Here are my top cucumber gardening tips, because every salad needs a home-grown cucumber, and I love making cucumber water and cucumber martinis.

1. You might be wondering, “How much sun do cucumbers need?” Plant them where they will get full sun; at least 8 hours of direct sunlight.

2. Space plants 3’ apart and rows 4-5’ apart and make sure they have plenty of good drainage. Cucumbers need uncrowded space to grow, and it helps keep the pests at bay as well.

3. When planting cucumbers, add plenty of compost and aged manure to the soil. After the cucumber vines and first flowers develop, they’ll need a side dressing of compost and organic matter.

4. If yellow leaves appear, your plant may need more nitrogen. Nitrogen-rich fertilizer or coffee grounds will do the trick.

5. Trellising helps to keep fruit available for quick harvesting. Trellised cucumbers are cleaner and grow straight and more uniform.

6. They need between 1 and 2 inches of water per week but keep the soil slightly moist at all times. Water deeply about once or twice a week and more often if you’re gardening in sandy soil.

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