Cucumbers can be grown in a simple water culture hydroponic system. The plant roots dangle into the nutrient solution and take in water and nutrients. The solution is aerated to provide oxygen for the plants.
Cucumbers can also be grown in a hydroponic drip system, Nutrient Film Technique or flood and drain system. These systems are more complicated and require more work. A noncirculating deep water culture method of growing cucumbers has been developed by the University of Hawaii. (See Resources.)
Start cucumber seeds in a small cup of sand or hydroponic growing medium. Water the seeds with pure water until they sprout, then water with hydroponic nutrients that have been made according to the package directions, then diluted with an equal part of water. Adjust the pH of the nutrient solution to between 6 and 6.5.
Drill a 2 1/2 inch hole in the top of the bucket lid. Cut a notch in the side of the top of the bucket to allow entrance of the air hose.
Attach the air hose to the air stone and place the air stone in the bottom of the bucket.
Fill the bucket with the diluted hydroponic nutrients you used to water the seedlings. Turn on the air pump.
Wash the growing medium off the roots and place the cucumber plant in a 3-inch net pot. Insert the net pot and plant into the hole in the lid of the bucket. The bottom of the net pot should just touch the top of the nutrient solution.
Check the water level daily and top off with water as needed. Check the pH and adjust as needed to keep the pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
Empty the nutrient solution after two weeks and refill the bucket with newly made nutrient solution. When the plant gets large, change the nutrient solution weekly. Use the spent nutrient solution to water landscape plants.
Support the growing plant with a trellis or train the cucumber vine up a string attached to an overhead structure.
Things You Will Need
- 5-gallon bucket and lid
- Drill with 2 1/2 inch hole saw
- Aquarium air pump
- Air stone
- Hydroponic nutrients
- pH test kit
- Cucumber seed
- 3-inch net pot
- Sand or hydroponic growing medium
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