How to Grow Cucumbers From Seed (5 EASY Tips)

How do you Grow Cucumbers from Seed?

This can be a difficult question to answer for beginner gardeners because of complex factors like weather, soil, and pests.

This article will help solve this problem and give ALL experience levels of gardeners Easy-to-Follow Tips on growing cucumbers from seed.

And I recommend scrolling to the bottom of this page to find answers to the 6 most frequently asked questions most gardeners have when growing cucumbers.


Tip #1: Choose THESE 3 Cucumbers Types

While there are hundreds of varieties of cucumbers you can grow, I am recommending 3 kinds to choose from

These are the easiest types when trying to learn how to grow cucumbers from seed.

Not only this, but all three of these cucumbers will die immediately from frost.

They also all grow in soil with a pH level of 7.0, need 70-degree Fahrenheit weather, and can be found in hardy zones 4 to 12.

A) Garden Cucumbers

How to Grow Garden Cucumbers

Garden cucumbers are the most popular type of cucumber in North America.

This type of cucumbers has a dark green and smooth-skin texture.

Garden Cucumbers typically have a wax coating that allows it to retain water, longer. Because of this you should unpeal this cucumber before you eat it.

This type of cucumber stands out for its large cucumbers, which makes it great for dishes where the seeds should stay in the vegetable. If the recipe calls for a seedless cucumber you should be able to quickly remove them.

B) Kirby Cucumbers (Pickling)

Kirby Cucumbers

Kirby Cucumbers are also known as pickling cucumbers because this type of cucumber is most used for pickles.

This type of cucumbers is short, bumpy, and produces a healthy crop all summer.

The skin color ranges from yellow and green to all dark green color.

And if you don’t want to eat it pickled then you can eat it raw for a crunchy and tasty treat.

C) English Cucumbers (Seedless)

English cucumbers are also called seedless cucumbers or hot-house cucumbers.

This type of cucumber is long, dark green, and skinny.

You will typically find this type of cucumber wrapped in plastic, although you can purchase it from farmers and gardeners without wrap.

Also, this cucumber is sought after because it has little to no seeds and has a very mild flavor making it perfect for any dish.

Use this type of cucumber for cocktails, water, and eating it raw. Do not use it for pickling as it is the least suitable type for it.


Tip #2: Starting Seeds Indoors

starting seeds indoors

When learning how to grow cucumbers from seed you should always start indoors. This will help minimize the risk of weather, pests, and disease.

Step 1 – Begin Planting Seed 12 weeks Before the Last Frost

How to Grow Cucumbers from Seed

You will want to start your seeds inside approximately 12 weeks before you plan on moving your cucumbers into your garden or moving your planter outside.

  • You will first want to start by buying your seed.  I recommend buying from Amazon because it is quick and inexpensive.
  • You will then want to take 3-inch GrowKo Peat Pots and fill them up to approximately 80% full with Miracle-Gro Potting Mix.
  • Next, spray your soil 5 to 8 times with a spray bottle. You will want the soil to be moist, not damp. Damp soil can cause unwanted fungus.

*Find Your Last Frost Date HERE*

Step 2 – Plant 2 to 3 Seeds Per Pot

How to Grow Cucumbers from Seed

  • Sprinkle 2 seeds per pot about 1/4 inch deep and then gently brush the soil over the seeds. *Note, do not to bury the seeds.
  • Then spray the soil again 5 to 8 times until it turns a dark color.

The video below also gives a great tutorial on how to plant seeds.

Step 3 – Provide Your Seeds with At Least 8 Hours of Sunlight

How to Grow Cucumbers from Seed

  • After planting your seeds, provide at least 8 hours of sunlight by placing the pots by a window or a Grow Light if your windows do not receive enough sunlight.

*If you put your seeds closer than 4 inches they will burn and die. If you put them further away than 4 inches there is a chance they won’t get enough sun to germinate.*

You will also want to keep the room temperature between 70 degrees Fahrenheit

  • This is the temperature needed so that your seeds can turn into plants.

