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As summer rolls in, so does an abundance of fruits and veggies from our gardens, with the cucumber being high on that list. With each healthy plant, you can harvest a good 10 crunchy cucumbers. Grow enough plants to keep you, your family, and your friends in cucumbers all summer.

It is easy to become uninspired by cucumbers. We think of them in salads, and that is just about it. But, cucumbers are, in fact, a little more versatile than that, and they can be useful in the kitchen and the bathroom.

Nutritional Value of Cucumbers

It might seem like cucumbers are just water and nothing else, but there is a lot more going on than you’d think. Cucumbers are a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as magnesium, potassium, and manganese. They are 96 percent water so they are great to munch on for hydrating purposes, high in antioxidants, and are a good source of fiber so long as they are eaten with the skin on.

How To Grow Cucumbers

Source: GrowVeg/YouTube

Thankfully, cucumbers are easy to grow, even for novices or those with just a sunny porch or balcony to spare. Cucumbers can be easily sown from seed in garden beds or pots. They are vining plants, so you will need to have the space to allow them to spread across the ground or provide them with some kind of climbing frame.

There is a huge variety of cucumbers, from those that are ideal for slicing to those perfect for pickling. Once you have chosen your variety, you can either plant them indoors in early spring and transplant them out after the last frost or direct seed them in the garden after the last frost.

Cucumbers love the sun and need loose, well-draining, rich soil to grow in which to grow. Provide your plants with some good compost and a layer of mulch to help keep moisture in the soil. They are water-loving plants, so don’t let them dry out. Plant your plants about 12 inches apart to allow space to spread.

Once you start to see cucumbers ready to harvest, pick them. Picking the fruits will encourage more to grow.

Cucumbers for the Skin

The hydrating properties of cucumbers are not only good for the internal body but have long been used topically to help with all kinds of skin ailments.

Cucumbers can be used to ease the symptoms of sunburn and can help to cool the skin in general. Its soothing and cooling qualities are helpful for inflammation and redness of the skin.

  • Laying slices of cool cucumber over your eyes can help to reduce the puffiness around the eyes that come with tiredness.
  • Make a cucumber cooling spritzer by whizzing cucumber and water in a blender. Drain the cucumber-infused water from the pulp and pour it into a spray bottle. Use this to cool your face or as relief from sunburn. Add a little witch hazel for extra healing power.
  • Make a cucumber facemask by whizzing together cucumber and oats for a hydrating and moisturizing mask.

Cucumbers for the Tummy

Vegan Gluten-Free Creamy Cucumber and Garlic Herb Dressing topped with dill

Source: Copycat Ranch: Creamy Cucumber Herb Dressing/One Green Planet

Getting to eat the cucumbers you have grown is such a treat, but there are only so many cucumber salads you can eat in one summer. If you find yourself with piles of cucumbers, try some of these fun OGP recipes for using cucumbers more unusually.

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