Growing Cucumbers – how to grow from seeds

lots of green leaves on several seedlings growing in a pot on the windowsill

Growing cucumbers is much easier than you’d think. Plus homegrown cucumbers are so delicious! Their taste cannot be compared to the cucumbers that are sold in the shops. You can grow cucumbers in a pot if your outdoor space is small.

If you have a sunny sheltered spot, then you have the perfect location for growing cucumbers. Plus lots of water and some nutrient rich compost! I like to start them off indoors as the summer season is short here in the UK.

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Growing Cucumbers from Seeds

Cucumber Seeds

I would recommend growing the ‘Marketmore’ variety as it is very reliable, a good cropper and I have grown it every summer for the past few years. Also a great variety if you are growing cucumbers for the first time!

How to sow cucumber seeds indoors

  • Take a small clean pot which has holes at the bottom for good water drainage. Fill it with seed sowing compost. I use this compost as it is an ideal texture to hold moisture for the seeds to germinate. However, if you only have multipurpose compost, that will be fine too.
  • Use a chopstick or the blunt end of a pencil to make holes that are 1 cm deep.
  • Place a seed in each hole – I tend to place from 4-6 seeds in each pot (remember to sow a few more than you need, as not all seeds will germinate)
  • Cover each seed up by closing the hole with the compost on the sides.
  • Use slightly tepid water to moisten the compost. Try to avoid over watering as it may cause the seeds to rot.
  • Use a plastic bag to cover the pot or place in a tray that has a plastic cover – this will help to hold the temperature and humidity.
  • Leave the pots or tray in a warm place indoors. I like to leave mine near the boiler in my kitchen. At this stage, I must say the seeds do not need light to germinate.
  • Within 7-14 days, you will see little green shoots peeking through the compost. Keep an eye on your pot after 4 days as they could pop up even earlier. Once this happens, you can take the plastic cover off and place them near a bright warm window.
  • Water often to keep the compost moist but not soggy wet. I prefer to water them from below – stand your pot in a tray of water for 10 minutes and it should seep up from the drainage holes to the developing roots.
  • Once the seedlings have the second set of leaves (true leaves), they are ready for transplanting into their own pots.
lots of green leaves on several seedlings growing in a pot on the windowsill
Set of true leaves on the cucumber seedlings – ready for transplanting

Transplanting the seedlings

You will need slightly bigger pots which are clean and some fresh multipurpose compost. Water the seedlings well before you transplant them. This will help the seedlings to be moved easily.

Transplanting Cucumber Seedlings Video

Keep the transplanted seedlings well watered on your bright windowsill indoors.

Growing cucumbers outdoors

Once the danger of frost has gone, which is about mid- May in the UK, you can plant these outdoors after ‘hardening’ the young cucumber plants. This means getting your plants used to the conditions outside by letting them spend daytime outdoors but bringing them in at night. In about a week or so of doing this, they will be ready to be planted outside.

Cucumber plants are easier to grow with some support given to them. I use a handmade frame with some hessian string weaved in it. You can read about this in my Growing Cucumbers Outdoors post. However, you can be more creative or buy supports from your garden centre.

Plant in a sunny position and keep them well watered. Once the cucumber plants start to flower, you can give them a diluted tomato feed or seaweed extract every week. Planting flowers like nasturtiums and marigolds also helps to draw in the bees, which will help with pollination.

Wait for the cucumbers to form and if they detach when you twist them, they are ready to be harvested!

When I have loads, I love to preserve them and this is my tasty  Cucumber Pickling Recipe  if you’d like to have a go! Of course, fresh cucumbers are so welcome on hot summer days with this refreshing and easy to make cucumber salad!

Buy Cucumber Seeds

Posts you may also find useful:

How to Grow Carrots – from seeds

Growing Chives – Easy to Grow Herb

How to Grow Nasturtiums – easy edible flowers

8 Replies to “Growing Cucumbers – how to grow from seeds”

  1. thefoodscientist95 says: Reply

    Great advice. This is my first year growing cucumbers and I have 4 in their own pots. 2 on a sunny windowsill and 2 in my very small greenhouse. I’ll be building a frame for them in a couple of weeks when I can get supplies

    1. That sounds fabulous! Homegrown cucumbers are delicious and so worth it!

  2. Thank you for this great post.

    1. You are welcome!

  3. You provide so much great information, thank you. I’ve successfully grown some from seed but now I’m struggling with leaf scorch, do you suffer from this and how do you deal with it or is it just the wrong variety I’ve gone for!

    1. Hi Rebecca! You’re welcome and happy to hear that you are growing cucumbers too. The plants may not be getting enough water, or if you are watering them regularly they may not be able to absorb it adequately. Cucumber plants need good draining soil .. I add a handful of grit when I am planting cucumber. Also avoid over fertilising your plants as this can lead to leaves scorching too.
      Hope this helps!

  4. Kaleem Ahmed says: Reply

    Hi Hema. How long would the end to end process take i.e. sowing seeds to harvesting? Do we still have enough time to sow seeds? Also if I dont have room to sow directly in the bed is it ok to grow them in pots? Conscious that they may get too big. Thanks

    1. Hi Kaleem! Generally, they can take about 3 months from sowing to harvesting. You can plant them in beds as I have done in a sunny sheltered spot and grow them vertically so it doesn’t take up much space. Have a read of my blog post on growing cucumbers from seeds, it may be very helpful to you!

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