How to Grow, Plant and Harvest Cucumbers

Overview

Choose the variety of cucumber that suits your garden and tastes. Some cucumbers are small and meant for pickling, others for salads. Most cucumbers vine but there are a few varieties such as lemon cucumbers that have a bush-like habit. Check with your local university's extension to find out which varieties do the best in your area.

Step 1

Dig a hole that is 2-feet deep and wide. Fill the bottom of the hole with 1 foot of compost. Or fill that first foot with kitchen refuse, such as coffee grinds, fruit and vegetable peelings, grass clippings and spent plants. Chop the materials into chunks by plunging a shovel into it a number of times. Spread a handful of fertilizer over the raw compost materials and mix in well. Fill the remainder of the hole with a mixture of half garden soil and half compost.

Step 2

Soak the cucumber seeds overnight in water. The water softens the hard outer shell and the seed will germinate faster. Place them in a zip-lock bag with a 1/2 cup of tap water.

Step 3

Plant the seeds in groups of three, with each seed about 6 inches away from the others in a circle. Plant the first seed at 12 o'clock, the second seed at 4 o'clock and the third seed at 8 o'clock. Form a mound around the seed group one foot away from the seeds.

Step 4

Water until the soil is wet to a depth of 6 inches. Use a wooden skewer to check. Plunge the skewer into the soil. I the soil is wet it will cling to the skewer.

Step 5

Place black plastic wrap, such as a garbage bag over the seed groups. The black retains the heat and the plastic keeps the moisture in. Check the soil every 3 or 4 days for moisture, water if necessary. Remove the plastic as soon as the seeds have sprouted. Start seeds indoors if you live where summers are short and plant seedlings outside in similar circular fashion after two sets of leaves have formed on each.

Step 6

Feed the cucumbers every two weeks with water soluble fertilizer. If rainfall doesn't measure 1 1/2 inches a week or the weather is hot and dry, supplement with additional watering.

Step 7

Harvest at any size. Even tiny cucumbers are edible. Don't let the cucumbers grow beyond the size of the variety. In other words if the type you planted is supposed to grow 9 inches long, harvest before they get longer than 9 inches.

Tips and Warnings

  • Cucumbers are heavy feeders. Make sure they are fed regularly.

Things You'll Need

  • Cucumber seeds
  • Zip-lock bag
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Raw composting material
  • Fertilizer
  • Black plastic
  • Wooden skewers

References

  • "The Country Garden"; Charlie Ryrie; 2003

Who Can Help

  • The Garden Helper
Keywords: grow cucumbers, harvest cucumbers, cucumbers garden

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.