Cucumbers are a highly nutritious vegetable that is also delicious and versatile! You can get up to twenty per cent of the vitally important vitamin K plus vitamins B & C, copper, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, anti-inflammatories and much more in 1 cup of cucumber. It’s definitely a vegetable you want to grow at home!
To help you get your first crop going, here are some tips for growing them in a kitset raised garden bed Nz. Get ready to harvest in 2 to 2.5 months!
Location In Your Garden
The ideal spot in your garden should get between eight to ten hours per day. At the very least, your raised garden bed should get six hours of sun. If your plant is not producing flowers, it might be due to a lack of sun.
Also, ensure that the location encourages pollinators to visit your cucumber flowers.
Type Of Soil
Fill your raised beds with rich, loose, loamy soil (which drains well) to a depth of 45 cm. The plant’s roots can actually go to 1.2m deep but they don’t need to in order to yield well.
Test the soil pH as cucumbers prefer a slightly acidic range (6.0–6.5). Peat moss and ammonium sulphate can assist with adding acidity to your mix.
Your plants will appreciate strong, A-frame trellises to ramble on as they grow. We recommend a peak trellis height of 150 cm. Your healthy cucumber will clamber right to the top!
The trellis will maximise your growing surface and makes harvesting easier.
Timing The Planting
Cucumber seeds can be planted during warmer seasons e.g. late spring at the earliest. When your soil temperature hits the 21°C mark regularly it's time to get your fingers dirty. Note: cucumbers detest cold weather.
The seeds can be planted in groups of 6 seeds at a depth of 2.5 cm. Space these groups 30 cm apart and follow a straight line. Your row of cucumbers, following the bases of the trellises, will need 60 cm on each side or 1.2 m on one side before another is planted.
When your baby plants pop their heads out of the soil, separate them into 2 plants per spot to prevent overcrowding.
Watering Your Plants
Your thriving plants will want regular watering i.e. 2.5 – 5 cm of water weekly. Initially, the goal is to keep the soil moist before those little seedlings pop up. Thereafter, monitor the soil moisture and, on the peak heat days, make sure your little harvest doesn’t dry out.
Cucumbers are a great crop for raised beds. Their requirements are simple:
- Lots of full sunlight hours
- 45cm of rich, fertile loamy soil
- 2.5 cm planting depth, 1.2 m apart
- 2.5– 5 cm of water weekly
- A 1.5m high A-frame trellis
Cucumbers grow so well in raised beds that your trellises will be full. After 2 to 2.5 months, you can harvest up to 2.3 kgs of yummy cucumbers. Bon appetit!