How to Plant and Grow Cucumbers
Cucumbers are a favorite garden vegetable with multiple uses. Great eaten raw right from the garden, added to salads, used to make pickles or deep fried. However you eat them, cucumbers are easy to grow when using these how-to tips.
Chose the Right Variety
Decide which variety is best to grow in your garden, consider the available growing space and how they will be eaten.
Bush cucumbers grow on small compact bushes, take up less space than vine-growing varieties, making them a perfect choice for small or container gardens.
The Straight 8 variety is good for eating fresh or frying and pickling cucumber vines produce more and smaller cucumbers. Either of these varieties will develop vines that extend 4-6 feet and will need ground space or vertical space in which to stretch their vines.
How to Plant
Select a full sun location for growing cucumbers. Work in plenty of compost or other organic matter prior to planting seeds or plants so the soil will drain well and have the needed nutrients to support the fast-growing cucumbers.
Whether planting seeds or plants, create small hills for planting cucumbers. If cucumber vines will grow freely on the garden soil, form hills 6 feet apart. Form each soil hill about 12 inches in diameter and 6 inches high, working in 2 cups of compost into each hill.
Plant 2 cucumber seeds or 1 plant into the center of each hill. If trellises will be used to support vines vertically cucumber can be planted and grown 2 feet apart. Bush growing cucumbers can also be planted 2 feet apart or in containers that are 1 foot wide and equally as deep.
Apply a 2 inch layer of organic mulch around each plant to help retain soil moisture and prevent weed growth.
Cucumbers grow fast and are heavy feeders. Water regularly and use a water soluble plant food to feed once a week during the growing season.
Cucumbers will begin to form in about 6 weeks from planting time. Watch them closely after the first tiny cucumber appear, they grow into full sized cucumbers literally overnight.
Harvest cucumbers between 2 – 6 inches long for the best flavor and smallest seeds. Allowing over-grown cucumbers to remain on the vine will deplete the plant’s energy and reduce production. Harvest frequently for the best flavor and to encourage more production.