(Cucumis sativus) Cucumbers originated in India or western Asia, and have been known to gardeners for at least 3,000 years. Their diverse forms and flavors are now appreciated and used in local cuisines around the world. Warm growers, they are best sown in place after the last frost of spring. Very rich, well-drained but moist soil suits them best. Full sun exposure is usually preferred; in hot summer areas, the plants might benefit from some mid-afternoon shade. The vines run to about 5 feet in length. To save space, grow them on a trellis.