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Growing Cucumbers Indoors

Cucumbers are one of the most productive summer vegetables you can grow indoors. Growing cucumbers that have been bred solely for the greenhouse is the easiest way to achieve a successful crop. In a perfect environment they can grow very long (up to 20 inches or 51 centimeters). For the most part they taste sweet and their skins tend to be thin, with the exception of pickling cucumbers bred for indoor growing. Greenhouse cucumbers are quite high yielding and do not need pollination. It is also possible to grow outdoor cucumbers indoors, however, you will have to be the pollinator in that case. If you decide to grow a combination of indoor and outdoor cucumbers, be aware that unless your indoor space is completely bug proof, a stray flying pollinator might accidentally cross-pollinate your plants. The result might be a marvelous new hybrid—or something that looks bizarre and tastes bitter.

cucumber mosaic virus

Cucumber mosaic virus

Cucumbers are incredibly sensitive to high heat, but neither will they tolerate much in the way of cool weather. This is why they can be tricky to manage, indoors or out. If your indoor space gets very hot, you’ll want to choose a variety that will tolerate such heat. Make sure that the temperature of your space does not fluctuate wildly, because that will negatively affect the flavor of your crop. Regulating the temperature as close to 70 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night is optimal.

Cucumbers need a consistent supply of moisture, especially when they are flowering and setting fruit, so whatever growing medium you choose will need to both retain moisture and allow for enough drainage to prevent rot. Cucumbers are also extremely heavy feeders, so they will need to be fertilized regularly – but be careful not to overdo it. If you do see the signs of over-fertilization (brown leaf edges), just apply a lot of water to the growing medium to flush out the excess. It is best to water your growing cucumbers in the morning, so that the excess moisture has a chance to evaporate during the day. A well-ventilated growing space will go a long way towards preventing cucumber diseases. If you start to get a little yellowing to your leaves then your plants probably need an increase in Nitrogen. Other diseases and pests to watch out for are stripped or spotted cucumber beetles, aphids, squash vine borer, bacterial wilt, powdery mildew and cucumber mosaic virus.

Indoor-Grown-Cucumber

Growing cucumbers will need some sort of vertical support. One simple method is to suspend a string or twine from the ceiling to the ground, and then fasten it loosely to the base of the plant or a stake in the growing medium. Make sure you leave a lot of slack in the twine, because the vine will wrap itself around it. You might need to guide the plant in the right direction sometimes, because the tendrils like to reach out and grab neighboring vines; just be careful that you don’t bend or pinch the stem.

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