How to Grow the Most-Searched Vegetable in New York
Vegetable experts share some crucial tips and tricks.
Potatoes might be the overall most popular vegetable in the US, but New Yorkers beg to differ.
A new research conducted by experts at AllAboutGardening.com showed that New Yorkers are way more fond of cucumbers. Google Trends collected in the past five years showed that New York state residents have been searching for tips and tricks on how to grow cucumbers way more than any other vegetable.
It's no surprise, though: While cucumbers are the winning vegetable in New York, they rank second overall across America. Before them only come potato-enthusiastic states, of which there are 14.
How do you successfully grow cucumbers?
Vegetable experts will tell you that cucumbers hate the cold, but that's not the only tip and trick that makes for a successful cucumber season. Proper planting technique can help seriously reduce disease and produce better vegetables.
"If you want to save space in your garden and yield higher quality cucumbers that are less prone to disease, trellis cucumbers rather than letting them vine along the soil," said Logan Hailey, a vegetable expert from AllAboutGardening. "Use a cattle panel mounted on T-posts or rebar to create a cheap, simple trellis. Then, plant cucumbers about 12 inches apart and allow them to vine up the panel. Prune off the suckers to promote more fruit growth and keep plenty of airflow between foliage."
Cucumbers are a fairly simple vegetable to grow if one follows a few important directions. They love full sunlight and plenty of moisture, but need an airy environment to grow, which is why trellis are an ideal solution. If pests become a problem, Cornell University's gardening guide advises to use fabric row covers.
While cucumbers need plenty of moisture, their ideal soil is well-drained and highly fertile with a natural pH. Cucumbers grown in dry soil may taste bitter, so make sure to water them properly until they're ripening.
When should you grow cucumbers in New York?
Like every other vegetable, cucumbers cannot be grown at any given time. Especially because of their high sensitivity to the cold, cucumbers need to be planted and grown when both the soil and the weather are warmer.
They should be planted only once the soil reaches 65 degrees Fahrenheit and higher. After that, it will take them 3–10 days to germinate. At 68 degrees the germination period will be slower, while at 50 degrees, cucumber plants won't germinate at all.
According to the Almanac's planting calendar, New York's best bet for cucumbers is the spring. This year, the ideal time to start seeds indoors was between March 5 and 12, while seedlings or transplants should be planted between April 17 and May 1 if based on frost dates and between April 30 and May 1 if based on Moon dates.