Growing Cucumbers in Southern California

Growing cucumbers in Southern California is a lot easier than you’d think. Whether you eat it as a pickle, toss it in your salad, or dip it in mayo, cucumbers are one of the most versatile fruits that’s easy to add in any diet. Cucumbers are high in nutrients, loaded with antioxidants, and made of 96% water.

It’s so good for you that eating a cup of cucumber gives you 4% of your daily potassium, 4% of your daily vitamin C, and 3% of your daily fiber. Fortunately, you’ll be able to enjoy eating cucumbers anytime because growing cucumbers in Southern California is easy.

Tips For Growing Cucumbers

Tips For Growing Cucumbers In Southern California

If you’re planning to grow cucumbers in Southern California, be sure to keep these tips in mind:

 

Plan carefully

While cucumbers grow well in Southern California, they can be fussy. They grow best in sunny areas with a temperature of 55 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cucumbers tend to be sensitive and stressed if the temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s best to plant cucumber seeds outdoors at the beginning of April or May until July or August in Southern California.

 

Avoid planting into new or uncultivated soil

Don’t plant your cucumbers in new soil or in areas that have been bare for a few years. Instead, you can try planting them in large containers or raised beds.

Make sure to place your cucumber plants in areas with plenty of sun exposure. You can create raised beds directly on infertile soil, using a half-inch hardware cloth as a barrier to repel gophers.

 

Proper plant spacing

It’s important to observe proper plant spacing to promote air circulation and prevent wetting leaves. For plants in Southern California, leaf mildews can be a great issue.

If you have enough space, it’s best to plant cucumbers widely. It also helps to water your plants using drip irrigation instead of using sprinklers.

 

Companion Plants For Cucumbers

Companion planting can do wonders for your garden. When done right, it can help prevent harmful pests, enhancing soil nutrients, water conservation, and nitrogen fixation. Here are some of the plants you can plant near your cucumbers:

 

Jalapeño peppers

If you want to save space, you can plant vining vegetable plants with bush-type plants. As a result, cucumbers and peppers are great companions.

Both plants thrive in the same growing conditions, and even co-exists in the same bed. You can plant your cucumber vertically and the peppers in front of it.

Legumes like beans, corn, and peas, can increase the nitrogen content in the soil. The roots of the legumes can colonize the Rhizobium bacteria and absorb 20% of the sugar produced by the plant; as a result, it turns into nitrogen.

The remaining nitrogen that hasn’t been absorbed by the legume is released into the soil as the plant decomposes. Nitrogen will seep into the soil and will benefit nearby companion plants. Other companion plants for cucumbers include beets, onions, carrots, and radishes.

 

Flowers

Planting nasturtiums help repel insects that feed on your cucumbers. Marigold flowers can prevent beetles that can also harm your plants. Aside from these flowers, sunflowers are a great companion for most vegetables and herbs.

 

Herbs

Dill is a great companion plant for cucumbers because it attracts helpful insects like ladybugs and deters harmful ones like aphids and cabbage months. Oregano is a well-known companion plant for repelling insects.

You can plant these near your cucumbers to protect them from critters. Other herbs you can plant include chives, catnip, and tansy.

 

Plants You Shouldn’t Plant Near Cucumbers

Cucumbers grow well with most types of plants. However, there are three types of plants you shouldn’t grow near your cucumber: melons, potatoes, and aromatic herbs (except dill).

 

Potatoes

If you’ve planted potatoes before, you might have noticed that they are heavy feeders. Growing potatoes near your cucumbers may affect the quality and size of your cukes.

 

Aromatic herbs

You shouldn’t plant aromatic herbs like basil next to cucumbers. Also, sage can hamper the growth of your plants.

Peppermint and mints, in general, grow well since they’re a sprawling perennial. If you plan to grow mints, make sure to place it far from your cucumbers.

 

Melons

Harmful insects that like to munch on melons also like to eat cucumbers. If you plant melons near your cucumbers, you can expect to attract insects that can destroy your crop.

 

The Benefits Of Growing Cucumbers In A Greenhouse

Investing in a cost-effective, yet high-quality greenhouse can be one of the best decisions you’ll make. Growing cucumbers in a greenhouse can lower the risk of plant diseases, repel insects, and create an ideal environment for your plants. With that said, here are some of the benefits of growing plants in a greenhouse:

 

Prevent harmful insects and diseases

As mentioned, growing cucumbers in a greenhouse can prevent diseases from spreading and harmful insects from eating your crops. If you leave them out in the open, your plants are more susceptible to harm.

 

Customizable

You can easily customize your greenhouse if you’re planning to grow different types of crops. For example, dividing your greenhouse into two and installing a cooling and heating ventilator allows you to grow cool weather and warm weather plants at the same time. Obviously, this wouldn’t be possible if you plant it in your garden.

 

Create an ideal plant environment

Plants need the right amount of light, air, space, and water to grow healthy. Without a favorable climate, you won’t get the crop that you’re hoping for. By customizing your greenhouse, you’ll be able to create an ideal environment for your plants.

 

Cost-effective

In case you’re not aware, buying a greenhouse upfront may be costly, but investing in one will save you a lot of money in the long run. You’ll save money on pest infestation; earn more in getting high yields and growing different crops.

 

Growing Cucumbers In Southern California Made Easy

Growing cucumbers in Southern California is easier with the right tools and resources. Krostrade offers affordable and high-quality greenhouses for every gardener. If you want to set up a greenhouse that’s made with strong and durable material, get in touch with us today.

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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