Cucumbers are one of the most popular and versatile vegetables, and also one of the easiest to grow from seed.
This makes them a great choice for a beginning gardener, especially if you don’t have much experience growing your plants from seed directly.
How many cucumber seeds should you put in the hole when planting?
Plant one seed per hole when planting cucumbers if you’re using seeds from a fresh, new packet. If you are planting older seeds, plant two or even three, and you can trim back the plants if multiple germinate.
Cucumbers are easy to establish so long as you take care to protect them from frost, and get them plenty of sunlight after they sprout.
Keep reading and I’ll tell you more about growing cucumbers successfully from seed…
How Deep Should You Plant Cucumber Seeds?
About twice as deep as the length of the seed, no more is necessary. This will usually be about an inch depending on the size of the seed.
How Wide Should the Hole for Cucumber Seeds Be?
The hole for your cucumber seed only needs to be about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide, perhaps 2 inches (5 cm) at the very most.
Don’t make it too wide, as you’ll want the surrounding soil to be contacting the seed on all sides after you plant it and tamp a little soil back on top.
What Special Preparations Should You Make When Planting Cucumber Seeds?
When planting cucumber seeds, you must ensure that they will be safe from frost.
If you’re planning them outside, this means you wait to plant them until there is no more chance of a frost in spring. Also, they will do better, and produce more reliably if you wait until the soil has warmed up.
You can use a soil thermometer to check, and preferably the soil should be anywhere from 65 °F to 70 °F (18 °C to 21 °C) before you plant. Dig the hole, loosen the few surrounding inches of soil, and you’ll be all set.
Space your plantings anywhere from one foot to 18 inches apart (30 to 45 centimeters), then cover the seeds and gently pack the soil on top ensuring that it is in contact with the seed on all sides.
Remember that you can use more than one seed if the seeds are older; simply make the hole a little wider, but not deeper, to accommodate them. If multiple germinate, trim back whichever is unneeded or seems weaker.
Gently moisten the soil, but not to the point of saturation, and your cucumber seeds will be well on their way.
How Long Until You Can Harvest Cucumber When Planting from Seed?
Depending on the type of cucumber and the conditions, you can expect to harvest after a successful planting from seed anywhere from 50 to 65 days, or 70 days at the latest for some slower-growing varieties.
Can You Plant Cucumber Seeds Indoors?
Yes, you can, this is a great way to get cucumber started before the last of the spring frosts.
However, they will still need plenty of light if you want to keep them from getting leggy, and transplanting them directly can be tough, so consider using pellets or plantable pots for the purpose.
The same advice applies here: plant them about an inch deep (or twice the length of the seed) and tamp the soil closely around it.
Special Care if Planting Cucumber Seeds Indoors
Seedlings need lots of light! If they aren’t getting enough light from a window, use a grow lamp.
Placing your trays near a window that gets lots of sun is essential as soon as they sprout, and if your house is still cool inside consider the use of a heating mat and soil thermometer to keep the soil warm enough to encourage germination.
Also, timing is everything for a successful transplant: Start your seeds indoors about 4 weeks prior to the last expected frost in spring.
If timed right, they should be just the right size to ensure successful transplanting outdoors.
When moving your cucumbers outdoors, never neglect to harden them off or else expect that some won’t survive transplanting.
Place them outside in a shady spot for a couple of hours each day before bringing them back in, and increase the amount of time they are outdoors by 30 to 45 minutes over the course of a week or perhaps two weeks at most.
This will acclimatize the young plants to the conditions outside and help to prevent transplant shock.
Transplant shock can and will kill some of your plants, do take the time to do this right if you want to ensure a big harvest later.
Tom has lived and worked on farms and homesteads from the Carolinas to Kentucky and beyond. He is passionate about helping people prepare for tough times by embracing lifestyles of self-sufficiency.