How to grow Cucumber

Cucumis sativus

Cucumbers require full sun as they are a sub-tropical plant. They will also need a lot of growing room, so if you are short of space, consider growing cucumbers vertically on a trellis. Dwarf varieties often do very well as a container plant.

Make sure your soil is well draining – cucumbers grow in most soil types. Mulch well around your cucumber plants in the summer to keep moisture levels up. Regular and consistent watering is required to ensure even growth and well formed fruit.

Cucumber plants will firstly grow male flowers, which will grow and then quickly fall off – this is normal! After this stage, both female and male flowers will start to grow and will start to pollinate.

Growing Cucumber from seed

Cucumbers can be planted directly in the garden or started indoors before your last frost date. If planting in the garden: either arrange your soil into small hills and plant 4 seeds per hill, or plant in rows.

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 11.7 inches (30.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.47 inches (1.2 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 16°C / 61°F to ensure good germination.

By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Cucumber about 14 days after your last frost date .

Transplanting Cucumber

Plant your cucumbers out when there is no chance of frost, as even a light frost can kill cucumber seedlings.Cucumbers are prone to bacterial wilt, before sowing the seeds ,sterilizing the soil using hot water and wood ash will improve soil ph and halt the growth of soil pathogens.(wood ash must be mixed thoroughly in soil)

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Cucumber is a tender plant.

Harvesting Cucumber

The medium sized fruit varieties are ideal for salads.
Pick fruit regularly to ensure that the vine keeps producing. Fruit left for too long on the vine will slow or stop production, although those fruit are the best for seed saving purposes.

Seed Saving Cucumber

Leave the fruit on the fine until it yellows. Do not let it rot. Cut cucumber in half and scrape out seeds. Rinse and air dry. Or ferment (the good seeds will sink), and then rinse and dry. 2

Seed viability is five years.

How long does Cucumber take to grow?

These estimates for how long Cucumber takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

Days to Germination How long does it take Cucumber to germinate?
7 days

Average 7 days | Min 1 days | Max 19 days (1083)

Days to Transplant How long until I can plant out Cucumber?
+ 27 days

Average 27 days | Min 2 days | Max 74 days (326)

Days to Maturity How long until Cucumber is ready for harvest / bloom?
+ 72 days

Average 72 days | Min 6 days | Max 151 days (1192)

Total Growing Days How long does it take to grow Cucumber?
= 106 days

When should I plant Cucumber?

Our when to plant Cucumber estimates are relative to your last frost date.

When to sow The number of days to sow Cucumber before or after your last frost date.
14 days after Last Frost Date

Cucumber Etymology

The English word cucumber originated from Indian word “kachumbar”(कचुँबर).
The botanical epithet is from the Latin sativus meaning “cultivated”

Cucumber Folklore & Trivia

A cucumber is made up of 96% water. Bush cucumbers are great for small spaces and have abundant yields. Plant three to a hill and enjoy pickling size cukes for salad, snacking and pickles.

Other names for Cucumber

Garden cucumber, Common cucumber, Greenhouse cucumber, Pickling cucumber, Pipino, Katimon, Paris pickling cucumber, Sikkim cucumber, Beit alpha, Zucchini

Cucumis sativus L., Cucumis sativus var. sativus

Misspellings: cucmber, cukes, Cucmber, Cucumis sativas


1 Plants For A Future

2 The New Seed-starters Handbook; Published 1988

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