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Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are among the most commonly grown vegetables. They belong to the cucurbitaceae family (Cucurbitaceae) and their fruits are botanically berries, as their seeds are embedded directly in the pulp. Cucumbers have been cultivated for over 3000 years and come from India. Since the 19th century, they are grown in greenhouses in Germany.

In general, a distinction is made between field cucumbers and cucumbers. While cucumbers, also called snake cucumbers, are usually cultivated in greenhouses, ready-to-eat and peeled cucumbers are suitable for outdoor use, and there are also varieties for both types of use. Cucumbers are annuals that initially lie on the ground, then grow up and, depending on the variety, can form one to four meter long shoots. While cucumbers and gherkins are cultivated on the ground lying in the bed, cucumbers need a trellis.
Usually cucumbers are monoecious, female and male flowers grow on a plant. Modern, yield-proof varieties of cucumbers, on the other hand, only produce female flowers that bear fruit even without pollination. In these parthenocarpic species, each flower develops a fruit. Incidentally, many varieties of cucumbers are also commercially available as grafted young plants. The seedlings of the fig leaf pumpkin (Cucurbita ficifolia) serve as a finishing base. Refined snake cucumbers are more resistant to soil-borne fungal diseases and provide higher yields as they are more vigorous.

Location and ground

Outdoor cucumbers need a warm, humid and wind-protected full sun in the bed. The soil should be humic and loose, warm up quickly in the spring and not prone to sludge.
Snakes and cucumbers also need a warm and bright location. Due to their longer growing season and their high heat demand, they are cultivated almost exclusively in the greenhouse in this country. Take care with cucumbers in the greenhouse that they are not too much shaded by other plants. In southern regions greenhouses made of bright glass should be shaded against blazing midday sun, as the soft leaves burn very quickly, especially in poor water supply.

Sowing and planting

Cucumbers can be sown directly or pre-cultivated. Direct sowing in the cucumber bed is recommended for robust pickling cucumbers and small-fruited free-range varieties and is possible from the end of April / beginning of May until the beginning of July. If you sow directly into the bed, you should always place three seeds in a planting hole. The distance to the next planting hole should be at least 30 centimeters.
Snake cucumbers can be pre-grown in pots in the heated greenhouse as early as mid-March. The young plant cultivation of cucumbers in pots can be done both in the greenhouse and on the windowsill. However, this should be done only two to three weeks before planting, otherwise the seedlings will be too large before they get into the vegetable patch. For cultivation, place two to three seeds each in a pot at least eight centimeters in diameter, half of which is filled with seed soil. When pulling forward, a high germination temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius leads to rapid germination success. Make the plantlets a bit cooler after germination. Only from mid-May put the young plants in the outdoor bed.
You can plant cucumber seedlings in the base of your heated greenhouse from the beginning of April. For greenhouses without heating, it is better to wait until the end of April. The seedlings are deeply planted and lightly piled to form additional lateral roots. For grafted cucumbers, however, the processing station must be above the ground. Ideally, cucumber seedlings should have only two, pickles two to three well-developed leaves. Large mason jars or glass bells, which are put over the young plants in the field, provide the necessary warmth in the growing phase. When planting, make sure not to damage the roots. The planting distance in the greenhouse is 130 to 170 centimeters between the rows and about 40 centimeters in the row. For outdoor cucumbers a distance of 100 x 40 centimeters is ideal.

Cucumber seedlings

The preculture of cucumbers prolongs the growing season and thus the time window for the harvest

Crop rotation and mixed culture

Cucumbers should only be grown on the same surface after four years. Good forages are cereals, legumes and celery.Furthermore, fast growing crops such as lettuce, rocket and radishes can be grown on the cucumber bed between rows to make optimum use of the acreage. After harvesting the heat-loving vegetables claimed the place mostly for themselves.


Cucumbers are heavy eaters and also have a high water requirement. Especially during fruiting and dryness, it is important to water the vegetables regularly. It is best to water with lukewarm water in the morning. So you also counteract the formation of bitter fruits. A mulch layer of straw keeps the soil loose and the cucumbers clean the fruit. Rotting cow dung (about five liters per square meter) and mature compost have proven to be the basic fertilizer in bed preparation. In addition, during the main harvest you can occasionally fertilize with horn meal or organic liquid fertilizer such as comfrey. For cucumbers in the greenhouse, a thin mulch layer of grass clippings promotes growth.

