How to Grow Cucumbers

It’s easy to grow cucumbers in your own backyard! Cucumbers are a popular ingredient in summer salads with their crisp and refreshing taste! 

Cucumbers are easy to grow, requiring limited space, cucumbers are a simple and rewarding crop to grow. With many different varieties to choose from, you are sure to grow something to suit your eating preference! Here are our top tips on how to grow cucumbers:

When to plant

Cucumber seeds can be sown inside anytime in spring or sow outside once the risk of frost has passed in your area.

Seedlings can be planted in your garden anytime between Labour Weekend and early-mid Summer.

Soil and position

Cucumbers enjoy rich, fertile soil so we recommend digging in compost and sheep pellets or poultry manure before planting in the garden. When planting in containers we recommend using a high-quality potting mix like Tui Vegetable Mix or Tui Pot Power.

For the best results plant your cucumbers in full sun. They don’t require a lot of room, so they make perfect space fillers in your garden bed.

Planting

In Garden Beds:

  • Soak seedlings in Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic before planting to help reduce the risk of transplant shock
  • Dig a hole, gently loosen the rootball from its punnet or pot and place it in the middle of the hole
  • Fill in soil and press gently to compact
  • Thoroughly soak the soil.

In Containers:

  • Soak seedlings in Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic before planting to help reduce the risk of transplant shock
  • Partially fill the container with potting mix, we recommend Tui Vegetable Mix or Tui Pot Power
  • Position your plant in the container and fill the remainder with potting mix
  • Press soil gently around the plant and water well.

Staking

As the vines grow, attach them to strings, stakes, or frames. When the vine reaches the top of the string, pinch out the growing tip to encourage the plant to produce more stems and fruit.

Watering

Water is a critical element for cucumber success! Inconsistent watering can lead to bitter fruit.

The easiest way to know whether your cucumbers need watering is to poke your finger in the soil. When the soil is dry past the first joint on your finger it is time to water. Generally, we recommend checking once every couple of days (more if it has been a particularly dry or warm season).

It is best to water your cucumbers in the morning or afternoon once the heat of the day has passed. Be sure to avoid getting any water on your plants’ leaves.

Harvesting

Do not let your cucumbers get too big before harvesting, cucumbers left on the vine too long will start to become tough and bitter. The ideal time to pick a cucumber is when it is uniformly green, firm, and crisp. If you do leave your cucumber too long be sure to pick it off anyway, cucumbers left too long on the vine will eventually lower plant productivity.

To harvest use a knife or clippers and cut the stem above the fruit. Pulling the fruit may result in damage to the vine.

Pests and diseases

Cucumbers can be prone to spots of powdery mildew, this looks like a white powder substance on the foliage. To reduce the risk of powdery mildew be sure to avoid getting the foliage wet when watering.

Companion Planting

Cucumbers can benefit greatly from companion planting. Check out our companion planting guide here.

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