Growing cucumbers from seed is the most cost-effective way to achieve a tasty harvest and, given good conditions for germination, we are confident that you will be delighted with the results. To help you achieve success we have put together some hints and tips for growing!

Step 1

Prepare Your Pots

Consider re-using old plastic pots (washed clean) or biodegradable fibre plant pots when sowing your cucumber seeds and fill them with good quality compost.

Sow the cucumber seeds individually in pots – lay each seed on its side to prevent rotting. Cover with soil, label and place on a sunny windowsill or in a propagator. Keep warm and moist (F1 varieties need to be kept at 21-25 degrees Celsius).

Step 2

Plant Out

Once your plants are a good size and all chance of frost has passed (around late May), transplant them into the greenhouse border or a large pot. To save space, erect netting or string for the plants to scramble up.

Step 3

Tie Plants In

As they start to climb, tie the plants into the netting or supports and remove any side shoots that start to grow, as this will make the plants more manageable and productive.

Cucumber - Socrates Rob Smith

Step 4

Remove Male Flowers

Remove any male flowers that are produced (not required for all female cucumber varieties) as these may cause your cucumbers to taste bitter.

Female flowers will have a small cucumber behind them, so are easily identified and kept.

Once plants begin to flower, feed them with tomato food.

Cucumber flowers

Step 5

Harvest

Pick cucumbers regularly to encourage more fruits to be produced. As plants grow, you may need to put netting on the ceiling of your greenhouse to give the plants maximum room to grow and produce fruit!

Cucumber Socrates GAP Photos/0393055

Top Tip

Even all-female varieties need insects to pollinate them, otherwise the small fruits can shrivel and fall off. If there aren’t any insects to be seen, consider tickling each flower with a small, dry paintbrush to pollinate them.

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