How to plant cucumber seeds

How to plant cucumber seeds: A step-by-step guide

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Cucumbers are one of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed, and I love growing them in my garden every year. They are delicious in fresh garden salads, and making homemade pickles is one of my favorite things to do every summer. In this post, I will show you exactly how to plant cucumber seeds in your garden, so you can enjoy homegrown cucumbers all summer long.

How to grow cucumbers from seed

Cucumbers are very fast growing and super easy to grow from seed. A few of our favorite cucumber varieties to grow are marketmore, homemade pickles, and baby persianLemon cucumbers are really fun, too. Since cucumbers grow so fast, I plant the seeds directly into my garden after all chance of frost is gone in the spring. Planting the seeds directly in the garden makes it super easy since you don’t have to worry about caring for the seedlings indoors or transplating them into your garden.

Cucumber seed packet

Cucumber seed packet

Where to grow cucumbers

Cucumbers can be grown anywhere from full sun to part shade. The more sun they get, the better they will produce. They like rich, fertile soil to grow their best. You can amend your soil with compost or aged manure before planting cucumber seeds. I also like to add organic granular fertilizer to my garden beds to give my vegetables a boost. Cucumbers are vine crops, so it’s best to grow them on a trellis to keep them up off the ground. Growing them vertically on a cucumber trellis will help protect the cucumbers from pests, and they will grow straighter, too (or make a fun DIY arch trellis to grow them on).

Growing cucumbers from seed

Growing cucumbers from seed

When to plant cucumber seeds

Plant cucumbers seeds directly into your garden a week or two after your last frost in the spring, once the soil warms up. You could also start cucumber seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before your average last frost date. If you choose to start your cucumbers seeds indoors, make sure to use a high quality seed starting soil mix (or make your own using my recipe), and use a grow light so the seedlings don’t grow tall and leggy.

Getting ready to plant cucumber seeds

Getting ready to plant cucumber seeds

How to plant cucumber seeds

Direct sowing seeds: Plant your cucumber seeds about 1 inch apart, and about 1/2″ deep. You can either make a hole in the dirt and drop the seeds into it, or you place the seeds on top of the soil and gently press them in. (Make sure the soil is very loose if you choose option 2).

Related Post: Seed Starting 101: Tips For Starting Seeds Indoors For Beginners

Starting seeds indoors: If you start the seeds indoors, you can plant one seed per cell in your seedling trays. Since cucumber seedlings grow so fast, they will quickly outgrow the seedling trays, so it’s a good idea to pot them up. I like to use plantable pots to make transplanting easier. Plantable peat pots are a very popular option. But if you prefer something more sustainable you could use coco coir pots, or cow pots instead. Otherwise, if you want something that’s reusable, small plastic pots are the perfect option.

Planting cucumber seeds

Planting cucumber seeds

After you’re done planting your cucumber seeds, water them well, and soon you’ll see the cucumber seedlings popping out of the ground! Cucumbers like a to be kept consistently watered, so never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Cucumber seedlings

Cucumber seedlings

Tips for harvesting cucumbers

When it comes to harvesting your cucumbers, every variety of cucumber will be a bit different so make sure you read the seed packets for recommendations. But, in general, cucumbers are best when they’re harvested before they get too large. When cucumbers grow too large, they get pretty seedy. Cucumbers grow really fast (sometimes it seems like they grow overnight!), so check your plants daily for mature cucumbers. To harvest cucumbers, make sure you cut them off the vine rather than trying to pull them off. Pulling cucumbers from the vine could damage or break the vine, and you don’t want that.

Cucumbers grown from seed

Cucumbers grown from seed

Growing cucumbers from seed is fun and super easy. This is a great one for kids too, because the seeds are fairly large and grow quickly. Plus, you can make tons of pickles with your harvest! Is there anything better than homemade pickles?

More posts about growing garden seeds

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Cucumbers are one of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed. Learn how to plant cucumber seeds in this step-by-step guide.




