People with limited space in their gardens or outdoors are often under the impression that they can’t grow their own food.
However, growing fruits and veggies in containers is easy when you know how to do so.
Container gardens will also help you capitalize on the space you have.
Container gardening also allows people with no gardens to enjoy fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs all year round.
Today we’ll look at how to grow cucumbers in a container garden effectively.
We’ll tell you what kind of containers to use, how and when to plant them, and how to care for them to help ensure a bountiful crop every season.
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How To Grow Cucumbers in a Container Garden: The Important Facts
For many people, cucumbers are an essential summertime vegetable since they can add crispiness and freshness to many dishes.
Technically speaking, though, cucumber is actually a fruit, along with tomatoes and squash.
It has a hard rind and no internal divisions, which scientifically classifies it as a type of pepe berry, but most of us still regard it as a vegetable.
Can You Grow Cucumbers in a Pot?
Growing cucumber in pots is easy, and they will grow extremely well as long as they have plenty of sunlight and moisture.
In fact, once you start growing them, you may be surprised at just how productive a cucumber plant is, even in a container.
When you start growing cucumbers in containers, you’ll have access to fresh cucumbers almost daily, so we hope you like them a lot.
Most cucumber plants grow on vines, so the tendrils tend to get tangled when growing in pots, but they still produce a great crop.
The Benefits of Growing Cucumbers in Pots
Many people who want to learn how to grow cucumbers in containers have limited space.
But growing cucumbers in this manner also come with many other benefits.
Not only can you plant them earlier, but you’ll also encounter fewer problems from pests and soil-borne fungal diseases.
How Deep Should a Container Be for Cucumbers?
Ideally speaking, the container you use should be at least eight inches deep and around 12 inches wide.
It should hold at least between five and seven gallons of the potting mix so that it’s easier to keep it consistently wet.
The more soil you have, the slower it will dry out and the better root system it can develop, producing stronger yields.
Experts estimate that just two extra inches in depth could double your cucumber harvest.
Also, the bigger the pot is, the less likely it will be to tip over, which is handy when your plant starts to get bigger.
Cucumbers like a lot of water, but they also need good drainage, so make sure the container you choose has several drainage holes.
Large plastic and ceramic planters are popular choices for growing cucumbers, but they will also grow in wood, fabric, and metal.
You could even upcycle an old five-gallon bucket; just remember to drill some drainage holes in it before you fill it up with soil.
How Do You Grow Cucumbers in a Planter Box: The Steps
Once you have your container picked out, most people can start growing cucumbers in containers as early as the beginning of May.
This is a little earlier than you would normally plant them in the ground, as the soil won’t be cold enough.
Cucumbers are heat-loving plants, so if you have a cold snap after planting, move them indoors or into a greenhouse if possible.
Cucumber plants will thrive in temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and you should shield them from the wind.
Step #1: Install Your Support Structure
Once you’ve decided where to place your cucumbers so that they get enough sunlight and warmth, you should install some support structures.
For bush cucumbers, you can make a bamboo tripod that will sit in the pot or install some wire mesh caging around the pot.
For vine cucumbers, it’s best to put some trellis up behind the pot for the cucumbers to grow up.
You want to do this before you plant your cucumbers so that you don’t disturb their germination or growing period.
Step #2: Fill Your Container With Potting Mix
Fill your container with high-quality potting mix, and don’t press it down since you want the soil to be fluffy and loose.
Also, don’t use soil from your garden since it will be too dense and slow to drain, not to mention that it may contain pests and diseases.
What Soil Should You Use?
Cucumber plants are fairly heavy eaters, so we recommend that you plant them in a 50/50 mix of high-quality potting soil and compost.
Or, if you have access to it, you could use equal parts of potting soil, compost, perlite, and peat moss.
Step #3: Sow Your Seeds and Water
Sow your seeds by following the instructions on the packet.
Different varieties of cucumbers may have different needs, depending on the expected size of the plant and root system.
Usually, cucumbers are sown somewhere between six and 12 inches apart, and you need to press the seeds about an inch down into the soil.
We recommend that you plant several seeds in each space that you want a plant, as not every seed will germinate.
Now you have to sit back and wait for the seeds to grow into seedlings.
Should You Use Seeds or Transplants?
The roots of cucumber plants are quite delicate and don’t like to be moved about too much.
For this reason, most people choose to sow cucumber plants straight from seed.
If you want to start your seeds indoors to get them going a little earlier, try to disturb the rootball as little as possible when transplanting them outside.
Step #4: Weed Out Seedlings and Mulch
Once the seedlings have two sets of leaves, then you can gently cut out the smaller ones, leaving just one plant in each space.
If you’re asking “Can you grow cucumbers in a pot?”, you may just want one cucumber plant per pot.
But if you have a larger planter, you will definitely grow two, three, or even more plants.
Don’t be tempted to pull out the extra seedlings since doing so can damage the root structures of the seedlings you want to keep.
Mulch the top of the soil to help retain moisture.
Step #5: Water Regularly
You need to water your cucumber plants regularly as they grow so that the soil and roots stay moist.
Step #6: Train Your Vines
When your cucumber plants start to get big enough, wind their vines around the support.
It will encourage them to climb upwards instead of crawling sideways.
If the plants need help staying upright, you can use clean, soft cloth or plant ties to secure them to the support structure.
Step #7: Increase Mulch and Fertilize
As your plants get bigger, you can increase the mulch on the top of the soil to help the plants retain even more moisture.
Fertilize your plants every two to three weeks by adding a diluted liquid fertilizer to the root areas of your plants.
Be careful not to over-fertilize, though, since this will cause the plants to produce fewer fruits.
What Type of Cucumbers Should You Grow?
Cucumbers either grow on a bush or a vine.
People growing in containers usually favor the bush type of cucumber, but even bush cucumbers may need extra support as they get bigger.
If you choose a vine-style cucumber, just make sure you install a trellis and train your cucumbers to grow upward.
When you buy your seeds or starters, you’ll also have to choose between slicing cucumbers and pickling cucumbers.
Slicing cucumbers are larger, typically growing to be between six and nine inches in length.
The waxy, tough skin is uniformly dark green and can sometimes be bitter, although the bitterness can often be removed by peeling or deseeding them.
Popular slicing varieties include lemon cucumber, diva hybrid, and straight-eight.
Pickling cucumbers are smaller and shorter, which is why they’re ideal for pickling in jars.
They usually have a uniform thickness, but their color can vary from dark green on one end to light green or yellow on the blossom end.
Their skin is also thinner, and this variety sometimes has bumps on it.
Popular pickling varieties include gherkins (cornichons), bush pickles, and Wisconsin SMR.
Do Cucumbers Grow Well in Pots?
Now you know how to grow cucumbers in a container garden, it’s just a case of selecting which type you want to grow.
Growing cucumbers in pots will save you money and offer you immediate access to the freshest cukes in town without having to leave the house.
When your friends see them and learn how easy they are to grow, they’ll probably want to know how to grow cucumbers in containers too.
Don’t forget that the two key ingredients to a happy cucumber plant are sunlight and moisture.
Keep them in a sunny area and water them regularly, and they’ll keep you fed.