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Cucumbers with Charles

Through our virtual programming series, Nature in your Neighborhood, we challenged volunteers to go out into their neighborhoods or backyards to see what plants sparked their interest. Whether plants are native or non native, we can all appreciate a connection to nature and the curiosity that it can spark!

By: Charles and Angela

Cucumber is a widely-cultivated plant. A tropical vegetable, cucumbers thrive when the weather is hot and water is plentiful. The cucumber originates from South Asia, but now grows on most continents. Cucumbers needs a lot of sunlight to produce a bumper crop. Locate your crop in an area that receives a minimum of 8 hours of sunlight each day. Whether planted in the ground or in containers, cucumbers need rich, fertile soil to grow strong and thrive. What you plant around your cucumbers will play an important role in their productivity. One thing to avoid for sure is growing cucumbers near potatoes. Potatoes release a substance in the soil that greatly hinders the growth of cucumbers. And planting them nearby can have devastating effects on your cucumber crop. But there are some crops that are highly beneficial, like radishes. When grown nearby or with cucumbers, radishes help to repel harmful insects like cucumber beetles and aphids that attack tender cucumber plants. When planting cucumbers, simply seed 5 to 10 radish seeds on the edges of your mounds. The seeds germinate fast, and will help stave away the beetles. Once cucumber plants begin to grow and produce, they need to be picked on a regular basis to continue to produce.

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