a commercial product.
  • Many other viral and fungal diseases. The best prevention is crop rotation, proper clean up, pest management and good ventilation.


Other Tips Tricks and Home Remedies: PeppersBeansTomatoes


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