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The time to plant cucumbers is now. Jurga Jot/shutterstock
Cucumbers like heat and moisture. In Maine, this is the right time to plant them – when the danger of frost is gone and, we hope, our temperature will reach the 70s most days.
Cucumbers want a lot of organic matter in the soil, so work in some compost before planting them. They also are heavy feeders, so add fertilizer when you plant and then every few weeks during the season.
You can grow cucumbers successfully from seed in Maine, but most people either buy seedlings or grow their own seedlings to transplant outside. You’re too late for the second alternative, at least this year: you’d have needed to plant cucumber seeds indoors in late April or early May.
Cucumbers come in bush and vining varieties. Plant bush varieties about 30 inches apart. If you plan to let the vining types run along the ground, plant them about 60 inches apart. If you plan to let them grow on trellises, 18 inches apart is sufficient.
In the past I have let our vining cucumbers run on the ground, but this year, I am going to try trellising at least some of them.
Cucumbers are thirsty plants, needing at least an inch of water a week. Do not stint when watering.
If you are growing bush varieties, plant them several times over the summer at two-week intervals, which will guarantee you fresh cucumbers all summer long.
I like cucumbers fresh, unpeeled, cut in wedges and resting on ice. If you don’t eat them all that way, you could make pickles, but you will need a lot of cucumbers.
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