Cucumbers are the most popular garden vegetables in Florida because they are delicious and easy to grow. They are grown for eating fresh and preserved as pickled. They grow faster and are best suited to the larger garden. Moreover, they can also be grown in small areas if the plants are trellised or caged.
How to Grow Cucumbers in Florida?
Growing cucumbers in Florida can be simple if we plant them at the proper time and use specific varieties.
Hilling up is the most popular method of growing cucumbers nowadays.
It is the technique in agriculture of pilling soil up around the base of the plant. This is a method where a small round hill is created 8 inches high and seed is planted. This method is very helpfull for growing cucumbers in Florida
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Different varieties can be grown in Florida that are Cherokee, Dasher ll, Bush Slicer, Eureka, and Sweet Success. These varieties are further categorized into slicing cukes and pickling cukes. Slicing cucumbers have much thicker skin than pickled ones.
Soil and climate for cucumber planting
Cucumbers perform best in fertile and well-drained soil full of sunlight. It is a warm-weather crop. Soil should be slightly acidic or neutral with a pH around 6.5 to 7. Moreover, improve soil fertility by adding organic matter or compost. Choose a site full of sun. plant seeds one inch deep in the soil and water them thoroughly.
How much space do cucumbers take up?
Cucumber plants need 10 to 12 inches of space between the rows for ideal growth. Sow seeds six inches apart. After germination, thin seedlings so remaining plants are spaced 15 to 18 inches apart.
Best time for plantation of cucumbers
The timing for growing cucmbers is very important because cucumbers are sensitive to weather. They need to be warm but too warm. However, cucumbers will not grow well in the intense summer heat. In Florida, cucumbers have two growing seasons: spring and fall. In north Florida, plant seeds from August to September for the fall growing season. On the other hand, plant the seeds in the garden from February to March for the spring growing season. Moreover, Southern Florida has one growing season and that is September up to until January.
Watering the cucumber
Cucumbers are mostly made of water so they need deep watering at least once a week. The best time to water the cucumber is early in the morning because the soil gets time to dry. It is important to understand that when you water the plants try not to get leaves wet. Moreover, having a thick layer of mulch helps with watering.
Cucumbers are heavy feeders and need a balanced fertilizer for optimal growth and fruit development. Before planting you can water your plants with liquid soluble fertilizer. Moreover, use a balanced fertilizer when plants get to mature and have few sets of true leaves.
Cucumber pests and diseases
The most common problem for cucumber is mildew. The leaves are easily attacked by downy mildew and powdery mildew. The easiest way to discourage these diseases is to make sure the leaves have plenty of airflows and remain dry during watering. Moreover, neem oil is also used to kill these diseases.
There is a number of pests like whitefly, pickle worm, cucumber beetles, and aphids that attack your plants that can be controlled by neem oil or other recommended insecticides.
Cucumbers are ready to harvest usually 60 to 70 days after planting. You will harvest more cucumbers every couple of days because vegetables ripen at different times. Moreover, use a pair of shear and scissors to snipe the fruit from the plants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do cucumbers need assistance to grow?
It is important to understand that cucumbers are the climbing vines that need support to thrive. Therefore, use a cage or trellis to keep the cucumber plants in order and erect. Plants may collapse during the heavy fruit production period.
Can we grow cucumber in a pot?
cucumbers can also be grown in a pot. A larger container will fare better than a smaller one because this will make watering your plants easier. Cucumbers are heavy feeders and a deeper soil will make for a healthier plant.