Ingredient Page: Cucumbers (

Culinary Usage:

Cucumbers are a skinny melon that is either used fresh as in salads, cold soups, and sushi, or pickled. Cucumbers come in many kinds, including some nearly seedless (usually called pickling cucumbers), some with waxy skins that are used when slightly more mature (slicing cucumbers), and some that are specially marketed as a kind that gives people less gas than traditional kinds (burpless cucumbers)

By the way I am still looking for a good 'hamburger pickle' recipe - like Vlasic's, just a hamburger dill that has that characteristic green color and sweet and sour flavor - NOT a classic garlic dill recipe. If you have one... e-mail me.

Planting Time: Early MAY (in central Maryland)
Harvest Time: JUN-AUG (in central Maryland)

Spacing: 12"

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Gardening Tips:

Cucumbers are easy to grow - all most need is a trellis to climb up, but not all even need that. There are vining varieties and bush varieties, only the former of which needs a trellis. They can be directly seeded in the garden, although seeding indoors a few weeks earlier can get you a jump on the harvest. I usually much with straw then to keep the weeds down and keep the growing cucumbers off the dirt, but that's about it.

You do need to keep cucumbers continually harvested, and the younger ones are usually the best tasting. Mature cucumbers turn yellow, but you don't want this to happen, as they taste noticeably worse.

Fertilizer Notes:

Cucumber suggestions I've seen are as follows:

- 10-10-10 at 1.5 lb/100 sq. ft. after blossoming Backyard Vegetable Gardening)
- 1-2 tbsp per hill of 4-8-5 to 6-10-10 at planting, 1-2 tbsp 33-0-0 one and 4 weeks after blossoming (Purdue University)

Preservation Notes:

Pickles are the most obvious way to preserve cucumbers. Another option is to make relish. I grew up on garlic dill pickles, and they're good, but I would really like to find a Vlasic copycat recipe. I am trying one recipe at a time, and I'll let you all know when I find it.

Matt's Garden Notes:

Matt's 2013 Map

2012: Grew about 6 cucumbers from transplants, all grew very well. Picked constantly for about 2 months before they stopped producing

2013: started 2-3 indoors, direct sowed the rest. Picked first 3 cucumbers in the second week of June, picking throughout all of July - probably no need for 6 plants next year, but it is nice to have a bunch at once for pickles. For real though, you only need like 2 big cucumbers per quart of pickles, and I made... 9 quarts in 2013? I planted 3 more cucumbers on July 28 to see if I could fit in a fall crop.

Recipes using Cucumbers:

Refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles
Veggie Pizza
Dill Pickles
Tzatziki Sauce
Cold Cucumber Dill Soup
Hamburger Dill Pickles I
Hamburger Pickles II

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