We’re excited to have Jeanne Nolan on the podcast today to talk with us about growing cucumbers. Jeanne is based in Chicago and has been growing food organically for over twenty-five years. Among other garden-related achievements, she is the founder of The Organic Gardener - you can find them online to read much more about Jeanne's cool past, including living and working for 17 years on communal farms across the country, as well as lots of inspiring garden photos. Jeanne is also the author of the well-loved garden memoir From the Ground Up.
HOW TO LISTEN:
- Listen right now in your browser by clicking above.
- Subscribe in iTunes (or your favorite podcast player) to have our podcasts sent directly to your device.
In this episode, we discuss:
- When and how to plant cucumbers
- Trellising techniques
- Succession planting cucumbers
- Harvesting cucumbers
- Jeanne’s favorite cucumber varieties
- Cucumber can be direct seeded or plant from transplants. If growing from a transplant, keep in mind that the roots do not like to be disturbed at all so it needs to be transplanted very gently.
- Cucumbers can be left to sprawl in the garden, but to keep things tidy, ease of harvesting, and space optimization, we recommend trellising them. If using a cage to trellis, plant 2-3 cucumbers per cage. Jeanne recommends using a Texas Tomato Cage, which folds away for easy storage!
- If you're having a hard time training the vines on your trellis, Jeanne recommends using plant velcro to help steer your vines in the right direction.
- Cucumbers can be succession planted for an extended harvest. If you do plan to succession plant your cucumbers, you’ll want to have designated areas for each of the plantings, as their timing will overlap in the garden.
- Harvest cucumbers when they are on the smaller side. Like most fruiting crops, harvesting often will extend your crops fruiting period.
- Powdery mildew is common on cucumbers. Organic anti-fungal sprays (like our Baking Soda Spray) will help keep powdery mildew at bay.
- Jeanne’s favorite cucumber varieties:
- "Excelsior" pickling cucumber
- "Diva" seedless cucumber from Johnny's Selected Seeds
- Suyo Long from Johnny's Selected Seeds
- "Marketmore 76" traditional cucumber from High Mowing Seeds (variety in header photo)
- "Salt & Pepper" white cucumber from Johnny's Selected Seeds
The Organic Gardener, Chicago, Illinois
Jeanne grew up in Winnetka, Illinois and left in 1987 to live on a communal farm for the next seventeen years of her life. Upon her 2004 return to Chicago, she planted a vegetable garden in her parents’ backyard. Its success reaffirmed her belief that she could make an impact in the world by helping people experience the benefits of growing their own food.
In 2005, Jeanne began working with Chicago’s Green City Market. On their behalf, she designed, installed, and today maintains The Edible Gardens, a 5,000 square-foot educational children’s garden at the Lincoln Park Zoo Farm-in-the-Zoo. That same year, Jeanne founded The Organic Gardener, the ultimate expression of her life experience, beliefs, and skills.
Jeanne regularly teaches about growing food on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, and has been featured in Chicago Tribune, Food & Wine, Woman’s Day, and other national publications. In 2013, Random House published her book, From the Ground Up, called “one of the most intelligent, surprising, and impressive garden memoirs” by The New York Times. She lives with her husband, Verd, and two daughters on a little farm in Northbrook, Illinois.
Like what you hear? Please share our podcast with a friend. Subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcast player so you never miss a beat. And we'd really appreciate you showing us some love by leaving a rating and review on iTunes.
We need your support to keep make fresh, quality weekly content! Support us here: