Agrijam Organics - Trelawny, Jamaica
Cucumbers are a member of the cucurbitaceae family which includes melons and squashes. These species of plants like a warm well drained soil.
Cucumbers can be pickled or eaten straight of the vine (once washed). Cucumbers that are pickled are known as pickling cucumber and the one eaten straight of he vine is known as slicing cucumbers. Pickling cucumbers are normally small while the slicing cucumber range is all different sizes. There are a lot of varieties grown worldwide so be sure to choose a variety best for you based upon size, taste and growing conditions.
Cucumbers contain beneficial nutrients that are good to our skin, hair and nails.
Dig a fair amount of organic compost into the soil. The soil should be turned over down to about a spades depth.
Cucumber can be sowed directly in the groung however, you can start with seedlings. Leave a gap of around 40cm between seedlings. If growing from seed you can group sow 3 seeds in each hole to increase chances of germination success. Seeds should be planted 2.5cm deep.
If you are planting more than one row then rows should be spaced at around 90cm.
Cucumbers need a generous amount of sunshine and warmth. Ensure that you have adequate space as Cucumbers can rapidly reach around 6 feet or more. Where space is limited train the plant against a wall, stake or trellis. They will also spread over the ground if you have the space.
A well drained soil is important for cucumbers and so they are often planted in raised beds around 6 inches high. Cucumbers will thrive in a sandy loam soil. Ensure the soil has a good amount of organic matter within it, manure will give the plants the nutrients they require.
Weed regularly but be careful not to go below a couple of cm's with your hoe as you may damage the root system which will slow down plant growth.
Water the cucumbers well if you want them to be juicy and firm! The cucumber fruit itself has a very high water content.