How to Grow Cucumbers
**They like warm weather but not intense, dry heat. They are not frost hardy, but since they grow and mature quickly, it is easy to get a crop even with a short season as long as you plant them in the full sun.
**It is often a good idea to grow these plants vertically to save space and also to give you healthier, cleaner veggies. You can grow them up a fence, use stakes, use trellises, etc. Simply remember that it is a big, heavy vine so the support needs to be strong.
**You will get the highest yield of cucumbers in a clay soil with plenty of humus. However, a sandy loam will warm up quicker and give you a faster, earlier crop.
**Prepare soil by adding plenty of compost (check out my post on DIY compost) or well-rotted manure, because cucumbers like a fertile soil. The pH levels should be between 6.0-6.5. Try using either this pH level soil tester or this one (cheaper but also less accurate).
**If you sow directly in the garden, plant them either in hills/clusters or rows, about ½ inch deep. Rows work better if you are using vertical support. When the seedlings are a few inches tall, thin to a foot apart in the row, with rows about 3 feet apart.
**If the ground and air remain cold, protect your cucumbers with some type of heat-conserving device/cover. Be sure to remove these covers when the female blossoms appear so that they can be pollinated.
**When the cucumber plants are about a foot high, give them a liquid seaweed fertilizer boost (like this one)
**Give your plants a good soak if the weather is particularly dry.
**The worst pest for cucumbers is the cucumber beetle. They not only damage the plant by chewing them, but also go from plant to plant and spread diseases. Pick off any beetles you find and check the flowers and leaves of the plants for more. It is easiest to do this in the morning, because the beetles move slower then.
**Twist the mature cucumbers off gently or snip them off with clippers, but use two hands and be careful not to break the fragile vines.