Growing Cucumber

cucumis sativis : Cucurbitaceae / the gourd family

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

(Best months for growing Cucumber in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • P = Sow seed

October: After risk of frost

  • 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 ( - 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

03 Nov 07, Bronwyn (Unknown climate)
do cucumbers grow along the ground or do they need to be staked
04 Nov 07, Chris (Unknown climate)
I've had success growing cucumbers across straw. In contact with the soil they often seem to rot or get ravaged by slugs. You can try companion-planting with sweetcorn, using the growing corn stems as living supports. Plant cucumber seedlings next to the corn when the corn reaches 20 cm or so.
23 Dec 07, Tzard (Unknown climate)
Make sure you don't water the leaves only the stem to avoid mould and the plant rotting. When on stakes.
08 Oct 08, Elise (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I planted my cucumbers about two weeks ago, yet they havn't sprouted yet .Im sorta on a schedule for school. Any ideas why they haven't emerged?
08 Oct 08, MARK (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
They are best grown on a stakes to prevent slugs and snails eating the leves. And they will come overgrown if not on steakes.
11 Oct 08, Eliese (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Plant your cucumbers on tressils i have had alot of sucess with mine!!
12 Oct 08, Andrew (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I have two types of cucumber I wish to plant along a long fence. Can I plant them next to each other or will I end up with a hybrid between the two?
13 Oct 08, Chris (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Andrew, you might get a hybrid if you collect and plant the seed from the cucumbers, but growing them adjacent to eat will be fine. If you want to keep the seed to plant again, then you will need to bag the flowers to prevent cross-pollination.
13 Oct 08, Grahame (Australia - temperate climate)
Andrew, The two cucumbers will be OK but you wont be able to save reliable seeds from them. If you don;t plan to save the seeds then there is no problem
14 Oct 08, Titi (Australia - temperate climate)
I have started planting lebanese cucumber since last month with exciting progress.I have built a trellis for them. Anyone could suggest me what fertilizer is needed, how long a plant will normally last. I used slug & snail pellets to protect the young plants. Any other useful suggestion will be welcome. Thanks a lot, guys!
Showing 1 - 10 of 493 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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