Growing Cucumbers

cucumber plants

My cucumbers are looking awesome! I’m really pleased with how well they’ve done so far. I planted them along my fence in a raised bed made from a bunch of large rocks that I dug up from the old stone wall by the chimney in our woods. I layered wet newspaper over the grass, then filled it all in with aged horse barn litter. In that I dug out little holes about a foot apart, and filled them in with compost. This is where I planted my seeds. I covered the seeds with about 1/2″ more compost, and watered for the first few days.

cucumber plants

I’ve been amazed at how well these guys have done. If only I could keep the chickens from scratching around in the bed!! They’ve already dug up two of my cucumber plants. I still need to thin the plants out, if I can bring myself to do it. They should be planted in pairs, 2″ apart, with 12″ between pairs.

cucumber seedling

What I have found interesting though is that I started some cucumber seeds indoors the same time I planted the others outdoors. This little guy was one of my indoor seedlings which has been transplanted into the raised bed. See how much smaller it is than the rest? I’ve discovered that direct sowing (planting the seed straight into the ground outside) cucumber plants works better than starting them inside and transplanting them. Good to know for next year!

I plan on building some sort of trellis or cradle out of string for the plants to climb up to the top of the fence. Guess I better get on it soon, too!

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7 thoughts on “Growing Cucumbers”

  1. Chickens don’t like to walk on wire, so if you have some spare chicken wire or some other extra pieces of some sort of wire fencing lying around, put that on the ground in your bed around your plants. We did that to our young fruit trees in our chicken yard, and they totally stopped bothering the ground around the trees. Your cucumbers are looking good–they’ll definitely need a strong trellis of some sort. Once the cucumbers start coming on with a vengeance, the vines get very heavy. Good luck!

  2. I’ve stuck some old cheap/busted trellis up against the house for the cucumbers to roam up. Once the first tendril of your cukes gets to the fence, you’ll be golden. They’ll climb up and over before you know it.

    (I’ve also had the same direct-sowing realization as well over the years – especially with onions and lettuce and marigolds and so on, you’re not alone in that one… now I toss things outside and let them duke it out with the weather.)

  3. Hey, Kendra.

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile. I got hooked on your “Lessons from Butterberry Farm” series. I loved reading those stories.

    Last year I turned a tomato cage upside down over my cucumber plants.I worked really well. It even kept the chickens from scratching them up. Once the plant starts growing it is very easy to wrap it around the tomato cage.

    Happy gardening,

  4. Your cucumbers are doing a lot better than mine. . I had tried the same thing to start them indoors but had the same results. I planted them by a fence so this is some thing new for me as well and i’m anxious to see how it will work out. I did peas on a fence and they look amazing so if my cucmbers do half as well I’ll be happy. If they have some thing to vine on i think that is all you need.

  5. Is using twine strung up for them to climb on heavy duty enough or will it or the plant fall down because of the weight? Also do they have to be planted in pairs for the sake of pollination? It’s just about warm enough to plant them where I live and I was only planning on one plant but maybe I’ll have to do two.


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