Growing, Planting, & Harvesting Cucumbers

Cucumbers are tropical plants and thrive when hot, and the water is abundant. If this is you, learn how to grow cucumbers in your garden.

Cucumbers grown in the backyard taste great and can be planted in a greenhouse or a warm, sheltered area outdoors, based on the kind of cucumber. They require a lot of sunshine to grow an abundance of crops.

Cucumbers heavily rely on photosynthesis to produce robust, strong, and productive plants. This process revolves around the sun completely.

Do not let your cucumbers grow too big before picking, or they’ll taste bitter! Learn what you can do to start, cultivate and harvest cucumbers in your garden.

 

Cucumber categories

There are two categories of cucumbers: pickling and slicing.

  • The slicing kinds are long and usually grow to about six inches (15-20 cm.) in length
  • The pickling kinds are shorter, with a length of 3-4 inches (8-10 cm.) after maturation.

Cucumber varieties

Many small or bush varieties of cucumbers are suitable for growing in smaller spaces. Vining cukes as well as the bush variety of cucumber.

Vining Cucumbers are the most well-known kinds found on vigorous vines shaded by massive leaves. The growth rate of the plants is quick, and their yield is plentiful, provided you maintain them correctly.

Vining varieties are best placed on a fence or fence. Because they can be grown off the ground, the fruit is cleaner than those directly atop the soil. They are often more plentiful and easier to harvest.

Bush Cucumbers varieties that are ideally suited for small and compact gardens. If you’re planning to make pickles, there are a variety of varieties that have been bred specifically for picking, such as the heirloom Boston Pickling or the ‘Calypso’.

To ensure that your pickles are crisp, make certain to make them within a couple of hours after picking. It is possible to increase the yield of different bush varieties by planting multiple crops in a row, spaced two weeks separated.

cucumber seedlings in tray

When to Plant Cucumbers

  • Plant them in succession (every two weeks) to harvest continuously throughout the year. In warm weather, cucumbers grow quickly and start to mature in approximately six weeks.
  • Indoor plants If you want an early harvest, grow cucumber seeds in your greenhouse for three weeks before planting them in the soil. Set temperatures at the base to about 70 F (21 degrees Celsius) with a heating pad or put the seed flats on top of the refrigerator or a water heater.
  • Outdoor Plant: The soil should be at or below 70 F (21oC) to allow the germination process to begin. Seedlings thrive at that temperature, as well. (In cooler climates, heat the soil by wrapping it in black plastic.) Do not plant your seeds outside too soon!

Soil preparation

Take away large sticks, rocks and garbage before prepping the soil. Leave small bits of vegetation, such as dead grass and tiny weeds, as they can aid in enriching the soil once it is submerged.

  • Spread the soil 8-12 inches in depth. This is roughly the depth that most spading forks or shovels. Each shovel is turned completely to overflow all plant materials with soil completely.
  • Create beds from the soil with 4 to 6 inches and 36 inches from each other. Ridges are particularly important when soil is heavy or in poor drainage areas since cucumbers require good drainage.

Best Time to Start Growing Process

  • Cucumbers need warm temperatures to thrive and cannot withstand the cold temperatures of frost. Plant cucumbers only after all risk of frost is gone and the soil has begun to warm.
  • In regions where the spring is warm and long, You can heat the soil between 3 and 4 degrees by covering your entire hill or row in black plastic. If you don’t plant your garden in black plastic, you can mulch it using wheat straw, pine straw, chopped leaves, or any other organic mulch you like soon after planting.
  • If it is not seasonably cold, you may want to wait for a few days to mulch until the soil is warm through the sunshine.

Mulch

This is essential to ensure that the fruit is clean for vines and bush types that do not grow on a trellis. Mulch made from straw is thought to be a nuisance for slugs. It also helps to keep them away.

Site Preparation

  • Find your crop in an area that gets a minimum of eight hours of sun every day.
  • Cucumber roots extend from 36-48 inches deep Do not plant them in areas where the roots of trees will deprive the plants of nutrients and water.
  • The early morning sun helps dry the foliage and vines from the dew that has fallen in the early morning. Be sure that your plants get early morning sunshine. If dew is allowed to remain in the air, it can cause perfect circumstances for mildew and Blight.
  • Cucumbers are best suited to loose sandy loam soils, but they can also be planted in any well-drained soil.

How to Grow Cucumbers From Seed

Cucumbers are easy to cultivate from seed. According to a gardening expert, plant cucumbers in pots or small trays on your greenhouse or windowsill in the spring after all risk of frost is gone. Alternately, you can direct sow outside varieties during the summer months, especially at the beginning of summer.

Seed your cucumbers in small containers or trays filled with a multipurpose potting mixture. Make sure to dampen your potting mix before placing seeds.

Seeds are planted 1 inch deep and 3 to 5 feet apart, based on the species. Suppose vines are trained on a trellis; place plants one foot away.

It’s best to place them outside the pot and then lay them sideways to prevent them from rotting.

Two to three seeds are being planted within each mound. When plants attain a height of 4 inches, then thin them down to one plant per mound.

Cucumber seeds require warm temperatures to germinate. They should be at 70 degrees, so they should be placed in a warm propagator or on a sunny window.

If you reside in cooler climates, it’s possible to warm the soil prior to planting by covering it with plastic.

