Why I grow it:
Cucumbers taste like summer! If you’re going to call yourself a vegetable gardener, you should grow cucumbers! They’re easy to grow and prolific in their fruiting! There’s nothing to it except the satisfaction of fresh crisp cucs!
How to grow it:
First, you have to decide what kind you want. Slicing cucumbers are the standard for salads, sandwiches, and dipping. Pickling cucumbers are for, well, pickling! The variety I’ve been enjoying for the past couple of years are called Marketmore 76. They are slicing cucumbers, although I have pickled them and they were outstanding! Marketmore’s are the perfect size, shape, and have a great yield.
Cucumbers are a vining squash so they will climb. I don’t have a very big area for everything I like to grow so Mountain Man made me a couple squash trellises to save space. Essentially they’re really big sturdy sawhorses. They work great! I hang plastic vine netting over them. After that, it’s doesn’t take much coaxing to get them to climb.
Careful! They have spikes!! Fortunately they’re fairly small and weak. Simply brush them off. Then twist the vine just above the cucumber and it will pop right off.
You will want to check your plants daily after your first good sized cucumber is harvested, the rest will grow quickly! Don’t let them get bigger than they’re supposed to. Squash can and will get big if you let it. Unfortunately the bigger they get, the more they lose their flavor. Harvest them when they are the correct size!!
What to do with it:
Slice em and eat em raw! Dip them in ranch! Have them on a sandwich!! Ever had a bct instead of a blt?? Epic!! How about a salad?? All the obvious ways are there to be sure, but there is so much more! Recently I make tzatziki and pickles for the first time. The tzatziki came out perfect and the pickles are to die for! I’m working on perfecting my pickling ratios at the moment but once I have it sorted out, I will post my recipe.
Anyone else out there love growing cucumbers? How do your cucs grow?
Disclaimer: This is based simply on what I’ve learned from research and experience in my own garden. I do not consider myself an expert by any means. My garden is in the Pacific Northwest and, due to climate, may be very different from how you grow yours.