The Great Cucumber Challenge

This 10-step plan will make you a master cuke grower in just one season.



Cucumber Varieties
Cucumber variteties come in many shapes, sizes, flavors and growth habits.
RICK WETHERBEE
Cucumber Sizes
Compare the enormous ‘Yard Long Armenian’ to the American ‘Straight Eight.’
WALTER CHANDOHA
Making Pickles
Anyone who can boil water can make pickles — no special equipment required.
ISTOCKPHOTO/EMISTA
Cucumber Trellis
Varieties with long vines benefit from the assistance of a trellis, which also can serve as a support for a row cover.
DAVID CAVAGNARO
Cucumber Beetle
Cucumber beetles and the bacterial wilt they carry can be avoided by using a floating row cover.
DAVID KUHN/DWIGHT KUHN PHOTOGRAPHY
Cucumber Seedling
Plants should be covered at all times from seedling to harvest, except for a few days when blossoms appear to allow pollination.
DWIGHT KUHN PHOTOGRAPHY
Basket of Cucumbers
Try to pick all the ripe cucumbers, because plants holding mature fruits will stop producing new ones, and rotting cucumbers can become a source for disease.
DWIGHT KUHN PHOTOGRAPHY
Cucumber Growth Habit
Cucumbers grow quickly during summer’s longest days. As day length declines, allow extra time for later plantings to mature.
WALTER CHANDOHA
Ground Grown Cucumbers
Many cucumber varieties can be grown on the ground in rows, but try to allow 5 feet of mulched space between each row.
DWIGHT KUHN PHOTOGRAPHY
Cucumber Challenge Scorecard
Follow these 10 steps and watch your score grow along with your knowledge. At the end of the season, send us your scorecard (with cuke photos, please) and a short account of your experience. The best entry will win a $100 gift certificate to Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Send to letters@MotherEarthNews.com, or “Cuke Contest”; Mother Earth News; 1503 SW 42nd St.; Topeka, KS, 66609
RICK WETHERBEE











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