Cucumbers grow up on strings

In the greenhouse cucumbers are led up on strings

Generally all cucumbers can be raised. Most importantly, snake cucumbers in greenhouses are usually run on strings suspended from a taut wire. For this purpose, the renewal drive is wound around the line twice a week with increasing length. So that the young seedlings are not weakened by early fruit growth, it is common to cut off to about 80 centimeters in height, all lateral shoots after each of the first leaf approach. In the course of cultivation, the main shoot of the plant should be cut so that it does not become too long. In free-range cucumbers, the main shoot is usually cut off after the fifth or sixth leaf to encourage the formation of lateral shoots. The pruning of free-range cucumbers can be avoided as well as the occasionally recommended breaking out of flower buds.
In contrast to the snake cucumbers, you can grow free-range cucumbers on the ground or on the trellis. For this purpose, a two-meter-high wire mesh, a comparable trellis or even strong wooden piles are suitable.
As a free natural fertilizer has been proven in all cucumbers in the ratio 1:10 diluted with water Nettle. Alternatively, the plants can also be supplied from the beginning of June with a commercially available organic vegetable fertilizer.


Just eight to nine weeks after sowing, cucumbers bring the first fruits. The more you pick, the richer the cucumber plants will produce new fruits. Snake cucumbers require up to three crops per week, and pickles ripen almost daily. The freshly picked fruits keep a good week in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. They should be consumed while they are still solid. For freezing, the water-rich fruits are not suitable. Free-range cucumbers are usually preserved by pickling or preserving.


cucumbers comes in different sizes: 'Eiffel' and 'Dominica' are snake cucumbers up to 35 centimeters long. Medium long, up to 20 centimeters large fruits form 'Paska' and 'Printo'. Crunchy snack cucumbers measuring just ten centimeters in length are 'Iznik' or 'Picolino'. These varieties suitable for the greenhouse are parthenocarp, mostly bitter-free F1 hybrids with high resistance to common diseases. Each flower can form a fruit with these varieties.
'Gergana' is an almost smooth-shelled, slender cucumber for outdoors. If you prefer the plants, the cucumbers 'Johanna', 'Hoffmans Giganta' or 'Chinese snakes' are also suitable for cultivation outdoors in mild regions and sunny, warm locations. 'Qualitas' is a high-yielding and strong-growing cucumber, which is also suitable for both the outdoor and the greenhouse. 'La Diva' feels just as comfortable in the field as in the greenhouse. Their fruits are low in kernels and completely bitter-free.
A new breed for the Glasshouse is 'Helena' with long smooth fruits and dark green color. It forms only a few male flowers. 'Conquerer' is an old variety with big fruits. field cucumbers can be prepared well as mustard cucumbers and boiled. 'Marketmore' is suitable for this with its dark green, smooth fruits.
The 'Thick Meaty Yellow' can become fully grown up to two kilograms. seeds festivals gherkins are among others 'Vorgebirgstraube' and 'Vert Petit de Paris'. 'Picklebush' can be harvested as a classic pickle cucumber or at about 15 centimeters in length as a small country cucumber. In addition, there are round-fruited cucumbers such as 'Limona' with yellow fruits or 'White Apple Cucumber' with white, apple-shaped fruits.

Diseases and pests

Mildew (Pseudoperonospora cubensis) is most common, especially on cool nights with increased dew formation. One recognizes an infestation of yellow delimited patches on the upper side of the leaves, which gradually turn brown before the leaf dies.As a precautionary measure, you should only water the plants in the lower part of the plant and give them all over field horseradish every two weeks. In addition, it can help to grow the plants on a trellis, so they can dry better.
Powdery mildew occurs mainly in greenhouses after drought: on the surface of the leaves, a patchy, white mushroom lawn forms, which finally leaves the leaves to die. Larger planting distances during planting reduce the risk of infestation. Likewise, resistant varieties can be selected from the outset. The cucumber 'Bella' or the cucumber 'Excelsior' are perfect for this. Spider mites often occur in the greenhouse. They can be fought very well here with beneficials such as predatory mites, predatory bugs or netflies.

Video Board: Cats vs Cucumbers Compilation.

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