After planting, you can mulch the area using mulch, straw or other organic mulch to keep pests out and shrubs off the ground to protect against diseases.

The process of germination can be completed in just several days.

It would help if you watered your cucumbers using the soaker hose or drip watering to help keep your leaves dry. Put your cucumber seedlings in a pot when they’ve grown their first real leaves.

Transplanting Cucumber Seedlings

After the cucumber seedlings are to about 10 inches in height, they are able to relocate to their final spots or pots that measure 10 inches in size, grow bags, as well as directly to the border of your garden.

As they develop, attach the cucumbers to support structures, such as netting or canes.

If you’re in a tight space or prefer to use vertical plants, you can set up trellises in the early hours to prevent injury to the seedlings or vines.

How to Care for Cucumber

Cucumbers are fast-growing and don’t require lots of attention. Careful about what you put in your garden around your cucumbers can play an important part in their growth. A thing to consider is the need to plant cucumbers next to potatoes.

The potato releases a chemical in the soil that hinders the development of cucumbers. If you plant them in a garden, it could cause a devastating impact on the cucumber plant.

Some plants can be extremely beneficial, such as radishes. If grown near or in conjunction with cucumbers, radishes can help deter harmful insects like cucumber beetles and aphids, threatening delicate cucumber plants. This can help in preventing leaf diseases that could destroy the plant.

When you plant cucumbers, plant 5-10 seeds of radish along with areas around your mounds, seeds will germinate quickly and will aid in the fight against the beetles.

Cucumber Pollination System

Outdoor cucumbers typically have rough skin and require to be pollinated. The greenhouse cucumbers are smoother and should not be pollinated since they can result in bitter fruits.

Cucumbers grow two types of flowers: both males and females. Male flowers first open and never stop dropping. Female flowers make up the cucumber and will not be able to drop.

If the male flowers appear to be fading, or if you notice that the female flowers are beginning to fall off, gently rub the inside of both male and female flowers using a gentle brush or a cotton swab. This will attract pollinators to the flowers and aid in their growth into fruit.

Crop Rotation

Rotate your garden to a different spot within the garden every year. This helps the soil recuperate, reduces the risk of disease and decreases the chance of long-term infestation.

To reap the most benefits, keep at least three years before changing to cultivate cucumbers in the same place.

Fertilizing Cucumbers

Cucumbers require plenty of fertilizer. Apply a moderate amount of compost tea or an organic fertilizer every two weeks until your plants begin to develop the first cukes. When they begin to produce, the fertilizer can be stopped.

Cucumber Pests

There are many insecticides available in garden stores for homeowners to use. Sevin is an organic insecticide.

Synthetic alternatives include Bt-based insecticides as well as sulfur. It also has fungicidal qualities and aids in the control of many diseases.

Slugs & snails: Slugs and snails may cause problems in cucumbers, especially when the plants aren’t as big. Therefore, please put them in netting, or take other methods to protect them.

Aphids carry Mosaic Virus. It will impede the growth of the plant. 

Whitefly: Whitefly could also pose a threat in greenhouses. Use biological control or traps.

Cucumber Diseases

A variety of diseases affect cucumbers. Many are visible as spots on the lower or upper sides of leaves or the fruit. Monitor the plants regularly and apply a fungicide approved fungicide when signs of disease appear.

Mildew: The plant is susceptible to mildew. It can be controlled by shifting them to cooler temperatures or spraying comfrey or seaweed solutions.

Harvesting

Based on the conditions, cucumbers begin to ripen between mid-summer and mid-autumn inside a greenhouse with a shorter time outdoors.

Harvest cucumbers once they have reached the size you want and have a green colour. Do not wait until they change colour, to yellow.

The size of the fruit varies based on varieties, so be sure to check the seed packet. The smaller varieties are the best, around 10cm (4in) long, and larger ones around 15cm (6-8in).

The fruits must have a uniform green colour and be firm, often with a slightly rounded top. The fruit can grow quickly, so check them frequently to ensure they’re to their peak.

Cleanly cut the stem using secateurs or a sharp knife. Regular harvesting can encourage further fruiting. If you remove the cucumbers, you may drag the entire plant with them.

How to Store Cucumbers

Cucumbers harvested can be stored in the refrigerator for anywhere between 7 and 10 days. However, it would help if you used the cucumbers as quickly as following the harvest for the best taste.

If you don’t consume the whole cucumber at once, wrap the remaining portion with plastic wrap to stop drying out when stored in your refrigerator.

It’s an excellent idea to wrap the entire cucumber in plastic wrap or place them in a zip-lock bag in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

Conclusion on How to Grow Cucumbers:

Cucumbers aren’t the simplest crop to grow for newbies, and many experienced gardeners struggle with cucumbers. Since they taste better than the store-bought ones, It’s worth learning how to cultivate cucumbers.

Other gardening articles:

  1. How to Start Organic Farming
  2. Benefits of Gardening
  3. How To Keep Basil Alive
  4. How To Grow Green Onion
  5. Easy Fruits And Vegetables To Grow
  6. How To Grow Lettuce
  7. How To Grow Kale

growing cucumber plant in my garden

If you enjoyed this post about How to Grow Cucumbers and would love to see more, join me on YoutubeInstagramFacebook & Twitter!

Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.

Fortunately, because of the ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.