How to Grow Cucumbers Using Hydroponics

Overview

Cucumbers are moisture-loving plants that grow well in hydroponic systems. They will do well in any hydroponic system, but this simple two-bucket system is easy to build and use. Using this system gives you the option of inexpensive hand-watering or automated watering with a timer and water pump. How often you water your cucumbers with nutrient solution depends on the type of system and growing medium that you use. Start out watering twice a day and adjust so that your growing medium stays moist but not soggy.

Step 1

Drill a hole in the side of each of two 5-gallon buckets, approximately 1 1/2 inches above the bottom of the bucket. Insert a through-hole connector in each. Connect the buckets with approximately 5 feet of flexible tubing.

Step 2

Cut a notch in the top lip of one bucket to allow the tubing for the air stone to enter the bucket. Assemble the air pump, tubing and air stone. Place the air stone in the bottom of the bucket. This is the nutrient reservoir bucket.

Step 3

Make the nutrient solution according to package directions. Dilute the solution 1 to 1 with water. Check the pH of the final solution. Adjust with liquid pH adjuster to a final pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

Step 4

Place the growing bucket onto a small table with the nutrient reservoir below.

Step 5

Fill the nutrient reservoir with diluted nutrient solution and turn on the air pump. Place the lid on the container.

Step 6

Wash and presoak the growing medium. Sand, sawdust, clay pebbles and perlite make good growing mediums. Fill the second bucket with growing medium.

Step 7

Plant the cucumber seedling in the growing medium.

Step 8

Raise the nutrient reservoir above the growing medium bucket to water the cucumber. Nutrient solution will flow into the growing bucket. Return the nutrient reservoir to its original position and allow the solution to flow back into the reservoir.

Step 9

Water the cucumber seedling one to three times a day to keep the growing medium moist. Top off the nutrient solution with pure water as needed to keep the bucket full. Check the pH and adjust it as needed to keep it between 5.5 and 6.5.

Step 10

Provide a trellis or other support for the cucumbers to climb or allow the cucumbers to grow down onto the floor below.

Step 11

Change the nutrient solution every two weeks, making full-strength nutrient solution this time and adjusting the pH to between 5.5 and 6.5.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 buckets, 5 gallons each
  • 1 lid
  • Drill
  • 2 through-hole connectors
  • Flexible tubing
  • Aquarium air pump
  • Air stone
  • Growing medium
  • Hydroponic fertilizer
  • pH test kit
  • Liquid pH adjuster
  • Small table

References

  • Simply Hydroponics: Free System Plans
  • Oregon State Extension: Greenhouse Cucumbers
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: Greenhouse Cucumber Production

Who Can Help

  • Hawaii Extension Service: Growing Hydroponic Cucumbers in a Plastic Trash Container
Keywords: grow hydroponic cucumbers, grow cucumbers hydroponically, grow hydroponic vegetables, cheap hydroponic cucumbers

About this Author

Diane Watkins has been writing since 1984, with experience in newspaper, newsletter and web content. She writes two electronic newsletters and content around the web. Watkins has a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Clemson University. She has taken graduate courses in biochemistry and education.