5 tips for pickles from your own garden
Healthy plants, abundant harvests – my 5 tips for cucumbers are sure to make it work!
Cucumbers and tomatoes are among my absolute favorites in the vegetable garden. They can’t be missing and I like to try out new varieties. This year these are the snake cucumber Bono and the pickling cucumber foothill grapes, which I preferred in addition to the obligatory snack cucumber. You can read about how you prefer the plants in this post: Prefer cucumbers and grow them in your own garden
After the ice saints, the preferred plants are allowed to go outdoors. I have had very good experiences with growing cucumbers in raised beds. In order for the harvest to be abundant and the plants to remain healthy over the season, a few things should be considered.
My 5 tips for pickles
Tip 1: Break out the first fruit sets
When the young plants begin to grow vigorously, fruit sets form in the first leaf axils. You can recognize them by tiny gherkins with a yellow flower at the tip. But it is still far too early for the plant to invest strength in the growth of the fruit. It must first grow vigorously itself in order to later have enough energy for rich fruit formation. Therefore, even if it is difficult, you should break out the first 1-2 fruit sets. You can do this very easily with your fingers: take the fruit set between your index finger and thumb and carefully break it off.
Tip 2: nutrients
Cucumber plants form long tendrils and grow into fairly large plants as they grow. They grow extremely quickly and are among the heavy consumers. This means that they also need to be adequately supplied with nutrients. When planting out in the field, a biological slow-release fertilizer, e.g. horn shavings, comes into the planting hole. But mix it with some soil so that the roots don’t stand directly on the fertilizer. During the season, I recommend fertilizing 1-2 times with an organic vegetable fertilizer.
In addition to plant food, the plants need a lot of water. Since most of the fruits consist of water, they also need regular watering. Despite all the watering, they don’t like waterlogging. And another extra tip: Since cucumbers are very sensitive to cold, we recommend using water warmed up by the sun for watering.
Tip 3: trellis
Cucumbers are real climbing artists. The plants form meter-long tendrils that should grow with the help of a trellis. By the way, you can also tend the tendrils down from the raised bed or let them grow down from a hanging bucket.
Tip 4: harvest regularly
The more regularly you harvest the plants, the more fruits will grow back. You shouldn’t let the fruits get too big anyway, otherwise the skin will be very firm and the kernels will be big and hard. In the case of snake and snack cucumbers, the fruits are ripe when the skin is smooth. The size of the fruit varies from variety to variety. Feel free to try it out a bit and harvest cucumbers of different sizes to determine which harvest time is optimal for the variety you have chosen.
Tip 5: good and bad neighbors
In the vegetable garden there are so-called good and bad neighbors.
Good neighbors, i.e. plants that are compatible with each other, have a positive effect on your growth and thus the harvest, use the nutrients from the soil optimally, counteract each other against pests and diseases and grow together harmoniously (roots and leaves don’t get in each other’s way).
Bad neighbors, i.e. plants that do not like each other, inhibit each other’s growth and thus the harvest and are more exposed to the risk of plant diseases and pests.
Good neighbors with cucumbers are, for example, beans, dill, peas, fennel, cabbage, lettuce, coriander, caraway, beetroot, lettuce, celery and onions.
Growing cucumbers next to potatoes is not recommended.
If you want to know which types of vegetables get along well and which don’t, I recommend you to take a look at this post: Who gets along with whom?
5 tips for cucumbers from your own garden – With these simple tips you can achieve a lush harvest: trellis, break out the first fruits, …