How to Grow Cucumbers

Did you know that the cucumbers in the grocery store are coated with wax to keep them looking fresh? Ewwwww. Now that’s a good a reason to learn how to grow cucumbers yourself!

Cucumbers are easy to grow, and if you grow them on a trellis, you can grow several pounds of them in a small amount of space.

Slices of fresh cucumbers - how to grow cucumbers

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Planting, Growing & Harvesting Cucumbers

The botanical name for cucumbers is Cucumis sativus.

Optimum growing conditions

Cucumbers like warm weather, so USDA Zone 4 and warmer is best, with a soil ph of 6.0 – 7.0.

Best varieties to plant

Cucumbers can be either bush or climbing. I prefer to grow them climbing up a trellis to save space.

I love growing English cucumbers since they have very few seeds, are large, and they have smooth skin. They are perfect for eating raw in salads, as well as for making hot dog relish and bread & butter pickles.

How to grow cucumbers

Cukes really hate cold soil, so be sure to wait until the soil is nice an warm before putting out your transplants or sow seeds.

You can start plants indoors about 2 or 3 weeks before you want to put them out in the garden. Or plant seeds directly in the soil in hills – small mounds of soil with 3-4 seeds per hill.

Tip cucumbers like a lot of water , so keep those plants well-watered. If you don’t water them enough, the cucumbers will be really bitter and taste terrible.

If you grow the climbing type of cucumber, weave the leaves and stem through the trellis as the plant get bigger. The tiny little tendrils will grab onto whatever it is you use for your trellis, and keep the plant attached to it.

Small cucumber growing on a vine - how to grow cucumbers
How to grow cucumbers – a tiny cucumber and the little tendrils that reach out to grab onto the trellis

Diseases, pests & problems

Make sure you rotate the cucumber patch, and don’t plant squash or melons in that spot either. Don’t plant any of these in the same spot more often than once ever three years.


When the cucumbers are ready to pick, use scissors, pruners or my favorite – bonsai shears.

During the hot days of summer, your cucumber plants will be in full production. Keep checking the plants, and pick the cukes often to encourage more fruiting.

Mature cucumber growing in the garden - how to grow cucumbers
A mature cucumber, ready to pick

Check out these free seed & plant catalogs to find seeds for the cucumbers you want to grow!