How to Grow Cucumbers in a Greenhouse or Outdoors | Reader's Digest

How to Grow Cucumbers in a Greenhouse or Outdoors

The best thing to have on a hot summer day is a cucumber in your garden. Use these tips to grow your favorite refreshing veggie at home!

By Lisa Thomas from Reader's Digest Garden Basics: Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

You can grow cucumbers in a greenhouse or outdoors. Indoor cucumbers crop earlier, need to be trained and produce long and succulent fruits. Greenhouse cultivars such as “Futura F1″ or “Telegraph Improved” can also be grown in frames. There are many outdoor varieties including “Burpless Tasty Green F1.” These varieties tolerate cooler conditions and produce shorter fruits.

Sow indoor cucumbers in March or April, into pots in a frost-free greenhouse. Transplant into frames or the greenhouse border in late spring or early summer. Water the plants well, especially while they are flowering.

Cucumbers© iStockphoto / ThinkstockIndoor cucumbers crop earlier, need to be trained and produce long and succulent fruits.

Outdoor cucumbers can be grown up canes or along the ground. Remove growing points of stems regularly to encourage bushy growth and better fruit setting. After planting in a greenhouse, ‘pinch out’ the growing tip above the first three or four leaves. This will cause two fruit-bearing shoots to appear in the leaf axils. Tie these shoots onto canes.

Most new greenhouse hybrids are all female and must be unfertilized to prevent a bitter flavor. However, if these plants are stressed by high temperatures or insufficient moisture, they may produce male flowers, which lack the immature cucumber present behind the petals of female flowers. Remove any male flowers from the plants.

Harvest cucumbers when they are a good size but before they turn yellow.

Plus: Cool Cucumber Chicken