Today you’re going to learn…
Growing cucumbers in pots at home without growing experience
Growing cucumbers in pots are extremely easy and productive. Enjoy this water-rich vegetable throughout the summer.
Give cucumber plants plenty of sunshine, water, and fertilizers
You will have more than enough cucumbers at the time of harvest.
It takes 50 to 70 days to grow cucumbers from seed to harvest.
Growing them in pots and containers reduces the risk of getting plant disease.
This guide will explain how you can grow cucumbers and achieve a big harvest?
Best types of cucumbers for container gardening
We have two types of cucumber plants: One is bush cucumber plants, second is vine cucumber plants.
The difference is,
Bush cucumber varieties do not grow large. They are small types of vines that look like a bush, just 2 to 3 feet long. No cucumber trellis is required to grow bush type cucumber plants. Just support them with the tomato cage. To do so grow tomato and cucumber in the same pot (of course you need a bigger size pot).
You can place your cucumber pots near the tomato cage so that when cucumber vines grow. They can grab the tomato cage for support. This will not affect your growing tomatoes in any way. It is good to grow more plants in a single growing place.
Due to the short height, these varieties are best to grow in pots.
On the other hand,
Vining cucumber plants grow longer in size approx. 8 to 10 feet long. These long vines need good support and cucumber trellis are best to support cucumber vines. These are long cucumber vines but this does not mean you cannot grow them in pots.
All you need is a big size container and cucumber trellis to support them. Choose cucumber containers with a minimum diameter of 20 inches. Because large plants have a large rooting system and also need good space for roots to spread.
Note: If you never grow cucumbers in your life but want to grow them now, start from the bush type varieties. Don’t go for large vine types because 95% of beginner gardeners find it difficult to manage large plants at the beginning of their gardening carrier.
List of best cucumber varieties for home gardening
Before going further in this topic, you need to know what options you have. Means types of cucumbers plants available for containers.
Bush Cucumber Plant Varieties
Salad Cucumber Plant
Easy to grow
Height: 2 to 3.5 feet
Cucumber size: 8 inches long
Days to maturity: 57 days
When to harvest: When cucumber grow up to 8 inches
Pick a Bushel cucumber plant
Height: 2 to 3 feet long
Cucumber size: 3 to 5 inches long
Days to maturity: 50 days
When to harvest: When cucumbers grown to 5 inches
You can grow these types with other herbs and vegetables if you have a large container. This a hybrid version of cucumbers.
Seed less cucumbers
Cucumber size: 4 to 7 inches long
Height: 2 feet
Days to maturity: 55 to 60 days
When to harvest: When the cucumbers grow to 4 inches in size
Best to eat them fresh and suitable or making cucumber pickle.
Height: 2 to 2.5 feet long
Cucumber size: 6 to 8 inches long
Days to harvest: 62 days
When to harvest: Not before 5 inches in size
These are great for pickles, use small sizes when making pickles and slicing when mature. Ideal for containers.
Vining cucumber plant types
Lemon: Lemon cucumbers are popular all over Canada and the USA. They are easy to grow and the vine goes up to 10 feet long and gives a good amount of fruit. Harvest lemon cucumbers when they are pale green to light yellow.
Diva: An All-America selection winner 5 to 7 inches long in size with no seeds at all. Their thin skin makes them good for pickles and fresh eating.
Picolino: Most of the people like to eat fresh cucumbers and these are the best for that purpose. Their mini size 4 to 5 inches make them easy to eat fresh by plucking them directly from the plant.
Right containers for growing cucumbers
The first step in container gardening is choosing the best types of containers according to your plant type. In the case of cucumbers, you need a container with at least one draining hole. If your container doesn’t have it, make it by using a drill. Your container should big enough so that it can hold the 5 to 7 gallons of potting mix. Moreover, this size is good for the expansion of roots and big containers hold a large amount of water which is required for growing cucumber plants at home. Because they contain a high percentage of water.
Plants with a good strong rooting system always grow healthy and produce more healthy fruits.
