Growing cucumbers is a lot easier than you 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.
There are two things that a cucumber plant must have, sunshine and lots of water. If you can supply these, then you can enjoy lots of cucumbers this summer!
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Growing Cucumbers from Seeds
I would recommend growing the ‘Marketmore’ variety as it is very reliable, a good cropper and I have grown it for the past three summers. This is particularly so if you are growing cucumbers for the first time.
How to sow cucumber seeds indoors
- Fill small pots with seed sowing compost. I use this compost as it is an ideal texture to hold moisture for the seeds to germinate.
- 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.
- After 7-14 days, you will see little green shoots peeking through the compost. 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.
- Once the seedlings have the second set of leaves (true leaves), they are ready for transplanting into their own pots.
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.
Keep the transplanted seedlings well watered on your bright windowsill indoors.
Growing cucumbers outdoors
Once the danger of frost has gone, which is about May in the UK, you can plant these outdoors.
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 previous cucumber 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 every week. Planting flowers like nasturtiums and marigolds also helps to draw in the bees, which will help with the pollination.
Wait for the cucumbers to form and if they detach when you twist them, they are ready to be harvested!