Growing cucumbers from seed is relatively easy. Cucumbers are pretty low maintenance, and they are excellent in salads and sandwiches and are a low-calorie snacking treat. So, this article discusses growing cucumbers from seed.
We will cover everything from planting and germination to watering, lighting, etc. However, you should see great success if you follow the process below.
How to Grow Cucumbers From Seed: Step by Step
This is a tutorial on how to grow cucumbers from seed. We’ll cover all the aspects, starting with choosing which cucumbers to grow.
1. Choosing the Cucumbers to Grow
There are several different types of cucumbers, but they all fall into two categories—bush cucumbers and vining cucumbers.
Bush cucumbers grow on small bushes and are ideal for small gardens and containers.
However, vining cucumbers provide a larger yield if you have a large garden and don’t mind supporting vines. However, you will need to use stakes, a trellis, or something to support the vines.
2. Choosing the Right Soil
Before you plant your cucumber seeds, you prepare your garden with suitable soil. You want to use high-quality soil when growing vegetables. The higher the quality and the better the nutrients, the better the overall results.
We recommend getting high-quality potting soil with a good NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) ratio.
An NPK ratio (for the soil) of 2, 3, 6 is generally best for cucumbers. This type of plant usually needs plenty of phosphorus and potassium but limited amounts of nitrogen. However, too much nitrogen may affect the taste of your cucumbers.
If your potting soil does not have a lot of nutrients, consider adding some fertilizer. You can add compost or bat guano to increase the nutrient content. However, you don’t want to fertilize your cucumbers when they are still very young.
The soil you use should have enough nutrients to keep them going. You may burn the cucumber plants if you fertilize your cucumbers before those nutrients are used.
Also, the soil needs to be either very slightly acidic or neutral; it should not be too basic or too acidic.
3. Planting Your Cucumber Seeds
Some people start cucumber seeds indoors, which is recommended if you have a short summer. However, cucumbers grow pretty quickly, so this is usually unnecessary.
Start around five weeks before the last frost date in your area if starting cucumber seeds indoors.
The easiest method is to simply plant cucumber seeds in your garden. You should do so about a week or two after the last frost. Then, once the soil has warmed to above 60° Fahrenheit, you can plant the seeds.
Choose a sunny spot to plant your cucumber seeds as cucumbers like sunlight and warmth. You can plant the seeds directly in the ground right out of the packet.
However, it can help them germinate faster if you soak them in lukewarm water for around 24 hours.
Cucumber seeds will germinate in 3 to 10 days. They will germinate and grow faster if the soil is relatively warm. You can now plant your cucumber seeds.
Cucumber seeds should be planted about twice as deep as wide, about an inch under the soil’s surface.
In addition, plant your cucumber seeds in little mounds. You can plant two or three seeds in each mound and space each mound 1.5 feet apart. Pack the soil on top, although not too tight.
4. Watering, Fertilizing, and General Care
Now that your cucumber seeds have been planted, you can water the soil. However, be sure not to give them too much water, especially in the beginning; this could result in you drowning the seeds or sprouts.
Water them sparingly over the first few weeks, but never let the soil fully dry out. Once the seedlings have reached a few inches in height, you can start watering them every day. This will depend on the temperature and climate, although most cucumbers need around 1 inch of water per week.
Moreover, never let the soil dry out. Cucumber soil should always be somewhat moist. It’s best to water the plants early before the sun comes up. Always water the soil and not the plants themselves.
Water on the leaves will increase the chance of fungus and pests. Also, don’t get water on the leaves when the sunlight hits, which may magnify the light and burn your plants.
You shouldn’t need to fertilize for at least the first month, especially if you have used high-quality potting soil. However, after the first month, using a basic liquid fertilizer designed for vegetables is best.
Once your cucumber plants bloom, add a fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5, 10, 10. You want to use this fertilizer about a week after they start blooming. After the first dose, fertilize them about once every three weeks.
You can place about half an inch of mulch on top of the soil, which will help in moisture control. It is also great for stopping weeds from growing up through the soil.
If you are growing vining cucumbers, now is the time to set up your trellises. First, gently tie the stems of the cucumber vines to the trellis; ensure you don’t pinch or damage the stems. They should be very loosely tied to that trellis or supporting structure.
5. Harvesting Cucumbers
You can use a sharp knife to cut your cucumbers off of the vine—do not pull them off of the vine. This could damage the vine and affect its future productivity.
Some cucumbers are ready to be picked when they’re 2 inches long, whereas others will be ready at 10 inches.
We recommend doing some research on the type of cucumber you are growing. However, the rule of thumb is that cucumbers should be picked before turning yellow. If they turn yellow, they are past their prime.
As you can see, growing cucumbers at home is easy, and you can be sure that what you are eating is perfectly healthy. However, perhaps best of all is that growing your own produce will help save money.