April 5, 2002

Growing Cucumbers in the Home Garden

Several different types of cucumbers are available to home gardeners. Slicing cucumbers are generally long and cylindrical with dark green skins. Pickling cucumbers are short and blocky. "Burpless" varieties produce mild flavored fruit. For individuals with small gardens, compact or bush varieties are available.


Cucumbers perform best in fertile, well-drained soils in full sun. If a soil test has not been conducted, apply and incorporate 1 to 2 pounds of an all-purpose garden fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, per 100 square feet prior to planting.

Iowa One Call - It's the Law

Before expanding that flower or vegetable garden or adding to your home landscape this spring, it's essential that first you make one phone call. Iowa One Call is a toll free number that enables homeowners to locate all utility lines on their property by calling 1-800-292-8989. No charge is incurred as fees from Iowa utility companies fund this service. Utility companies will mark the lines within two business days. Marking utility lines before digging has been a state law since 1993.

Conifer Needle Diseases

Conifer samples with needle diseases are among the most common samples submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic. Cultural practices, such as not planting susceptible species next to infected trees, promoting good air circulation by tree spacing and weed control, maintaining tree vigor by mulching and adequate watering, and shearing when needles are dry can help prevent disease problems. However, once a needle disease is confirmed, control mainly consists of protective fungicide sprays.