4 types of containers are available and that are plastic, wood, metal, and fabric. Do not use metal pots they are not suitable for growing plants that produce food. Where wooden and fabric are good for it.
If you are on a low budget choose the fabric pots. They don’t need to have a bottom draining hole. Also, fabric pots are easy to use and you can use them for many years to grow a different type of plant. They are less durable than plastic pots but have good aeration properties.
Hanging baskets are also best to grow bush cucumbers in them. Because bush type does not grow large. But again, size matters and you need a hanging basket with at least 14 inches in diameter.
Right Soil for Container Cucumbers
Cucumbers need a high amount of fertilizers but not at once. In simple words, it means cucumbers need more fertilizers but fertilizer needs to be a slow-releasing fertilizer. Use high-quality potting mix and home-made compost for growing cucumbers in pots.
50 % of potting mix and 50% of compost is a good combination for growing cucumber plants in pots. Add good quality slow-releasing fertilizer to the mixture before planting the cucumbers in the final pot.
Cucumber fertilizers are different from other ordinary fertilizers. Visit Amazon to check their online varieties.
When to plant cucumber plants?
Plant them 14 days after the last spring frost when the soil temperature goes up to 15 Degrees C. You can start germinating seeds inside your home before the time. If you start too early your plants will not tolerate the cold.
How to grow cucumbers in containers?
Cucumber plants do not like root disturbance by planting them in different pots. When we start them inside and plant them outside their roots get disturbed. This gives them shock and this is the reason in 65% cases this technique doesn’t work.
So, the best way is to sown cucumber seeds directly in the final place means in the container where they will stay for the rest of their life.
To sow them in pots, just sow them 1 inch deep, 3 seeds per pot (depending on the size of your pot). Give them water but not like you give water to your mature plants, just mist the water to keep the soil moist and it has to be moist until the seeds get germinated.
When you feel your pot is small for growing seedlings take out them one by one and transplant them into a suitable place.
If you want to start them indoors you can do so, just make sure you start your cucumber seeds 14 to 20 days before the last spring frost. Then you can transfer them to the new pots. Too early indoor starting can trigger the flowering stage before the right time. Once they get flowers indoors this makes it hard to transfer them outside in the garden or new container. If you do so your plants will die and those survive cannot produce fruit to their full potential.
At the time of transferring cucumber seedlings to their outside containers. Carefully take the seedlings one by one and plant them without touching their roots.
Vertical cucumber gardening
It has so many benefits like vertically grown plants are less prone to diseases. Because it increases the airflow around the foliage and they don’t get affected. When plants grow up they acquire less space and you have the more free area to grow some other plants.
In outdoor cucumber gardening growing them vertically with support use, less area, and your outdoor garden look tidier.
Short cucumber plants do not need support but for safety give them the support of tomato cage or a stick.
Trellises: The most common type of trellises are made from wire or wood. These are multipurpose trellises that can be used to support any vine type plant. you can purchase one from Amazon or make your own at home.
Supporting cucumber Nets: Many types of nets are available but you need to choose with a large hole that is at least 4 inches in diameter. One-inch square mesh nets are not useful in growing cucumbers in pots. The material of all nets are almost the same, just hung it with something strong and you are done.
Care of growing cucumbers
Healthy plants give the best harvests and for that, you need to give them full care. Take care of their needs and they will give your good amount of harvest.
Below is the cucumber caring tips, follow them to get more cucumbers per plant.
Watering cucumber plants: Cucumbers are hydrating fruits means they contain a high percentage of water. Therefore, they need more water to become juicy and fresh.
Remember that water-stressed plants produce bitter cucumbers. Measure the moisture level daily because the container plants need more water than the garden plants. To check moisture, you don’t need to buy any device. Just follow the traditional method, stick your finger in the potting mix if it feels dry give some water if it is moist wait, and check the next day.
Nutrients/Fertilizers: Cucumbers need a good amount of fertilizers to grow bigger. As I already mentioned that slow-release fertilizers are best when a plant needs a high amount of nutrients. Fertilize your cucumber plants with any good quality organic slow-release fertilizer once or twice a month.