If there is a vegetable garden next to the house, then cucumbers will undoubtedly grow there. This vegetable is so good when fresh, pickled, and canned during the summer season. The experienced gardeners will always allocate the best place for cucumber and additional time for leaving.
Knowing the peculiarities of the culture, you can harvest good crops even from a very small area. This involves growing cucumbers in the open field. At times when cucumbers grow, you will find some with a smooth and prickly surface. Continue reading this article and know why are my cucumbers prickly?
Why Are My Cucumbers Prickly?
Cucumbers belong to the cucurbit family, along with pumpkins, melons, and squash. They are divided into two groups: pickling and slicing. Both varieties can have varying degrees of prickly cucumber, so prickly cucumbers are pretty normal. Some may have tiny hairs, while others have all the spines.
Sliced varieties are usually less prickly, while pickled types are more spinning. Cucumbers can become prickly because some animals are camouflaged or have horns, which is to protect them from predators. Undoubtedly, this applies to cucumbers.
Can You Eat Prickly Cucumbers?
The thorns on cucumbers are not fatal, but they will be uncomfortable to eat. The good news is that you can always peel the cucumber if the thorns on the cucumber are too big. Most prickly cucumber fruit is simply a fruit covered in fine hairy thorns. A good wash will probably remove the thorns and if they don’t come off right away, remove them with a vegetable brush.
How To Grow Cucumbers
1. Soil preparation
Growing cucumbers largely depends on what kind of soil you prepare for them. The easiest way out is to buy ready-made soil for cucumber and other pumpkin seeds in the store. Use pre-prepared garden soil, evenly mixed with rotted manure and humus, and mix peat and sand in a 1:1 ratio.
It should be noted that the soil must be decontaminated before use by any means suitable for this procedure. In the harvested land, various insects are harmful and thaw together with the earth in the warmth. When cucumbers grow, these insects cannot wait for the green shoots.
2. Seeds preparation
If there is confidence in the high quality of seeds, there is no need to carry out any additional treatments. If not the case, you can soak the seeds in a saturated solution of potassium permanganate. The necessary measures for this are not different from the preliminary work when growing cucumbers in the open field.
You can grow excellent and robust cucumbers by immediately sowing seeds in a ready-made container with soil, bypassing the seedling period. To be sure of the result, you can pre-germinate the seeds.
Many believe that a cucumber must be planted exclusively in seedlings for a cucumber to give a high yield. However, if the conditions of the climatic zone in which you are gardening are pretty mild, it is good to sow cucumber directly on the beds. It is better to do this in several stages to not miscalculate with crops’ timing and prolong fruiting.
You can start sowing from mid-May (in the south) and continue until mid-June. There is no point in planting cucumbers later since long daylight hours, and high summer temperatures do not favor its normal development. Because modern breeding has taken care to bring out zoned varieties for each separate climatic zone and disease-resistant hybrids, it is worth choosing them. This will protect you from unnecessary hassle and will allow you to get a high-quality rich harvest.
Regular and controlled watering is a fundamental factor in growing cucumbers. It should be carried out in the holes between the rows and often enough to keep the soil in a constantly moist state. It is better to water the cucumbers in the evening, or at the same time in the morning, preferably before the start of the heat, with warm water (from +18 to + 25 °C), also, without moisture getting on the leaves. Watering should be moderate before flowering and abundant during fruiting.
5. Top dressing
If the soil is not filled with sufficient organic matter for the predecessor or in the pre-sowing preparation of the beds, the cucumbers must be fed regularly. Feeding begins after the formation of 2-3 true leaves and continues throughout the entire fruiting period. Cucumbers are most responsive to nitrogen; however, they need both phosphorus and potassium for their full development.
Most often, experienced gardeners alternate the application of mineral fertilizers with organic matter. The best choice in this matter would be ammofoska (10-15 g per square meter) and mullein solution or chicken droppings. But if the weather is cold outside, feeding is not essential.
Particular attention should be paid to additional lighting.
- For the bush to grow and bear fruit well, it needs light for 12-14 hours a day.
- The lights should be turned on from 6 am and after 8 pm, when daylight is extinguished.
- In cloudy weather, the additional light should be on all day.
- If it is not possible to provide your home garden with full-fledged lighting, grow the shade-tolerant varieties.
- In summer, when the day is much longer than in winter, light-loving varieties can also be used.
Now there are many devices and lamps for installing the necessary additional lighting. Fluorescent lights are usually used, as they are more affordable.
7. Shaping or pinching
Shape and pinch cucumber during the formation. It is necessary to provoke the development of lateral shoots, on which more female flowers are formed. The formation is made by pinching the central stem of the cucumber over 5-6 leaves. In this case, early ripening varieties cannot be formed, but the development of late and mid-ripening types can be adjusted.
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Cucumbers are most popular with many home gardening enthusiasts. Almost everyone can plant them. If you have the house flowers in the pots, this experience is enough to work with a cucumber. Special skills are not needed here. The main thing is to know the basic requirements of culture and some features. Cucumbers are prickly, and the main reason for their formation is to protect the fruits from predators.