Even though cucumbers are relatively easy to grow outdoors, having them inside your home can actually give you limitless harvest the whole year round.
They can be grown using a cold greenhouse and then plant the varieties that have been bred to produce fruit in a closed space where cross pollination cannot take place. But before you begin growing cucumber indoors, there are 7 major things you need to consider.
Purchasing garden variety seeds that have not been bred to work well indoors is not a good idea. These seeds will require a bit more work when it comes to pollination and disease prevention. They may also produce fewer cucumbers compared to those that are meant to be grown indoors. So make sure of what seeds you buy, whether it is good for indoor or outdoor gardening.
There are varieties of cucumbers that have been bred specifically for growing indoors. They have flowers pollinating themselves with better disease resistance as well as better yield.
Bush cucumbers varieties are well suited for indoor containers, as well as outdoor ones, because they grow in one-third the space of vine varieties. Some container bush varieties include “Patio Pickler” for pickling cucumbers and “Bush Whopper” and “Bush Champion” for slicing and salads.
Cucumbers are vines, so they require a lot of space. If you are putting up a large house where you intend to grow them, you need to make sure that it can accommodate the very large leaves that these plants have.
Also, make sure that there are garden support structures that can hold a fair amount of weight. This is because cucumbers need to trail around once they start growing. They are fast growing plants that have tendrils needing to attach to anything that is within their reach.
If you want good and healthy produce of cucumbers, you need to have plenty of light indoors. If you are growing cucumbers in a closed structure that does not allow entry of enough light, make sure that there is a large window to allow plenty of light in. You can also add additional light in the structure like growing cucumbers with a grow light.
For optimal growth, the plant should receive at least 6 hours of sunlight a day.
Cucumbers need plenty of water to be healthy and produce well. They require more water compared to average household plants. You will need to make sure that they are watered consistently especially when they are about to produce fruit.
They will require about two to three liters of water, or half a gallon to three quarters of gallon on a daily basis when they are producing fruit.
To make it easier to water the cucumbers, it will be a good idea to build a self-watering system. A wick system will be the simplest and best option of watering system in this case.
Cucumbers can thrive well in temperatures that are fairly warm. When growing them indoors, you need to make sure that an ideal temperature of approximately 23 degrees Celsius is maintained in the daytime and approximately 15-21 degrees during the night.
Generally, it would be best if you can maintain the indoor temperatures below 26 degrees Celsius because anything more than that will cause the plants to do water conservation techniques that will considerably slow their growth. Higher temperatures may also result in cucumbers becoming rubbery.
Some plants can cause skin reaction, such as inflammation, rash or itching. Others can cause an allergenic reaction for some and not for others.
And, cucumbers are not an exception.
Wherever the plant brushes the skin, a rash of red weals develops in an allergic response.
In fact, they are one of those garden plants that are known to cause skin irritation. So growing this vegetable requires extra care. You have to wear body protectors, especially on your hands, legs, feet, and face. You can wear a garden face mask, pair of garden gloves, garden boots, and others.
Notice that the stem of cucumbers like squash contains irritant hair, which can cause skin allergies, especially for those gardeners who have sensitive skin. Also, these hair are so tiny that when blown by a strong wind, it can go along with the air you breathe so this plant may pose danger to people with inborn allergies. Whenever you come in contact with irritant hair, wash the exposed part immediately with soap and warm water.
When it comes to seeding the cucumbers, you can use a variety of materials. Oasis cubes, rock wool or hanging pots will be great for indoor use. Whatever material you choose, water it properly in order to germinate the cucumber seeds at the right temperature.
Cover the seeds with vermiculate after seeding in order to maintain a suitable temperature for germination between waterings. If you plant the cucumbers in pots, cover them with plastic so as to keep the seeds moist.
You will need to water the seeds regularly to prevent them from losing moisture and drying out. However, you must see to it that the media you planted can drain excess water well.
When you start seeing green, remove the plastic or any other material you used to cover the media where you planted the cucumber seedlings. Move the plants to an area where they can get enough sunlight.
When growing cost-effective vegetables like cucumbers indoors, a thorough research is required not just to ensure that you get the most out your chosen plant but also keep you away from costly mistakes and body harm.
You can start improving your knowledge about certain garden plants today by following the top 20 gardening blogs in 2015.