How to Grow Cucumbers: Planning a Vegetable Garden

 How to Grow Cucumbers

How to Grow Cucumbers

It’s easy to learn how to grow cucumbers, if you remember they like sunshine and moist soil.  Here are some tips on growing cucumbers with abundance.

Starting Cucumber Seeds

Depending on your climate, you can either start cucumber seeds inside, or you can plant them directly outside. 

If you want to plant them directly outside, make sure the soil is warm — at least 75 degrees — and that the ground is damp, but not wet.  You can plant in large containers, in rows, or on “hills”.

If you start cucumber seeds inside, I’ve had good luck using the jiffy peat disks.  That way, once they have sprouted and developed their first true leaf, I can plant them, jiffy disk and all, into the garden.

Either way, cucumber seeds generally sprout in around 3 to 7 days.

Spacing in the Garden

When it comes to spacing cucumber plants in the garden, I like to plant in hills, 2 plants to a hill.

“Hill” is kind of a strange term.  It can mean an actual mound of soil…or just the spacing of the plants.  I personally don’t mound my soil.  I just put 2 plants about 12 inches apart, and keep the “hills” 4 feet apart.

If you want to space cucumbers in a traditional row, try putting the plants 2 feet apart, with 4 feet between rows.

Cucumbers in Containers

You can indeed grow cucumbers in containers!  I grow them in 5-gallon containers myself.  Just remember to keep the plants watered and fed more often than if the plants were in the ground.  Containers dry out faster, and the more frequent watering leaches the fertilizer from the soil.

The photo shows on of my “baby” cucumbers from one of the container plants.

Sunlight and Soil

As I mentioned, cucumbers like warm feet — warm soil, that is.  They also like plenty of sunshine.  But also give these plants room to roam — the vines can grow mighty long.

I like to grow the cucumbers in soil that’s been heavily amended with compost.

Growing Cucumbers Vertically

After an interesting experiement I had with growing cukes and zucchini upside down, I’ve decided it’s not for anyone who regularly gets winds more than 10 miles an hour.  Well, not unless you have a sheltered spot that has a windbreak.

Unfortunately, my cucumbers and zucchini got pretty beat up from the wind, so I had to pull them down and plant them in the ground (where they are much happier).

However, if you do have a spot in the garden that doesn’t get a lot of wind, it’s very much worth growing your cucumber vines on a trellis or upside-down.  Your cucumber fruits will grow straighter as a result.

How to Grow Cucumbers – Variety

The cucumber variety ““ is easy to find and is a great open-pollinated seed variety.  Another popular open pollinated variety is called ““.   And if you’d like to try something a little on the unusual side, try ““.

However, I am trialing the variety “Sweet Success” and so far, I am very impressed.  And will probably drown in cucumbers before very long!  I planted 4 seeds, and in reality, I could easily have gotten by with planting just 1 — the plant is that prolific!

Sweet Success has only female blossoms, so every flower bears a cucumber.  And my plants have a flower at every leaf node.  The first of the cukes will be eating-size within a week, so if they taste half as good as they look, these plants will have a permanent spot in my garden. 


I’ve picked 3 huge (around 14 inch) Sweet Success cucumbers so far, with a 4th ready for plucking. The taste is mild but good — no bitterness at all. Nice and firm throughout; no watery texture anywhere. Tiny undeveloped seeds, so it would be great for anyone who doesn’t tolerate the seeds well.

So I give this cucumber 2 thumbs up and will keep it ongoing in my garden.

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