Cucumbers in Phoenix?

lazy_gardensJanuary 15, 2010

A friend asked how to grow these ... I don't much like them, so I have never tried.

Any tips I can pass on?

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I've always had the best luck growing Oriental cucumber, Armenian cucumber, and lemon cucumber. They take the heat better than standard cucumbers, and are likely to bear through the summer. Standard cucumbers seem to take perfect timing, and I've always missed--good thing I prefer the Armenian type!

Kevin : )

    Bookmark   January 15, 2010 at 5:57PM
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I've had some luck with both types but I also much prefer Armenian cucumbers. They are way easier to grow than the regular cucumbers, like the previous post says, those take perfect timing, and our growing seasons are just too short for those to do well. However, with armenian cucumbers, it's a piece of cake. They do well with the heat, and pump out delicious "cucumbers" - they're actually not true cucumbers but melons, however they taste almost identical to real cucumbers. They're totally free of bitterness and you can eat them at any stage, even when they get big they still taste fine to me, although they're best eaten when they're less than 2 inches around (They can get HUGE).
If you want to grow regular cucumbers, you want to start quite a bit earlier because when the heat comes, they can't take the real heat. With armenians it's the opposite. they hate the cold. plant them after it has warmed up well and make sure they're in good rich soil with regular watering. I would suggest that both varieties would do best against a wall facing east because that way they'd last longer into summer. Yes they like the heat, but there isn't much that truly does well in full sun here in July (maybe okra). anyway, have fun. I can't wait to start mine this spring.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2010 at 9:33AM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

This is a fun discussion. When do you two plant the Armenian cukes? I've heard of them for decades but have never given them a try--maybe this is the year? :)

Take care,

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 8:19PM
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I plant the seeds in March. Be sure to give them plenty of room, or a big, strong trellis: they grow into huge vines, and if you miss a fruit, it can grow to 10 pounds or more!

Kevin : )

    Bookmark   January 17, 2010 at 9:40PM
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I tried them for the first time last year. I think I transplanted them in March. They grew very slow for a long while, but once they started to produce, they just wouldn't quit! I had them against an east facing wall which gets shade after 2 PM in the hottest months. They died when we went on vacation the end of JULY. (Sister accidentally messed up watering system.) WATCH OUT-- the vines are huge and grew 4-5 feet wide, even with a lattice, and tried to choke some of my tomatoes!

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 7:45AM
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All that is said about Armenian cukes is true. Not only that but I planted seeds in unprepared soil, just dug into the hardpacked lawn soil that had not been cared for for over 20yrs just too loosen it up and the plants were still huge and good producers of great tasting cukes. Although I got very sick of them by the end of summer, there is only so much one can eat and give away.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2010 at 1:15PM
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crista(Sunset 13)

I hadn't thought about growing cucumbers but I'm having second thoughts!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 6:25AM
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Thanks. I'll let him know he can't grow English cukes, but Armenian cukes are a good substitute.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2010 at 4:40PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Great tips and information, thanks for posting them. I may just give these puppies a try.

They sound as vigorous as my loofah gourd from a few years ago. I just tossed some seeds in the ground, slopped water one them when they were really dry, and they took over! My kind of plant.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2010 at 6:46PM
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grant_in_arizona(USDA Z9 Scottsdale AZ)

Okay, I bought a pack of Armenian cuke seeds at Home Debit today. I'll be ready for March. :)


    Bookmark   January 22, 2010 at 4:29PM
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Hmm so the Armenian cukes like the heat maybe that's why my 6 died this winter even with my sheets covering them at night. If it's not location, location, location it's timing, timing, timing!

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 1:47PM
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My experience is that the Armenians do not like it when it gets under 60 degrees. They seem to thrive at 80-100 degrees.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2010 at 7:02PM
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