Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Cucumber plants grow in two forms: vining and bush. Vines scramble along the ground or clamber up trellises, while bush types, such as Burpless Bush Hybrid, form a more compact plant. Generally, vining cucumbers yield more fruit throughout the growing season. Bush selections are especially suited to containers and small gardens. You can increase the season’s yield of bush varieties by planting several crops in succession 2 weeks apart. Information provided by: http://bonnieplants.com/growing/

Nutrition Facts - Raw Cucumber

Nutrition Facts - Raw Cucumber

Planting Cucumbers

Planting Cucumbers

Cucumbers need warm, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8. Work compost or composted manure into soil. Plant seedlings 36 to 60 inches apart, depending on variety (check the stick tag). For vines trained on a trellis, space plants 1 foot apart. If you can, trellis your vines. This keeps the fruit clean and saves space. A 12- to 18-inch diameter cage made from 4- or 5-foot welded wire fencing or hog wire will support 2 or 3 vines. Keep the soil consistently moist with an inch of water/week.

Harvesting Cucumbers

Harvesting Cucumbers

You can pick cucumbers whenever they’re big enough to use. Check vines daily. Vines produce more fruit the more you harvest. To remove the fruit, use a knife or clippers, cutting the stem above the fruit. Pulling them may damage the vine. Don’t let the cucumbers get oversized or they will be bitter, and will also keep the vine from producing more. Yellowing at the bottom (blossom end) of a cucumber signals overripeness; remove the fruit immediately.

Storing Cucumbers

Storing Cucumbers

You can keep harvested cucumbers in the refrigerator for 7 to 10 days, but use them as soon as possible after picking for best flavor. If you don’t eat a slicing cucumber all at once, cover the unused portion in plastic wrap to prevent dehydration in the refrigerator. In fact, it’s a good idea to wrap your whole cucumbers in plastic or store them in a zipper bag in the fridge to keep them crisp.

Cucumber onion tomato salad

Cucumber onion tomato salad

Ingredients: -5 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced -1/4 red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced -1 cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced -2 tablespoons olive oil -2 splashes red wine vinegar -Salt and black pepper Directions: Dress the tomatoes, onions, and cucumber with olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let stand for 20 minutes and re-toss.

Bright Spot Farms is a program of the West End Neighborhood House