Cucumbers are great for pickling, eating fresh and even chickens love them. The Cucumber plant is a fast growing vine that needs a lot of care throughout the growing season. Here’s how to grow your best Cucumber!
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Before you begin you will need Cucumber seeds. There are many retailers that will have seeds in stores beginning in January and sometimes earlier. If you want more variety than what’s in store I suggest ordering online. Here are some of my favorite places to buy seeds online.
Now that you’ve got your seeds it’s time to decide when and how you want to plant them. The easiest way to grow Cucumber from seed is to plant them directly in the garden after your first frost date. You will follow the depth requirements on the seed packet then once planted water them in and let nature do the rest! Kidding, well not entirely.
Inside or Out?
Whether you start your Cucumber seeds inside or out is up to you. Both options are wonderful depending on your situation. Starting your Cucumbers outside will be the easiest by far but you will have to deal with pest pressure early on.
Birds, chipmunks, squirrels among many others will be after your seeds as soon as your plant them in the ground. Aside from watering nature will take care of them for you. You will have stronger seedlings that are adapted to the outside elements and do not need transitioning.
Follow the planting guide on the seed packet for planting outside in ground. You will likely need to plant your seeds about 2 inches apart and and inch or so down in the soil.
If you also plan to grow Tomatoes you can learn how to grow them here!
To grow indoors you are going to need patience and space because Cucumbers sprout and grow very fast! They will start throwing out tendrils that will wind and twist around anything that is nearby. Here’s what you need to get started.
Seed Starting Supplies
You can get high tech/expensive with seed starting if you want, but you can totally do it low cost. All you need is what’s listed above. Using seed starting mix when starting seeds indoors is important because seed starting soil is sterile. Potting soil can have bacteria that can aid in seedling death called damping off. So you need to keep clean tools, pots and soil for the best germination rates.
How to grow Cucumber From Seed
Fill your pots with seed starting mix then depending on the size of your pots plant your seeds 1/2 inch down, cover with soil and water them. Be prepared to keep your seed mix consistently moist. Dry soil can be the death of young seedlings
If you don’t have strong window light or overhead grow lights you will get leggy (stretched) seedlings. While you can grow your seeds in a window sill but I highly recommend you get a grow light or two. Leggy seedlings isn’t a big deal for Cucumber plants as it’s a vine but a lack of light will make a weaker plant overall.
Aside from overhead lighting you will want to keep your seedlings in a warm area of your home. Cucumber seeds don’t have to be on a heat mat to germinate, a warm room will do.
Once your Cucumber seeds sprout you will want to continue keeping the soil moist, consistent light and the space warm. Seedlings need at least 13 hours of daylight. This is made easier by the use of artificial lights. You can leave your grow lights on for at max 16 hours a day to keep your seedlings happy.
When you begin seeing roots growing from the bottom of your pots it’s time to repot your plants. If your outdoor temps are warm enough ( Above 46 degrees at night) you can transition your seedlings into your garden.
To learn how to transition your seeds I recommend you read this post!
If it’s not yet time to plant your seedlings outside then continue with regular care until the weather is right. You may have to repot your seedlings several times before transitioning them out into the garden.
Once you’ve transitioned your seedlings it’s time to plant. You can plant your seedlings in containers, raised beds or in ground. When you plant be sure to use an organic fertilizer to feed your plant. Annuals grow quite fast and are very heavy feeders so make sure to provide them with fertilizer all season long.
Cucumber plants will require a trellis as they grow and mature. Provide them with something sturdy to climb on because once the plant starts to produce cucumbers it can get very heavy. If there is no support for the growing plant stems can break.
Once your plant begins to flower it wont be long after that you will begin to see tiny cucumbers begin to develop. Don’t forget to add a few flowering plants like Marigolds or petunias to your garden to bring in pollinators.