Cucumber grow guide
- Time to germination: 7-10 days
- When to sow inside: March – April
- When to sow outside: May - June
- Spacing: 45cm +
- Soil preference: Fertile, moist rich
- Light preference: Full sun
- When to harvest: June – October
How to grow Cucumbers from seed
Cucumbers are a delicious and easy plant to grow in your garden and come in two types. Should you choose a ridge type of cucumber, a greenhouse is not a necessity as they have been bred for, and thrive in the colder conditions. Greenhouse varieties like Carmen are slightly more cold-sensitive which, if left unchecked, will halt the plant's growth, reducing its vigor, resistance to pests and disease, as well as its yields. As such, for a successful experience, we recommend growing this type under glass only.
When sowing your seeds (on their sides) at a depth of 1cm, consider the temperature they will be exposed to. 18-20 degrees is ideal, however once germinated, cucumber seeds can tolerate somewhat lower temperatures. After germination, place on a sunny windowsill. or as we recommend. under LED lights, to grow on and develop. Cucumbers are susceptible to root disturbance, and therefore we recommend planting seeds in 8cm thin-wall pots, then plant out, pot and all, once your greenhouse can sustain a temperature of 15 degrees.
Cucumber plants are heavy feeders and enjoy warm, rich, moist soil, loaded with plenty of organic matter. Add a few handfuls of fish, blood and bone meal with some volcanic rock dust and kelp powder to give them a rich, balanced and diverse diet for strong organic growth and cropping over the season. Keep cucumbers well-watered, and this diet will help the plants to form strong, well-developed immunity.
By preparing the planting hole/soil with the above organics prior to planting, and applying a side dressing of phosphorus-rich bone meal or wood ash just before fruiting, you are feeding the whole soil ecosystem, which provides your Carmen plants with a much broader diet. Chemical fertilizers bought off the shelf, are limited in their scope and kill life in the soil web, trapping the gardener into spending more time (and money) repeatedly fertilizing.
Tall vining plants, we recommend training cucumbers up garden twine. It’s a commercial technique, far superior in terms of time, labor, effort and effectiveness, to staking and tying in. Simply secure a length of twine above and let it hang down to your seedling. As your cucumber plant grows, wind the main stem around the twine. If you must stake, drive the stakes in at an angle, well clear of the root zone. Lovers of humidity, we plant cucumbers in the greenhouse's back corners with a few large stones around them. The stones help keep moisture in the soil whilst helping to evaporate water, keeping their environment moist and your cues happy.
When ordering cucumber Seeds from Grow Sow Greener, we recommend sowing nasturtium seeds. A beautiful plant that add interest and beauty in its own right and is a great companion for cucumbers. Growing nasturtiums a distance away from your veg will help lure aphids away, whilst giving you delicious red flowers and peppery young leaves for adding to salads.