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 persian. Lemon 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.
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).
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
- A beginner’s guide to planting garden seeds
- Help with seedlings, and how to fix common seed starting problems
- Seeds vs transplants: Should you start from seed or buy transplants?
- Why planting onion seeds is better than planting sets (and how to do it right)
- How to grow tomatillos from seed
Share you tips for how to plant cucumber seeds in the comments section below