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18 Responses to How to plant cucumber seeds: A step-by-step guide

  1. Daryle Thomas says:

    Hi Amy,
    I built a cuke tower several years ago. It’s 22 1/2″ by 22 1/2″ and holds about 10″ of “custom” soil. It has four uprights, one in each corner, that were once called 2 by 2s. Mason twine is strung around at 6″ intervals. There is an “H” reinforcing frame at the top. To make it more fun, it’s on casters.
    I plant 4 parthenocarpic cuke seeds on July 4th. I will harvest over 40 full-sized cucumbers before the killing frosts in Vermont.

  2. Thomas Brophy says:

    I agree that cukes are easy to grow and delicious; mine seem to do best on a 45 degree trellis, rather than verticle. However, I am never successful in keeping them going due to a bacterial disease transmitted from the black and yellow cucumber beetles, unless I dust with pesticide, which I hate to do.
    I have used seeds that are gynoecious and parthenocarpic, reasoning that since these are self fertile, insect attention would not be necessary, and I could therefore exclude them with light row cover sealed all around. But the beetles always get in!
    Any other strategy that might work other than backup planting?

    • I suggest planting only bacterial wilt resistant cucumber varieties such as ‘County Fair’, ‘Marketmore 76’, and ‘Diva’. There are others, too. Naturally resistant plants should always be your first line of defense. You can also hang yellow sticky cards (available on Amazon or at nursery supply companies) a few inches above the plant tops to trap them (though you may trap some good bugs, too, sadly).

  3. Thomas Brophy says:

    Thanks for advice Amy. These suggestions I will follow.

  4. Bryan ah says:

    Thanks for the info. Can i get the seeds directly from the fruit?

  5. Ada says:

    Hi Amy,
    My plant grows normally. But some cucumbers turn yellow like picture. Can you give me some advice ?
    Thank you !

    • Patdozie says:

      Hello Ada,
      It a pollination issue. Cucumbers produce male and female flowers. The male flower must be used to pollinate the female for cucumber to form. this is naturally done by friendly insects like bees by perching the male flowers (through which the pollen are attached to their body) then they fly to the female flower where the pollen from male now attached to the female (stigma). Without this the fruit will not form.
      The alternative is to do manual pollination. Use something like cotton wool to rub the male flower and take it to rub the female flower.

      All the best

  6. Joanne says:

    I’m new to growing fruit and veg. Pretty much a ‘dummies’ guide haha. Cucumbers were the first seeds I planted. After reading this I think I’m doing it all wrong. The plants themselves are growing quite rapid, but I have them in a vegtrug greenhouse. I notice that he cucumbers on this post are outside. Should I be replanting mine directly into soil or will they be ok in the greenhouse? How tall do they get? Also should I give them some kind of support with a frame, cane etc? I haven’t planted them in the ground as I was worried about cats and foxes. Oh, and the ridiculous amounts of pigeons that poo in my garden!!
    Any help for this newbie would be greatly received.

  7. Ebube says:

    How do I know the male and female flowers to help me do the manual pollination in cucumber

  8. NURUDEEN says:

    Nobody is saying anything about its duration. How long does it take to mature on the average? I mean from planting to harvesting.

  9. Rhonda says:

    We have always direct sown cucumber seeds in raised mounds for heat. The mounds are surrounded by a “moat”. I water the moat. It also does double duty as rain water is caught in the moat and doesn’t wash the seedlings away. We plant all our melons/squash/pumpkins that way. The photo isn’t the best to show the mounds but you get the idea.

    One day I’d like to try trellises at different angles.

    Jessica W, I absolutely love Marketmore and especially Diva.

    • Thanks for your comments, Rhonda. That planting technique is pretty awesome! Glad to hear you like Marketmore and Diva Cucumbers. As you know, those are two of my favorites! For something a little different, try Silver Slicer, too. We love those!

  10. Deb says:

    We have a raised bed. the first year we had over 400 cucumbers..the next we have a pollination issue…this year they did not germinate…we added organic soil this year as the soil.
    The growing guide says to plant the first 2 weeks of May….we live in Raleigh area of NC…can we plant another crop of seeds …we really love pickles…well I really love pickles…

    • Yes, I would suggest planting another round of seeds. If none germinated, it may have been due to a bad batch of seed. Try another supplier. Another possibility is that a critter (slugs, voles, etc) ate the seedlings off as soon as they sprouted. Keep trying!

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