A native tropical plant, cucumbers are fantastic veggies to grow in the summer growing season. Known scientifically as Cucumis sativus, cucumbers are related to watermelons, zucchini, and pumpkins. This refreshing fruit is often upstaged by the tomato, but this versatile piece of produce is making its way into salads, desserts, soups, and pasta recipes.
Keep reading to learn more of our best gardening tips when it comes to growing your very own cucumber container garden. You’ll learn everything from planting cucumbers, the different varieties of cucumbers, to growing them in your vegetable garden, to harvesting them at the end of your season. Vegetable gardening just became a lot more fun – keep reading!
Types of Cucumbers You Can Grow in Containers
When it comes to growing cucumbers, there are two main types of cucumber varieties that you will need to understand. There are vining cucumbers and bush-type cucumbers. Even when you are container gardening, you can train your cucumber vines to climb up a structure, such as a trellis or a tomato cage.
How to Grow Cucumbers in Containers
Whether you are growing bush varieties of cucumbers, or vining cucumbers, it is not difficult to ensure that you will have a successful harvest. In this guide, we will discuss how to grow cucumbers in a container, the best containers for growing cucumbers, and the best practices to keep your plants healthy and happy.
Growing Cucumbers in Containers from Seed
- To sow cucumber seeds in a container, plant three seeds from a seed packet per pot
- Push them into the soil about a half inch down into the potting mix.
- Water thoroughly and keep the garden soil perpetually moist until the seeds germinate.
- Depending on the cucumber variety, and the size of the container, you should consider repotting two out of the three plants in your container so that they have enough room to grow.
Growing Cucumbers in Containers from Transplants / Seedlings
- Choose a large container with plenty of drainage holes. You will have the best luck with a container that holds at least 5 gallons of potting mix. If you are growing with Gardenuity your Garden Kit Grow Bag will be the perfect container for your cucumbers.
- Choose a high quality potting soil, and feel free to add in your own organic fertilizer, such as a homemade compost.
- Gently transplant your young cucumber plants into their new home – when transplanting be sure not to let the root system be exposed to the sun.
- Plant the cucumbers about 6 inches apart – spacing becomes important once your plants begin to mature.
- Thoroughly water once the seedlings are in the soil mix.
- Give your cucumbers about an inch of water each week, and full, direct sun each day.
- After about 55-70 days, your cucumber plants should be ready to harvest.
How to Grow Cucumbers Vertically
Vining cucumbers can be grown vertically to save some space in your garden. You can grow your cucumber plants vertically by using trellises or even tomato cages. You can easily make a diy trellis or tomato cage with any extra chicken wire that you may have lying around.
All you need to do is acquire a vertical support system, as well as ensure that you are growing a vining variety of the veggie. Some examples of vining cucumber plants are the Spacemaster, the Lemon Cucumber, the Burpee Hybrid, the Liberty Hybrid, the Slice Master Hybrid, the Burpless, and the Slice Nice.
Grow Cucumbers on Trellis
Growing cucumbers on a trellis is a great way to prevent pests and diseases, improve air flow and create more space in your garden. To train your cucumbers to grow up your trellis, you will need to check in on the growing plants as they begin to gain height; train the vines to attach to the trellis by gently placing them on the trellis supports. If your cucumber vines are particularly unruly, feel free to use zip ties or twisty ties to keep them on track.
When to Plant Cucumbers?
When growing cucumbers, you want to be mindful not to plant them too soon; they are very sensitive plants, and they will not fare well in weather that drops below 70°F. Do not move them to your outdoor container garden any earlier than 2 weeks after the last spring frost.
If you are growing in a sunny and hot climate like Texas, you’ll want to make sure to plant just after the last spring frost and before the sunshine becomes too scalding. If you are growing in a cooler and less sunny climate, plant your cukes when you are certain that they will receive at least 5 hours of full sun every day.
Cucumber Growing Conditions & How to Care
Cucumbers are fast-growers, heavy feeders and they are also very tender vegetables. In order to ensure a successful season with your cukes, you will want to pay close attention to their environmental needs. Take a look at the following details for specific cucumber care instructions.
When you’re growing in a container, you have more control over the environment that your plants are growing in. This will help you to avoid pests and diseases and ensure that you have a great harvest at the end of the season.
Ideal Soil for Growing Cucumbers
Cucumber plants will do best in a loose sandy loam soil, but they can also be successfully grown in any well-drained soil. Cucumbers are heavy feeders; they are big fans of water-soluble plant foods during their growing season. Don’t forget to add organic matter to the soil mix, such as compost!
Ideal Cucumber Growing Temperature
Cucumbers will require temperatures of 70°F (21ºC) or warmer to grow well and abundantly. The soil temperature should not dip below 70°F during the growing process.
How Much Sun Does Cucumber Need?
Cucumbers grow best in full sun, but they will also do well with a minimum of 5 hours of sun each day.
Cucumber Watering Needs
The most essential point of care for cucumbers is consistent and regular watering. Growing cucumbers will need at least one inch of water per week. To check on your cucumbers, put your finger into their soil, and when it is dry past the first joint of your finger, it is safe to give the plants a good soak. Maintaining regular moisture levels is important to product veggies that lack irregularities.
