How to grow cucumbers

Cucumbers are a popular ingredient in summer salads with their crisp and refreshing taste! 

Easy to grow and 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! Keep reading for our guide to growing crispy, refreshing cucumber.

When to plant

Cucumber seeds can be sown inside anytime in Spring or 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 before planting in the garden. When planting in containers we recommend using a high-quality potting mix like Tui Vegetable Mix.

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


In Garden Beds:

  • Soak seedlings in plant tonic before planting to help reduce the risk of transplant shock.
  • Dig a hole roughly twice the depth & width of the rootball of your plant.
  • Gently loosen the rootball 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 plant tonic before planting to help reduce the risk of transplant shock.
  • Partially fill the container with potting mix, we recommend Tui Vegetable Mix.
  • Position your plant in the container & fill the remainder with potting mix.
  • Press soil gently around the plant and water well.



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.


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 a week (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.


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, fungicides can be purchased to help control this once it appears. To reduce the risk of powdery mildew be sure to avoid getting the foliage wet when watering.


This ‘How To’ Guide has been produced to provide basic information and our experienced staff are available to answer any questions that you may have. Because this guide is of a general nature, neither Palmers nor its staff are responsible for the application of the information, as the contents may need to be modified for individual projects and site applications.


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