Cucumbers are best grown from seeds and directly planted into the soil. You can start the seeds indoors if you live in a cooler climate but by late spring the soil should already be warm enough for direct sowing in the garden.
Planting cucumbers is very satisfying since they are fast growers, even when started as seeds. They germinate within a few days and you’ll have nice fruit by the mid or late summer.
If this is your first time growing your own cucumber plants, read on to learn everything you need to know. This is how to plant cucumber seeds indoors and outdoors.
How to Grow Cucumber at Home
Cucumbers can grow both indoors and outdoors, as long as they are kept in warm enough soil and receive enough sunlight. These are warm weather plants and don’t do well in dark spaces or temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cucumber seeds can be started indoors but remember that their roots are very sensitive. In other words, they don’t like to be transplanted.
If your plan is to continue growing them outside, make the move about a week or two after germination. Remove they container that they were in and place them in the soil without disturbing the roots. Even then, they might go in a short state of shock but should recover quickly enough.
You can also start the seeds outside. Cucumber plants can be grown on a raised bed, along a trellis or any other spot as long as it is not too deep and receives enough sun.
May is the best month to start cucumber seeds outside if you live in the western hemisphere since by then there is the least chance of frost. You should have deliciously crispy cukes by the end of summer.
How to Plant Cucumber Seeds Outdoors
Growing cucumbers in a raised bed is a good gardening hack to protect cucumber plants from cold soil. Choose a raised bed that is not too deep since their roots stay close to the surface.
- Start cucumber seeds outside approximately 2 weeks after the last frost, or longer if desired.
- Choose a spot with lots of direct sunlight, at least 6 hours per day.
- Create a mixture of fresh soil and fertilizer in a raised bed that is approximately 8 inches deep.
- Make the soil moist and compact.
- Plan out a row running north-south to plant the cucumber seeds.
- Plant 2-3 seeds about 1 inch into the soil and 6-10 inches apart. Leave 1-2 feet between rows.
- Cover the seeds and water well.
- Leave mulch on top of the soil – for protection and extra soil nutrition.
- Check daily to see if the soil needs watering. It should be consistently moist but never soggy.
- Let seedlings grow to about 4 inches before thinning to 0.5-1 foot apart.
- Harvest cucumbers on time or they will start to taste bitter. Find out the best picking length for the variety that you are growing.
How to Plant Cucumber Seeds Indoors
If the weather in your area is a little unpredictable, it is a good idea to start cucumber seeds indoors. Since they are not the most resilient after transplanting, a plantable container is the safer choice.
- Start cucumber seeds indoors around 4-6 weeks before the final frost.
- Fill peat pots with seed starter mix.
- Water the soil until it is moist and compacted.
- Make indentations of approximately 1 inch deep with your finger in each pot.
- Place 2-3 cucumber seeds in each indentation.
- Cover the seeds with more soil, water again and gently press the top layer of soil.
- Leave the containers in a bright spot with direct sunlight.
- If necessary, use a heat mat to keep the soil temperature at approximately 70°
- Check the soil daily and water if necessary, constantly keeping it moist but not soggy.
- The seeds will germinate in about a week.
- Approximately 2 weeks after germination or 4 week after planting the seeds, the seedlings can be transplanted outdoors or to a larger container.
- If moved to a larger container, ensure the cucumber vines have enough space to trail horizontally.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Cucumbers from Seed?
Cucumbers grow quickly so you will be able to harvest them soon enough. It takes most cucumber varieties around 50-70 days to be ready for picking, starting from the day the seeds are planted.
If you don’t want to be stuck with too many overripe cucumbers, plan out your cucumber planting. If planting outdoors, leave 2 weeks between the sowing of each row and do the same when growing them indoors.
Alternatively, you can start with cucumber seedlings that are sometimes available in gardening outlets. Just think about the what would be the best way to transplant them since they are likely to go into shock after leaving the comfortable environment of the greenhouse.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I Soak Cucumber Seeds Before Planting?
Cucumbers love water but their seeds don’t need to be soaked before planting. Keeping the soil moist is already enough moisture for them to grow.
What Is the Best Way to Plant Cucumber Seeds?
Cucumbers seeds are best started indoors since the seedlings are very sensitive to temperatures below 50°F. Start seeds indoors around 4-6 weeks before the last frost and transplant them outdoors approximately 2 weeks after the last frost.
How Many Cucumber Seeds are in a Hole?
2-3 cucumber seeds per hole is more than enough. Cucumber plants have a tendency to grow wildly and take up a lot of horizontal space.
Many gardening lovers choose to grow cucumbers from seeds because they are fast growers and reasonably easy to grow. The main issue you have to deal with is ensuring that the soil temperature never drops too low.
That is why it is safest to start cucumber seeds indoors and to transplant the young plants outdoors several weeks after the last frost. Start the growing process in April so that the first plants can be in the outdoor soil at the start of May.