Summer is the perfect time to replant your cucumber crop with ease – simply by sowing a few seeds. And can it ever lead to an amazing late-season rush of fresh cucumbers!
Unfortunately, by mid-summer, many cucumber plants begin to fail. Whether growing in a traditional garden, raised beds or in containers, the beloved vegetable plant often runs out of steam – either from the hot and dry summer sun, or by falling victim to pests or disease.
Cucumber plants face a lot of challenges in the early spring. First, there is the threat of a frost or a late freeze that often injures and stunts a plant’s early growth.
In addition, the cool and wet spring conditions often leave plants vulnerable to mildew and slow growth. And if all of that wasn’t enough – the dreaded cucumber beetle arrives in early summer. Not only can the troublesome pest damage plants and fruit, it can also bring blight along with its bite too.
So what is a gardener to do? Well, hopefully, by the time plants begin to fail, you have garnered a good harvest. But that doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year to grow more!
The Advantages of Replanting Cucumbers In The Summer
As it turns out, mid-summer is the perfect time to replant cucumbers. In fact, there are a whole slew of advantages for planting cucumbers in the summer – starting with it can be done easily and economically by planting seeds instead of transplants.
As summertime hits full stride, the soil is warm. Because of that, seeds germinate quickly. Add in there is near zero worry of a frost or extremely cool overnight temperatures, and it allows seedlings to grow fast and strong.
Because of these favorable growing conditions, it makes the need for using costly transplants non-existent. In just a matter of days, seeds can sprout and quickly be growing to near transplant size in just a week or two.
Replanting your cucumbers in the summer by seed can have a lot of other advantages for your crop as well. For starters, unlike with a transplant, it’s roots are never disturbed through the entire growing process. With a transplant, the plant can go through a sluggish growth period while its roots readjust to the soil. Not so with seedlings!
Plants grown from seed also adjust better to the available water and nutrients in the soil. A transplant can often need days of pampering after going into the soil – but a plant from seed simply takes off and grows into its environment right from the start.
Even More Benefits…
Finally, by starting your seeds in the summer, the threat of cucumber beetles and other pests begins to pass by the time they start to mature. Most of these pests have already come and gone for the year, leaving plants safe to grow without worry.
With all of those benefits in mind, here is a look at how to be replant your cucumber crop this summer with seeds!
How To Replant Cucumbers In The Summer With Seeds
Select Cucumber Varieties That Produce Fast!
One of the biggest keys to success when replanting cucumbers in the summer is to select varieties that have a short seed-to-fruit maturity time. This will allow you the opportunity to harvest as many cucumbers as possible before the first frost.
Varieties such as Spacemaster, National Pickling Cucumber, Boston Pickling Cucumber and Marketer (seed links are below) are all excellent choices. All of these cucumber varieties can produce cucumbers in as little as 55 days, making them perfect for summer planting.
- Spacemaster Cucumber seeds
- National Pickling Cucumber seeds
- Marketer Cucumber seeds
- Boston Pickling Cucumber seeds
Recharge Your Soil – How To Replant Cucumbers In The Summer
Before planting your seeds, it’s extremely important to recharge the soil a bit to power your new crop. Especially if you will be planting in the same soil where your first crop of cucumbers were growing.
The fastest and easiest way to do this is with compost. For each planting area, mix in three or four shovel fulls of compost to the soil where you will plant your seeds. Compost is loaded with nutrients, and will provide plenty of power as plants develop.
For an even better boost, we like to mix 1/2 cup of worm castings in the soil directly where we plant our seeds. Worm castings not only provide power, but help hold moisture in the soil. That can be a big plus when germinating seeds in the middle of summer. Product Link: Worm Castings
Soak Your Seeds – How To Replant Cucumbers In The Summer
Cucumber seeds benefit greatly from a little soak before planting. Especially when planting in the middle of the summer when the soil can be drier than normal.
Soak your seeds for a few hours before planting in distilled or purified water. Avoid using city water or water that has been softened. Both can contain chlorine, salts and other chemicals that can hinder or even stop sprouting all together.
Once seeds sprout, mulch the area to help conserve moisture and keep out competing weeds. Cucumbers require a fair amount of water to grow and produce, and a thick layer of mulch will do wonders to help keep roots moist.
Fertilizing – How To Replant Cucumbers In The Summer
Finally, powering your plants with fertilizer is a must for summer planted cucumbers. Not only will it help make up for any lack of power in the soil, it can keep your plants on the path to producing fruit faster.
For best results, apply a light dose of liquid fertilizer to plants every two weeks once they have sprouted. Compost tea or worm casting tea are both excellent choices for powering plants. If using a commercial fertilizer, use at half strength to avoid overpowering plants.
Here is to replanting your cucumber crop this summer with seeds – and to gathering a big fall harvest of fresh cucumbers before putting your garden to bed for the winter! Happy Gardening – Jim and Mary.
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