Cucumbers are both fun and quite easy to grown in containers. With the proper care, your cucumber plants will produce high yields, keeping you in salads and cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches all summer long!
Cucumbers germinate very quickly, typically in just over a week. They can be trained to grow vertically, which makes them wonderful for container gardens, and perfect for gardens with limited space.
The main cucumber varieties are vine and bush types. The bush varities are fairly compact, with smaller fruit. The vining varieties can grow up to around eight feet in length and will grow into an impressive looking plant if vertically trained.
As long as the climbing frame is sturdy enough, the fruits will grow happily hanging in the air, as opposed to lying on the ground. They can be picked early and eaten or pickled like gherkins, or left to mature. Some types can grow to impressive sizes.
Cucumbers from heirloom seeds are a popular choice for many home gardeners, as the taste is often considerably better than that of hybrid varieties.
Cucumbers are easy to grow, but they don't like cold conditions. If you choose to start them in early spring, do so only in a heated greenhouse. You can start them in mid to late spring in an unheated greenhouse, but if you intend to plant them outside, do so only once early summer has arrived.
If you do decide to start them off in a propagator, be sure to harden them off over the course of a week by acclimatizing them to outdoor conditions.
If you are training your cucumbers upwards in a raised garden bed with good soil, you can actually plant them quite close together; as little as eight inches apart rather than the recommended 36 inches apart.
Cucumbers may become bitter if they're pollinated by the male flowers, so either remove the male flowers as they appear, or choose only all-female flowering varieties. The female flower sits on top of a bulge that will eventually grow into a cucumber.
Feeding & Watering
Cucumbers are thirsty plants! Be sure to keep them moist, but not wet. Excessive watering may cause them to stop producing fruit. But on the other hand, be sure not to let them dry out!
Once your cucumber plants are growing, fertilize every other week with a balanced fertilizer.
When you're ready to harvest your cucumbers, remove the fruit by cutting it with secateurs. The vines are extremely sensitive, and so if you pull the fruits off, it may damage the vine, causing it to stop producing fruit.