If you don’t have an area that will stay consistently around 70 degrees, I would recommend investing in a Plant Heating Mat.

  • A Plant Heating Mat is the perfect way to keep your pots and seeds at a consistent temperature that we may not otherwise be able to.

Step 4 – Spray, Spray, Spray

After your initial planting, you will need to spray the soil once to twice a day for approximately 14 days.

It will take approximately 14 days for your seeds to germinate or “pop” through the soil.

Once your seeds have germinated and sprouted through the soil, you will want to continue to spray them twice a day for 2 more months until they are about 3 inches tall. This may take an additional 14 days.

Step 5- Prune & Transplant your Cucumber Plant into a Larger Pot

How to Grow Cucumbers from Seed

Once your cucumbers reach about 3 inches tall you can remove the smaller of the two plants.

You can do this by taking scissors and snipping the smaller of the two plants right at the soil line.  This will allow the healthier cucumber plant to grow to its full potential.  

Next, you can transplant your cucumber plant to a 5 Gallon Nursery Pot.

Again, you will want to fill these pots about 80% full with your potting mix.

Next, you will want to make a hole approximately 3 inches deep (about the size of your cucumber plant at this point).

Then turn your existing small pot upside down, pinch the bottom of it, and then gently pull the soil and your plant out.

You will then place it in your 5-gallon pot and fill it with soil.

Immediately after you do this, spray the soil about 5 to 10 times.

You will then want to leave your cucumber in this pot until it is ready to transplant outside.

If you learn better by watching then you will want to check out the below video:


Step 6 – Introduce your Cucumbers to Outside Weather

This next step is what most beginner gardeners miss, but is critical to your success.

For about two weeks, you will want to slowly introduce your Cucumbers to outside.

On the first day, you will want to place your Cucumbers (still in its pot) outside in direct sunlight for approximately 2 hours.

Each day thereafter, place the Cucumbers outside for an additional hour until you build up to 6 straight hours.


Tip #3: Transplant Cucumbers Outside

transplant cucumbers

Once the last frost of the year has happened you can transplant your Cucumbers outside. Never do it before because you risk your plant quickly dying.

Below, is a 2 step process for transplanting your Cucumbers outside into your garden.

Step 1 – Do THIS if you will be keeping your Cucumbers in its container all summer!

If you decide to keep your Cucumbers in the pots then there is no need to transplant. You will only need to apply compost or Miracle-Gro Potting Mix

  • Apply approximately 1/4 inch of potting mix to your planter
  • As soon as you apply your fertilizer make sure to water the Cucumbers for approximately 15 to 30 seconds
  • Every week until harvest water your Cucumbers twice a day and keep it in full sun to promote fruit growth.
  • It may also be beneficial to place a trellis behind your cucumbers so that it can grow up as a vine.

Step 2 – Do THIS to Transplant your Cucumberes into your Garden!

  • After the last frost, build a 4 to 6-inch mound that receives at least 8 hours of light.
  • Keep plants 2 to 3 feet apart from each other
  • Immediately after you transplant your cucumbers outside add
    Miracle-Gro Plant Food and water the soil for about 30 seconds. 
  • Finally, water your cucumbers once a day for about 30 seconds. Continue doing this until you harvest your cucumbers mid-summer.

Tip #4: Effectively Care for your Cucumbers THIS Way!

cucumbers

Below are caring tips for your Cucumbers throughout the summer:

  • Keep Your Soil Healthy – Quickly inspect your soil for fungus, harmful worms, and weeds before you plant and throughout the summer.  Remove and replace it with new soil as needed.
  • Mulch – Mulch around your plants with compost at the beginning of the year to prevent the possible spread of fungus.
  • Water the soil, not the plants. By watering leaves, you increase the risk of spreading fungus and other diseases.
  • Remove diseased and dead plants. This is the easiest way to prevent the spread of deadly diseases. If you notice yellow spots on leaves it means you may have blight fungus and will want to remove the leaves.
  • Plant your Cucumbers at a new spot yearly.  This is key to preventing seasonal diseases and insects from attacking the same plants year in and year out.  
  • Prevent Insects.  The best way to prevent them is through an insecticide.  If you don’t want spider mites, stinkbugs, or Japanese beetles ruining all your hard work I recommend purchasing Sevin Bug Killer.

