(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. Direct seed cucumbers when soil has warmed to at least 65 degrees, at least 2 weeks after the last spring frost. Create one-foot mounds about 2.5 feet apart; plant 3-5 seeds in each mound. Once plants are 3-4 inches tall, thin to one in each mound, leaving the strongest plant. Ideal germination temperature is 75F. For an early crop, start indoors one week before last frost date; transplant out when plants are 3 weeks old. Cucumbers that remain in pots longer than 3 weeks become stunted and will grow slowly! Very rich, well-drained, 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.