As with all cucurbits, cucumbers do not like their roots disturbed during transplanting so if starting seeds indoors, use biodegradable pots. Seeds can be started inside or outside. Start seeds indoors May 1st into a good starting mix (we recommend Vermont Compost’s Fort Light). Ideal temperature for germination: 85-95° (use heating mat). Cucumber seedlings are sensitive to damping off fungus so keep soil lightly moist but not too wet and use a fan (set to low) to provide air circulation. Days to germination: 4-10. Once 2 leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Transplant outdoors (plant biodegradable pot into soil) around June 1st into fertile soil with lots of compost or decomposed manure. Or direct sow seeds outdoors June 1st (1/2” deep). Space plants 1 foot apart. Protect seedlings from cucumber beetles by covering seeds/seedlings with row cover fabric at planting and leave it on until plants are flowering. Protect plants from deer and groundhogs. For an extra boost, foliar feed young cucumber plants (1 week after transplanting) with fish/seaweed. Cucumbers perform and taste best in cool (less than 85°) weather.
Harvest cucumbers when they begin to fill out but before they completely lose their ridges. They should still be dark green and firm but not hard. Cucs can always be harvested smaller when they are young and tender, especially for pickling.
Cucumbers are insect pollinated and cross-pollinated. They will easily cross with any cucumber varieties within ½ mile. You can always save seed and see what you will get! Select only the best plants to save seed from. Allow cucumber fruit to mature fully (they will be large, hard, and yellow). Scoop out seed, rinse, and dry on a screen. Minimum population size: 6-25 plants (but you can save seed from fewer plants if seeds are for your own use).