How To Plant Cucumber Seeds: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Growing cucumbers from seed is fun and easy! You can start them indoors, or direct sow them right into your garden. In this post, I’ll show you exactly when and how to plant cucumber seeds, step-by-step.

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How To Plant Cucumber Seeds: A Step-By-Step Guide


If you’ve never tried growing cucumbers from seed before, you’re in for a real treat! It’s simple to do, and they germinate very quickly.

In fact, cucumbers are one of the easiest vegetables to grow from seed. Once you learn how simple it is, you’ll wonder why you ever bought starts before.

Here’s what you’ll find in this step-by-step guide…

Growing Cucumbers From Seed

If you want to try growing cucumbers from seed, you’ll need to choose which type(s) you want to plant first. Then you can figure out what method to use for starting them, and how long it will take.

Types Of Cucumber Seeds To Plant

There are tons of different types, and the variety you choose depends on what you want to use them for, and your preferred flavor or texture.

A few of my favorites are Marketmore, Homemade Pickles, and Baby Persian. It’s also fun to grow lemon cucumber.

Different types of cucumber seed packets

Recommended Cucumber Seed Starting Methods

There are two methods you can use for planting cucumber seeds: direct sowing or starting them indoors.

Since they grow so fast, I prefer to plant them directly into my garden. But you can do it either way.

  • Direct Sowing – Sowing cucumber seeds in your garden makes it super easy, since you don’t have to worry about caring for the seedlings indoors, or transplanting them later on.
  • Starting Indoors – You could start them inside instead. Some people prefer this method if they have a very short summer, or their garden soil isn’t ideal for direct sowing.

Related Post: 3 Seed Starting Methods That Every Gardener Should Try

How Long From Seed To Harvest?

In general, the number days from seed harvest is between 50-70. The exact days depends on the variety you have, as well as the growing conditions.

How To Plant Cucumber Seeds: A Step-By-Step Guide

Mature cucumbers ready to harvest

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Planting Cucumber Seeds

Read through this section to make sure the conditions are right for planting, and that you follow the proper steps to be successful.

When To Plant Cucumber Seeds

Plant cucumbers seeds directly into your garden a week or two after your last frost, once the soil warms up in the spring.

If you want to start them indoors, then plan to do it 4-6 weeks before the average last frost date in your area.

How To Plant Cucumber Seeds: A Step-By-Step Guide

Preparing cucumber seeds for planting

How To Plant Cucumber Seeds Step-By-Step

I recommend sowing them indoors using plantable pots or large pellets, rather than the small tray cells.

Cucumber seedlings don’t like to be transplanted, and doing so can stunt their growth. The plantable pots will minimize the transplant shock.

Supplies Needed:

  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Plantable pots or large peat pellets (optional)
  • Seed starting soil (optional)
  • Seed trays (optional)
  • Clear tray lid (optional)
  • Heat mat (optional)

Step 1: Prepare the soil or pellets – If you want to direct sow them, then loosen up the top few inches of soil in your garden first.

Otherwise, if you’re going to start them indoors, pre-moisten the pellets or potting soil before filling the trays or pots.

Step 2: Decide how many seeds to plant – Indoors, plant one seed per pellet hole or pot. In the garden, space them about 1 inch apart.

How To Plant Cucumber Seeds: A Step-By-Step Guide

Planting cucumber seeds in my garden

Step 3: Plant the seeds – Since they are fairly large, they should be planted about a half to one inch deep.

You can either lay them on top of the soil, and gently push them down to the proper depth. Or make holes first, and then drop them in.

Step 4: Cover the seeds – When you’re done sowing your cucumber seeds, fill the hole back in with soil. Then gently press it down to ensure the soil comes in contact with them.

Step 5: Water – After you’re done planting, water them well. Make sure the soil is evenly moistened, but not to the point where it’s soggy or completely saturated.

Step 6: Cover the trays indoors – If you’re starting them indoors, cover the trays with a plastic dome lid, and place them in a warm location. Using a heat mat will help them germinate faster.

Related Post: How To Grow Seeds: The Ultimate Seed Starting Guide

Cucumber Germination Time

One of the reasons it’s so fun to grow cucumbers from seed is because they sprout very quickly. Their germination time can be anywhere from 3-10 days.

