Growing on the High Plains: Cool as a Cucumber

May 3, 2018

What vegetable is versatile enough to bring a zesty, big crunch to burgers at a backyard barbecue, but delicate enough to add a refreshing refinement to finger sandwiches at a garden party?

That’s right! Today’s Growing on the High Plains is all about the cucumber. Whether relishing them on hot dogs, thick-sliced on a salad, or elevating a normal glass of water to something spa-worthy, cool hands have been on cukes for more than 3,000 years.

Cucumbers are actually one of the world’s oldest vegetables. Once firmly rooted in ancient India, their creeping vines have spread globally over the proceeding millennia. Today more than a hundred varieties exist around the world, but most can be divided into one of two categories: long slender “slicers” and small, woodier “picklers”.

Here on the High Plains, make sure to plant your cucumbers in a spot where they’ll get plenty of sun and perhaps a trellis to climb. Keep the soil moist, and give them daily attention when they begin to produce—and with a little luck, come summer you’ll find yourself in a pickle.