Tip #5: Effectively Harvest Cucumbers THIS Way!

harvesting cucumbers

Below are several tips to remember when harvesting cucumbers:

  • Harvest your Cucumbers 6 to 8 weeks after planting. The quicker you harvest your cucumbers the more will grow.
  • Leave your cucumbers on the vine as long as possible.  This will allow them to ripen the most effective way and retain their flavor.
  • You will want to pick your cucumbers when the whole vegetable is solid green and slightly firm. Firmly hold the vegetable as the stem with one hand and the stem with another.  Twist the cucumbers and gently pull away from the plant. 
  • If insects are eating your cucumbers before they fully ripen it is okay to pick them when they are light green or yellow color and place on your windowsill. 


Frequently Asked Questions (7 Questions)

1. What are the Best Ways to Store Cucumbers?

storing cucumbers

Below, will give you several guidelines depending on the type of cucumber:

  • Cucumbers are 90% water, so they do not store as well as other vegetables.
  • After harvesting your cucumbers you can keep them whole for 2 to 4 weeks in the refrigerator and 1 to 2 weeks at room temperature.
  • In order to properly store your cucumbers, you should wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator. This will keep your cucumbers for 10-14 days.
  • If you want your cucumbers to last for a year then you will want to pickle them in a jar with vinegar

2. What are the Best Uses for Cucumbers?

cucumber uses

There are numerous uses for cucumbers in food. Below, are some of the best ways to use cucumbers:

  • Pickles
  • Cucumber Salad
  • Salads
  • Add to water
  • Soap
  • Salsa
  • Taboule

You can also find 59 unique and easy recipes HERE.


3. Should I Use a Trellis for my Cucumbers?

You should stake your cucumbers if you live in an urban area where space is limited, if you want to try vertical gardening, or if you want to conserve space in your garden for other plants.

I recommend purchasing Dura-Trel Trellis.

This Trellis comes fully assembled, is incredibly durable, is large enough for even the largest of plants, and is beautiful enough that it can fit in any setting.


4. What type of Cucumber Seeds should I Use?

cucumber seeds

There are four types of seeds that can be used to grow cucumbers; heirloom, organic, hybrid, and GMO.

I recommend using Heirloom or Hybrid seeds. Gardeners do not have access to GMO seeds and organic seeds is a marketing term and not truly a type of seed.

A. Heirloom

  • These seeds contain all the cucumber’s original traits and produce some of the most beautiful and best-tasting cucumbers out there.
  • The downside of this seed is that it is the costliest (due to its rarity).
  • In addition, expect the least amount of yield from this type of seed due to susception of disease and other elements. 

B. Hybrid 

  • Hybrid seeds were made from combining the genes of the same group of plants.  This is not a bad thing.
  • This type of seed is what most gardeners use when learning how to grow cucumbers from seed.
  • The goal with hybrids is to produce a plant that contains the best features of both parent plants. 
  • This seed is critical if you want the most resistant plant against mother nature’s elements, insects, and diseases or want the most yield!

5. What Type of Fertilizer Should I Use for My Cucumbers?

The best type of fertilizer for cucumbers is compost.

And if you don’t have the time or ability to create compost then I recommend buying Miracle-Gro Plant Food for your cucumbers.

  • What I like about this product is that you only have to apply it once every 3 months and it contains natural ingredients and micronutrients that support root strength and plant development.

6. What Type of Soil Should I Use for My Cucumber Plants?

If you will be keeping your cucumber plants in containers all year then you will want a well-draining potting mix that provides the correct amount of nutrients like Miracle-Gro Potting Mix.

If you will be planting your cucumbers into a garden then you will want to add a nutritious garden soil mix into the ground, such as Miracle-Gro Expand N Gro

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