Crop Name: Cucumber

Scientific Name: Cucumis sativus

Family Name: Cucurbits

Cultivar Groups: Pickling (short with spines), slicing (long with spines) and beit alpha types (long with tender, spineless skins)

Warm season or cool season:  Warm season


Space between plants/between rows:

  • Sow seeds in rows, 1 inch deep, 6 to 10 inches apart.  Transplants plant 12 inches apart.
  • Slicing cukes: 2 feet between plants and 6 feet between rows
  • Pickling (direct seed): 6 to 8 inches between plants and 3 to 6 feet between rows

Fertility Requirements:

  • Warm (70 degree range), loamy soil.
  • Nitrogen (N) 110-130 lbs/acre | Phosphorous (P) 25-50 lbs/acre | Potassium (K) 30-70 lbs/acre
  • Soil ph of 6.0 | more neutral
  • Fertile soil high in organic matter

Watering Needs: Water consistently, plenty of water

Number of days from seed to transplant and/or seed to harvest: Pickling cuke: 49-56 days from seed to maturity | Beit alpha cuke 49-58 days from seed to maturity | slicing cuke: 53-58 days from seed to maturity

Planting Instructions:

  • Direct seed or transplant.  Transplant preferred for early crops.  Vine crops can suddenly die if soil temperatures drop below 55 to 60 degrees F.  Trellis the vines.


Potential Pests:

  • Aphids (Green Peach & Melon)
  • Cucumber Beetle (striped and spotted)
    • Key Pest
    • Can cause bacterial wilt (larvae feed on roots)
  • Other pests: cutworm, squash bug, seedcorn maggot, two-spotted spider mite, whiteflies

Insect Pests Controls: Fight with crop rotation, row covers, or using transplants at 3-4 leaf stage

Plant Pathogens:

  • Bacterial wilt (from cucumber beetles)
  • Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV)
  • Other pathogens:
    • Anthrachose
    • Leafspot
    • Black rot
    • Downy Mildew
    • Blight and Fruit Rot
    • Powdery Mildew


Harvest regularly for maximum number of fruits.  Sensitive to “chilling injury” – 50 to 55 degree F is optimum temperature.

When Ready to Harvest: Early stage of maturity

How to Harvest: Harvest regularly for maximum fruit. Using a knife or clippers, cut the stem about ¼ of an inch above the fruit. Pulling the fruit may damage the vine.   Fruits can also be “pushed” or twisted from the vine to avoid vine injury.

Optimal Time of Day to Harvest: Early in the morning when the vines are cool.  Wash crop and often wax prior to being packed to reduce water loss and skin injury.

Best Method to Cool Crop: Hydrocooling with chilled water. Growers can also use forced-air cooling and drenching in cool water (when hydrocooling isn’t available)

Optimal Storage Temperature and Relative Humidity: Sensitive to “chilling injury” (water spots, pitting, tissue collapse) below 45°F.  The optimum temperature for storage is 45-50°F and 90-95% relative humidity.

Possible Storage Life: 7-10 days

Common Post-Harvest Losses/Problems: Sensitive to chilling injury, bruising, punctures, sensitive to ethylene

Average Yields: Early and total yields increased with black plastic mulch.  Produce more the more you harvest.

Year Crop Variety Date Planted Date Harvested Days to Harvest Total Yield (lbs) Yield (lbs/sq. ft)
2017 Cucumber Diva 7/12/17 9/11/2017 58 120 1.2
2017 Cucumber Lemon 7/12/17 9/5/2017 65 0.75 0.0075


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