If you want to speed up germination, then keep the soil warm using a heat mat indoors, or plant them in a full sun location outside.

What Do Cucumber Seedlings Look Like?

The first two leaves that form right after germination are called the “seed leaves”. Those are oval and slightly pointy at the tips.

All of the others that grow after the seed leaves are called “true leaves”, and they look like tiny cucumber leaves.

How To Plant Cucumber Seeds: A Step-By-Step Guide

Cucumber seeds germinating

How To Care For Cucumber Seedlings

If you planted cucumber seeds right in the garden, then you can skip this entire section. But, if you started them indoors, it’s important to properly care for the seedlings.

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  • Light – Cucumber seedlings grow very fast. So it’s important to use a grow light right away. Otherwise they will quickly get tall and leggy.
  • Water – They also need consistent waterings. Never let the soil dry completely, it should always stay moist. Use a moisture gauge to ensure proper watering.
  • Fertilizer – As soon as the seedlings get their true leaves, feed them with a 1/2 dose of organic liquid fertilizer. They love fish emulsion or compost tea as well.
  • Potting up – It’s essential to repot them as soon as the seedlings are twice as tall as the original pot or seed tray. Use a plantable pot made out of peat moss, coco coir, or dried cow manure.

Related Post: How To Grow Cucumbers Vertically

How To Plant Cucumber Seeds: A Step-By-Step Guide

First true leaves on cucumber seedlings

Transplanting Cucumber Seedlings Into The Garden

If you started cucumber seeds indoors, it’s crucial that you take the proper steps to transplant them into the garden.

The first step is to harden them off to prepare them for the transition. Do not skip this step, or they may not survive.

They hate the cold, so wait until all chance of frost is gone, and the soil has warmed up before transplanting the seedlings into your garden.

How To Plant Cucumber Seeds: A Step-By-Step Guide

Baby cucumber seedling in my garden

Growing cucumbers from seed is simple and fast. No matter which variety you choose, you are sure to be successful if you follow these step by step instructions.

Do you want to learn all you need to know about how to start your own seeds? Then you need to take my online Seed Starting Course! It’s a fun, self-paced, and very detailed step-by-step course that will teach you how to easily and successfully grow any type of seed you want. Enroll and get started today!

Otherwise, if you just need a quick-start guide that will give you what you need to begin growing your own seeds inside, then my Starting Seeds Indoors eBook is for you.

Recommended Products

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  • How To Grow Peppers From Seed
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Share you tips for how to plant cucumber seeds in the comments section below.

Print The Step By Step Instructions

How To Grow Cucumber Seeds

How To Plant Cucumber Seeds: A Step-By-Step Guide

It’s fun and easy to grow cucumbers from seed, either indoors or in your garden. The steps for planting are the same no matter which variety you choose.

Materials

  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Plantable pots or peat pellets (optional)
  • Seed starting soil (optional)
  • Seed trays (optional)
  • Clear tray lid (optional)
  • Heat mat (optional)

Instructions

    1. Prepare the soil or pellets – When planting outdoors, loosen up the top few inches of soil in your garden first. Indoors, pre-moisten the pellets or seed starting soil before filling the trays or pots.
    2. Decide how many seeds to plant – Indoors, plant one seed per pellet hole or pot. In the garden, sow the seeds about one inch apart.
    3. Plant the seeds – Cucumber seeds should be planted about a half to one inch deep. Lay them on top of the soil, and gently push them down, or make holes first, and drop them in.
    4. Cover the seeds – Fill the hole back in with soil, then gently press it down to ensure it comes into contact with the seeds.
    5. Water them – Make sure the soil is evenly moistened, but never soggy or completely saturated. Use a moisture gauge to get it just right.
    6. Cover the trays (optional) – Indoors, cover the seed trays with a plastic dome lid, and place them in a warm location. A heat mat will help them germinate faster.

Notes

Cucumber seedlings don’t like to be transplanted, and doing so can stunt their growth. So, if you want to start them indoors, I recommend using plantable pots or large pellets, rather than the small trays. The plantable pots will help to minimize transplant shock, and give you the best success.

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