Pickles

Germination of cucumber seed requires soil temperatures of  65°F. Because of our cool wet early summers here in the Puget Sound region, much earlier crops can be obtained by starting seeds indoors or in a greenhouse about April 15 and transplanting into the garden as soon as soil temperature become warm enough, May 15. Soil temperatures can be increased earlier by covering soil with clear polyethylene film. At planting time, I remove the clear plastic film, lay down drip tape, cover this with black plastic film and plant through openings cut in the plastic. The heat created by the black plastic speeds ripening of fruit. I grow cucumbers in 4′ wide raised beds, with plants at 12″ spacing in the row. Plants benefit from application of 0.5 lb manure/sq.ft. before planting.

In our climate, we have virtually no problem with insect damage or disease. The only pest we have to contend with is snails and slugs, which can do lethal damage to young plants shortly after they are planted. As cucumbers mature in the field, eventually they will turn yellow, soft and bitter. Leaving such fruit on the vine inhibits formation of new fruit. Thus regular picking (every 2 days) during the summer will greatly increase yield and quality. I grow different varieties for fresh eating and pickling.  For pickles, cucumbers are picked daily and kept under refrigeration until a sufficient stock is accumulated to allow production of a dozen quarts of pickles.

 

Resources:

Washington State Univ. Pdf