Growing Cucumbers – The summer refreshers in your garden
For growing cucumbers plant the seeds directly into the soil during spring. During the cool climate, raise the seeds under proper care and implant them once the ground is warm. Cucumbers grow very well in well-drained, warm, protected spot with rich, fertile soil that is extremely rich in organic matter. Plant them in full sun during cold climate and provide shade during scorching summer heat or dry climate. Space the seeds about 3 feet apart. The plant will start fruiting within 2-3 months.
Some varieties are better as ground covers while others are good climbers. Elevating the wines over a trellis will decrease humidity around the foliage, which in turn will reduce the fungal infestations, blemishes, and insect damage. Cucumbers need a lot of water, hence mulch them properly and do not let them dry out. Excessive heat or cold can cause poor fruit formation.
Minimize mildew problems by providing good circulation for the vines. Mites can attack in hot, dry climates; reduce the risk of this by hosting underneath the foliage.
- Pick fruit regularly to encourage continued flowering.
- Crop for up to two months.
- Do not pull the fruit. Instead harvest it with scissors or pruning shears to avoid damaging it.
Cucumbers range from dark green to creamy white, golden and brown and in length from 10 cm to 1m i.e. four into three ft. There are rounded, full fruit and ribbed and pleated fruit, with either smooth or prickly, rough skin.
- Apple type: Lime green, cream, or white skin; rounded; pick when 10 cm i.e. 4 in across
- Typical green type: Harvest when 15-20 cm (6-8 in) long
- Lebanese: Small slender with thin skin; pick when 10 cm i.e. 4 in across
- Pickling Varieties: The young fruit of any variety can be harvested for pickling
Buying and Storing cucumber:
Pick up cucumbers with no soft spots or wrinkling, particularly in the stem end. Keep loosely wrapped in the crisper section of the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Once cut, cover with plastic wrap and store it for not more than two days.
Health benefits of cucumber:
- Put the slices of cucumber over your eyes to relieve stress and under-eye puffiness. Like a cool, wet cloth, the cold cucumber slices shrink blood vessels slightly, reducing blood flow in the area and easing pressure and puffiness.
- Cucumbers contain polyphenols called lignans, which may help to reduce the risk of heart and blood vessel disease.
- They are also said to contain cucurbitacins. Research has revealed that these compounds may block the transmission of signals inside cancer cells, thus discouraging them from growth.
- Not only this, cucumbers contain 96% water. Thus, they will keep you hydrated during hot summer days.