Start cucumber seeds indoors about 3 weeks before you transplant them in the ground (especially if it is cold outside).
Make sure that soil is moist and well-drained, not soggy. Mix in compost and/or aged manure before planting to a depth of 2 inches and work into the soil 6 to 8 inches deep.
Seed or transplant outside in the ground no earlier than 2 weeks after last frost date. Cucumbers are extremely susceptible to frost damage; the soil must be at least 65ºF for germination.
When to Water
Keep the soil consistently moist with an inch of water per week. You may need to water more when it's too hot. Inadequate or inconsistent moisture causes oddly shaped or poor-tasting fruit.
Growing cucumbers is for warmer weather. Plants are so frost-tender that they shouldn’t be set into the garden until soil temperatures are reliably in the 70-degree range (no less than 2 weeks after the last frost date). Cucumbers do well in Zones 4 and warmer
Several pests bother cucumbers: Squash bugs can attack seedlings, while slugs like ripening fruit. Aphids can colonize leaves and buds. To minimize the problem, use straw mulch to keep slugs at bay. Using trellises can get the fruit off the ground. Powdery mildew is a disease that leaves white, mildew-like patches on the leaves.
Cucumbers need warm, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8, although they will tolerate a bit more alkaline soil to 7.6.
Cucumber plants can reach a height of 6 to 12 feet.Take that into consideration when planning your garden. Make sure there is enough distance between your tall vegetables and short vegetables. That way both will get enough sun light.
You can pick cucumbers whenever they’re big enough to use. Check vines daily as the fruit starts to appear because they enlarge quickly. Vines produce more fruit the more you harvest.
Cucumbers are a subtropical crop, requiring long, warm days, plenty of sunshine, and adequate moisture. Cucumbers thrive best at relatively high temperatures, between 75 to 85 degrees F.
Cucumbers thrive in light, friable soil. Several inches of organic matter worked into the soil prior to planting helps achieve that goal. Plants are heavy feeders, so be sure to feed the soil with rich compost or aged manure.
Get a head start on growing time by starting the plants indoors 10 to 14 days before anticipated planting time. Use peat pots or pellets and avoid disturbing roots when transplanting. Planting outside should be delayed until the danger of frost has passed in the spring.
If cucumbers are trellised, plant four to five seeds per foot in rows 30" apart. When plants are about 5" tall, thin them so they are approximately 12" apart.
You can increase the season’s yield of bush varieties by planting several crops in succession 2 weeks apart.
Cucumbers will grow best when planted in full sun. When they do not get enough sunlight, they are more likely to have a poor fruit set and produce an overall lower yield. Therefore, it is best to plant them in areas that get at least 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
Aromatic herbs, Melons, Potatoes should not be planted next to green peppers.
The following vegetables will do well when planted next to green peppers: Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Corn, Lettuce, Peas, Radishes, Sunflowers. Planting certain vegetables next to each other can deter insects and encourage growth.
Next year, DO NOT plant pumpkins, melons, squash, gourds, and cucumbers in the same location where you planted cucumbers this year. Because they are all members of the Cucurbit (Cucurbitaceae) family. Instead use that spot to plant other vegetables from a different family such as:
- Carrot (Umbelliferae): celery, carrots, parsley
- Legume (Leguminosae): peas, beans, lentils
- Mustard/Brassica (Cruciferae): broccoli, caulifower, kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, turnips, radishes.
- Sunflower (Compositae): lettuce, artichokes.
- Allium (Amaryllidaceae) - onions, garlic, leeks, shallots and chives.
- Nightshade (Solanaceae): tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers
- Goosefoot (Chenopodiaceae): spinach, Swiss chard, beets.
Growing Cucumber Overview
In General, cucumbers are easy to grow as long as they get enough sun light and warm temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees F. For more planting information, please visit our Farming Tips homepage.