Pests such as squash bugs, slugs, cucumber beetles and aphids will likely be drawn to your growing cucumbers. You can prevent these pests from settling down in your garden by spreading straw mulch out once the soil is warm. If you do notice these pests, you can mix a mild solution of soapy water and gently spray the leaves of your plants. You can also try neem oil, which is a common solution for getting rid of pests in your garden.
Powdery mildew is also a disease that tends to bog down cucumber plants. If you see a thin and powdery residue on your cucumber’s leaves, you can mix a drop of dish soap with a teaspoon of baking soda and 1 quart of water to gently spray on your plant – this should cure the ailment in the blink of an eye.
Grow Pro Cucumber Growing Tips
- Trellising for cucumbers helps create more space by growing vertically
- When growing your cukes in containers, be sure to keep them outside as often as you can so that they receive full, full, full sun.
- If you are sourcing your own container, choose one that is at least 8 inches deep, and at least 12 inches wide, with plenty of drainage holes.
- If you live in an exceptionally dry climate, add mulch around the base of your plants to retain moisture.
- When the soil is warm, lay down a layer of straw mulch in order to keep pests and diseases away, and to keep the fruits of the harvest clean.
- If you are planting cucumbers in a raised bed, be sure to avoid planting them where their root systems (which can grow from 36-48 inches long) will become entangled with any tree roots underground.
Best Companion Plants for Cucumbers
The best types of plants to plant near your cucumbers are legumes, as they have root systems that increase nitrogen levels in the soil. The following plants are great companions for cucumbers:
You should avoid planting cucumber plants near plants such as potatoes, sage and melons.
Cucumber Growing Stages
Cucumbers are quick growers, but they are also sensitive; you will want to keep a close eye on the plants as they develop to ensure that they are receiving all of the sunlight, water and nutrients that they require.
As always, when planting from transplants, give your new plants about a week to settle into their new home. If you notice that your cucumber plants are not perking up after a week, check in as to whether or not they need to be watered – remember, cucumbers love water, so do not let them get too thirsty.
Keep in mind that male blooms will typically show up on your plant first, after pollination has taken place, and then drop off. After about 1-2 weeks of this occurring, the female flowers will bloom. Each female flower has a cucumber shaped swell at its base that will soon become the place where the plant will set fruit!
It’s Time to Harvest
You will know that it is time to harvest your cucumbers when the fruit is large enough to use. Cucumbers can even be harvested as baby cucumbers and then pickled to turn into pickles. Pickling is also a great way to make your harvested cucumbers last longer.
I Waited Too Long, Now What?
If you wait too long to harvest your cucumbers, they will develop a bitter flavor. These cucumbers can be pickled, so they will not go to waste.
Harvesting Cucumbers from Container Garden
Harvesting cucumbers from your container garden is so exciting and very easy. The most difficult part will be making sure that you find all of the cucumbers that have grown on the vine. Take a look at these tips for harvesting cucumbers.
When to Harvest Cucumbers
Once your cucumbers are big enough to eat, you can pick them right off of the vine. If you want to let them grow longer, leave them on the vine. You should see the cucumber’s skin remain firm and smooth – as soon as this begins to shift, you will know that your veggies have begun to go bad. Typically you can expect to harvest cucumbers once they are about 5-8 inches long.
How to Harvest
- Find a sharp and clean pair of garden scissors
- Snip the cucumber from the vine so that there is a short stem
- You can also pull the cucumber right off of the vine
Cucumber Recipes We Love!
Cucumbers bring that fresh flavor and satisfying crunch that never gets old. Add cucumbers to your breakfast, lunch or dinner for a refreshing and green moment in your day. Here are some of our favorite cucumber recipes:
- Basil & Cucumber Rum Cocktail
- Cucumber Mint Gin Coolers
- Cucumber Smash
- Cucumber Jalapeño Margarita
- Greek Yogurt, Dill, Cucumber & Onion Salad
- Tomato & Cucumber Salad w/ Feta
Grow Pro Frequently Asked Questions
Cucumbers take about 55-70 days to fully grow.
Yes, you can grow cucumbers in a pot or a container.
The best size container to grow cucumbers in is at least 5 gallons deep.
Yes, you can grow cucumbers on a trellis.
Cucumbers can grow in partial shade as long as they receive at least 5 hours of full sun each day.
Your container for cucumbers should be at least 12-18 inches deep.
The best container for cucumbers would be one that can accommodate their root systems. If you’re feeling lost regarding which container to choose, start with a Gardenuity Garden Kit and Grow Bag.
You should expect to receive at least 10-20 cucumbers per plant that you are growing.
Vining cucumber varieties will grow on a trellis! Bush cucumbers will not grow on a trellis.
Once your vining cucumbers begin to grow, you can train the vines to grow up the trellis by gently guiding the vines with your hands to grow vertically. If your cucumber vines are particularly unruly, feel free to use zip ties or twisty ties to keep them on track.
Start Growing Your Own Cucumbers!
Congrats! You now have all of the tools and information that you need to grow your very own, cool cucumber plants. If there’s ever a time that you are feeling unsure about your growing process, refer to the Grow Pro Support services that are complimentary with every Gardenuity Garden Kit that you bring home. Start your journey today – check out our Container Garden Kits!