How to Plant Bush Cucumbers


Bush cucumbers are well suited to small gardening spaces and container gardens. Unlike the larger vine varieties, bush cucumbers are compact and take up little space. Most bush cucumbers produce smaller fruit than the vines. Pickling and salad cucumbers are the most common types. A warm-season vegetable, you can plant cucumbers in the garden after all danger of frost in your area has passed in spring. Start cucumbers from seed indoors 4 weeks before the last expected frost for later transplanting outside in the spring.

Step 1

Fill peat pots with a soilless potting mix. Water the soil until it is evenly moist throughout.

Step 2

Sow two seeds per pot to a 1/4- to 1/2-inch depth. Cover the pot in plastic wrap and place in a warm, 65- to 75-degree-Fahrenheit room to germinate.

Step 3

Remove the plastic once sprouts appear, approximately 7 to 14 days after planting. Place the plants in a sunny window and keep the soil moist at all times.

Step 4

Thin the bush cucumbers to one per pot once they develop their second set of leaves. Pluck out the weaker of the two plants, leaving the stronger one in the pot.

Step 5

Plant cucumber seedlings in a well-drained garden bed in full sun. Peel down the sides of the peat pots and plant the pots in the garden soil. Space plants 1 to 2 feet apart in rows that are 5 feet apart, or plant a single bush cucumber plant per large planter.

Step 6

Keep the soil moist at all times, providing approximately 2 inches of water per week. Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch around the plants to help preserve soil moisture.

Tips and Warnings

  • Bush cucumbers may require staking to support the fruit. Install a stake at the time of planting to avoid damaging the shallow roots of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat pots
  • Potting mix
  • Water
  • Cucumber seeds
  • Plastic wrap
  • Organic mulch


  • University of Illinois Extension: Cucumbers
Keywords: bush cucumbers, container gardening, planting cucumber seeds

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.