Cucumber Growing: 14 Things to Know

Growing cucumbers is fairly easy and it’s a great food plant for beginners. But, there are a few things you should take into consideration beforehand. The following tips are 12 things to know about cucumber growing and have your own crop in less than three months.

How and when should you start cucumbers from seed?

When starting cucumbers from seed, you have to decide if you’re going to want them outdoors or indoors. If you’re planting them outdoors, wait until you’re certain there will be no more frost. But you can start seeds indoors four weeks before the last expected frost.

If you want to grow cucumbers in a pot, plant one seed for every five gallons of soil. So, the bigger the container the more seeds you can plant. Deeper pots are best for the cucumber’s extensive root system.

Can you use the seeds from store-bought cucumbers to grow at home?

Technically, you can plant seeds from store-bought cucumbers, but it’s doubtful they’ll fully fruit. This is because most of the ones you find at the store are hybrids and won’t turn out the same as what you bought.

How do you save and store seeds from a cucumber for planting?

Find a cucumber that’s turning yellowish-orange and practically bursting. It has to be almost overripe. Cut along the length of the cucumber to make two halves. Spoon out the seeds and put them in water for one to three days to remove the pulp.

Either dry and store them for the following year or put them right into the ground. Keep dried seed out of direct sunlight and in a dry, cool place. Some reports say to keep them in the fridge, but other people have mixed results in doing that.

What temperature and USDA hardiness zones are best for cucumbers?

Cucumbers can go into the ground when the temperature is at least 60°F (16°C) with daytime temperatures reaching 70°F (21°C) or more. They do well in USDA hardiness zones ranging between 4 and 11. Cooler climates should start seeds indoors with a grow light for two months before putting them outside.

How many cucumbers grow in one plant?

Depending on the size and variety, expect around 10 cucumbers per plant. They’ll weigh about six ounces each. Obviously, the ones for pickling will be smaller than the ones for slicing and eating.

What is the depth and spacing for each plant?

You want to sow seeds at least an inch into the soil (about 2.5 cm) and around 18 to 36 inches (46 to 91 cm) apart from each other. Seedlings should have six to 10 inches between them. If you are planting the cucumbers in rows, make sure there are two to four feet of space.

How much sunlight do cucumbers need?

Cucumbers require full, direct sun for at least five hours per day but no more than eight. Too little sunshine will inhibit growth and too much will cause deformities. Daytime temperatures should keep the soil at 70°F or more.

Do you have to water cucumbers every day?

You don’t have to water cucumbers every day. As a matter of fact, that’s not advisable at all. Only when you’re starting the seeds should you keep the soil steadily moist.

Once they begin growing past the seedling stage, only water cucumbers once per week. Make sure you moisten the soil about one inch below the surface and avoid overhead watering.

If you’re growing the cucumbers in a container, you may have to water the plants a little more often. Check the soil each day with your fingers to ensure it doesn’t get bone dry.

What kind of soil is best for cucumbers?

For seeds, use a nutrient-rich starting soil or potting mix along with a little compost. But once they go into the ground or a container, the soil should be loamy and well-draining. Also, make sure it has a pH balance of 6.0 to 7.0.

Should you use fertilizer to grow cucumbers?

Use fertilizer in the spot you plan on planting the cucumbers right before sowing the seeds or transplanting seedlings. Also include some compost to keep the area well-fertilized while the cucumbers grow. Don’t add fertilizer throughout the course of the plant’s growth period.

How long does it take for cucumbers to be ready for harvesting?

Cucumbers can be ready after 50 to 70 days from the first day of planting. But, this will depend on whether you plan on using the cucumbers for pickling or straight eating. So, harvesting will be more about the length of the cucumber than the amount of time it takes to grow them.

When should you harvest cucumbers?

Harvest pickling cucumbers when they reach about three to four inches long. Otherwise, you could wait until they reach as long as 24 inches in the event you save the seeds. But, if you’re impatient, you can cut them as short as six to eight inches.

When a cucumber gets ripe and yellowish-orange, it becomes inedible and the plant stops fruiting. So, ensure you pick them young when you want to consume them.

Do you have to plant more than one cucumber seed?

You should plant at least two cucumber seeds near each other. This will assist with pollination and flowering so that fruits form. If there are no flowers, you will not see any cucumbers. This is because males and females need to be present.

What’s the best way to increase cucumber yield in one growing season?

Even though a cucumber plant produces about 10 fruits at a time, you can have it grow more throughout the summer and into fall. Pick the cukes often so the plant will continually produce fruit.

The key is to harvest them while they’re still somewhat immature. Once one cucumber becomes fully ripe, the plant halts fruit production.