Growing Cucumber

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
        P              

(Best months for growing Cucumber in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 16°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 40 - 60 cm apart
  • Harvest in 8-10 weeks. Cut fruit off with scissors or sharp knife.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Nasturtiums, Beans, Celery, Lettuce, Sweet Corn, Cabbages, Sunflowers, Coriander, Fennel, Dill, Sunflowers
  • Avoid growing close to: Potato, Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers on plant (commons.wikimedia.org - Rasbak - CC BY-SA 3.0)
  • Young plant
  • Female flower with baby fruit
  • Male flower

A trailing plant which will grow tendrils as it gets bigger. Cucumbers can be started in small peat pots then transplanted when weather is suitable. Lebanese cucumbers are best picked about 10 -12 cm (4 - 5 in) and eaten whole. Gherkins are usually picked 5 or 6 cm (2 - 3 in) long and pickled. They have a prickly skin. Apple cucumbers are round with a pale, almost white, smooth skin.

Grow in full sun up a trellis or framework to save space and keep the fruit clean. Needs ties to support it at first. Water regularly and fertilise to encourage growth.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Cucumber

Pick frequently before the fruit become too big.
Use raw in salads, peeled if preferred. Bash them with a rolling pin before slicing and marinade with a rice vinegar/fish sauce/sugar mix and they will absorb the flavours of the dressing.

Your comments and tips

09 Jan 22, Trina Richmond (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I live on the Gold Coast, and have been growing mad hatter capsicum successfully for about three years now, and grape/cherry tomatoes about the same but not very much fruit. This year I planted continental cucumbers. The plant grew very large in about two weeks, (5 foot+), and the leaves are huge, but I have only had 4 fruits and the leaves are being eaten so badly that they look like a very thin, worn out, see through piece of material. This past month for some reason every capsicum, yellow, green and mad hatter, all produced rotten fruit, and I ripped out the plants, except the cucumber. What has caused this? I may have over fertilised.. Also all plants are producing a lot of yellow leaves, especially the tomatoes.
12 Jan 22, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
I forgot to mention: as part of my previous reply; that the insects are eating your plant because it is stressed. That is, insects USUALLY attack/eat plants that are NOT healthy..... plants that are deteriorating are easily digestible. It's part of the natural process; the insects help breakdown a plant that is dying, rather than the insects killing the plant. So focusing on the insects may again, be misleading. Clearly, if you're trying to save the plant, you will need to get rid of the insects....but in MOST cases the insects are not the root cause of your issue.
17 Jan 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I generally have very healthy plants and I can tell you the insects don't wait until they are stressed. Recently very healthy egg plant and now the leaves have been decimated by something eating the leaves.
12 Jan 22, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
Have you had a lot of humidity (higher than usual) lately ? If so, your plants may be having a hard time transpiring. Transpiration is the process of releasing moisture (like sweating and evaporation rolled into one). Plants suck up water through their roots and move the water up through their stems and into their leaves, where they release the water (transpiration). Only about 5-10% of the water they intake is used for growth - the rest is released into the environment. The movement of water facilitates the movement of nutrients. So if the movement of water is SLOWED due to really high humidity (and this mostly happens in greenhouses when they are not properly ventilated) plants start to show signs of nutrient deficiencies of all kinds (maybe blossom end rot in tomatoes despite having plenty of bio-available calcium in the soil). That is to say; you could have a lot of misleading signs like: blossom end rot, or nitrogen deficiency (honestly I'm not sure which nutrients need the most water to be moved).....but the take away is the signs could be really confusing, and appear totally illogical. This only happens in high humidity situations; again like an improperly vented greenhouse, or if somehow you have managed to trap the humidity in your space...... this is a long shot.....but I lived on the Gold Coast (Broad Beach area) 30+ years ago...... and I still remember how humid it could get... especially further North. Clearly, some plants are better at moving the water in high humidity situations....tomatoes tend to have difficulty in very high humidity. Ensuring proper air flow may be helpful.
11 Jan 22, Anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
It is very hard to grow things during summer along the coast in Qld with all the rain and heat. Generally start planting seeds etc late Feb/Mar. Rain brings on the breeding cycle of a lot of insects etc. If plants are growing fast and too big - too much nitrogen. Yellow leaves - with lots of rain the fertiliser is leached through the soil. Also yellow leaves can be from a trace element deficiency. Use a fert that has trace elements. Here is my tips - during summer try and improve your soil with compost manures etc. Put grass clippings and leaves etc on you garden bed and dig in and turn over a couple of times during summer. Soil has to be watered to help break down the leaves etc. You should then only need a very light feritising.before planting in March. Plant cabbage broccoli etc in early May.
27 Dec 21, Wouter (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
How long does a cucumber plant live for before it needs to be taken out of a garden bed?
31 Dec 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
About 4-5mths or so. Generally the soil will run out of nutrient.
18 Nov 21, Karen (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi. I’ve planted my Lebanese cucumber in my garden bed about 3 weeks ago around middle of October. I’m in south australia. The plant is about 1/2 inch . I feel that nothing is happening . No growth. What should I do. New Gardner.
27 Dec 21, Fiona (Australia - temperate climate)
Ours were very slow to start this year due to our unusually cool temperatures. But have now started to take off and produce fruit. We are southern fleurieu.
20 Nov 21, Nigel (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I plant mine a bit earlier and found that they take a fair bit of time to take off. Plenty of water and a good fertilizer will move them along. I use Power Feed liquid fertilizer and get great results
Showing 1 - 10 of 451 comments

We're taking a break and there will be delays processing comments over the holiday season. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!

I plan to plant them in a spot with a bag of composted chicken manure in Zone 8b. Any suggestions? Last year my cuke plants were glorious and were started from a packet of seeds. Unfortunately I did not get one cuke. Lots of flowers but I think they turned out to be all males.

- Peter Cyr

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