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How to Plant Bush Cucumbers

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Things You Will Need

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


  • Apply a nitrogen-rich fertilizer once plants begin to set flowers to encourage healthy fruiting.
  • Harvest cucumbers once they are at least 2 inches long. Frequent harvesting may lead to more fruit production.


  • 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.

About the Author


Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.