Many people can be put off growing cucumbers as they don’t feel they have the space or the proper growing environment, but let me tell you – they are simple to grow.
They are so simple that they can even be grown in pots on a patio or balcony. You don’t even need a greenhouse!
So with no further ado, let’s take a look at how to grow heaps of cucumbers using pots!
What Size Pot?
Cucumbers will require a good-sized pot to grow properly. I recommend one that is 30cm or larger. You could get away with smaller, but you would probably end up limiting the final size of the plant.
You don’t have to use a dedicated plant pot, any container that can hold soil but also drain will be suitable for growing cucumbers.
I personally really like using these fabric plant bags. They look nice and can be easily folded up and stored when not in use.
- Grow bags are made of thickened and breathable non-woven fabric, environment friendly and BPA-free.
- The plant bags help prevent root circling and rotting, naturally air pruning "burns" off the exposed roots to promote the plant's healthy growth.
- The sturdy handles with X shape sewing on both sides of the grow bag make lifting and moving more convenient and easier without any worry of the handle being ripped off.
These bags, which I use for spuds, are also perfect for cucumbers. They are 40cm in diameter and 29cm deep which is more than enough for growing cucumbers in.
They are also a lot cheaper than equivalently sized pots!
Which Cucumber To Grow?
Cucumbers are usually divided into two main groups, those for growing under glass (greenhouse/polytunnel) and those for growing outdoors.
If you are growing under glass, then I recommend passandra. This is an F1 hybrid cucumber that produces a lot of medium-sized cucumbers.
The cucumbers are spineless and very similar to what you would expect to get in a supermarket.
If you are growing outdoors then I would suggest growing Spacemaster. This is a more compact variety that is perfect for containers and will also thrive in a sheltered spot outdoors, even in the UK.
I like to sow my cucumbers in early to mid-spring. At this time of year, you need to sow them indoors. I have a grow light setup for my seedlings, but a windowsill can work well, provided it gets enough sun.
Because cucumbers are large seeds that quickly grow into large seedlings I don’t sow them in module trays. Instead, I sow them into pots, with one seed per pot.
Just use a regular multi-purpose compost and sow the seed just under the soil’s surface. Many people will tell you to sow cucumbers on their side, but I have never had an issue with not doing this.
If you keep your cucumbers indoors for any length of time, you want to regularly pot them on into larger pots. Cucumbers hate damaging their roots, so you don’t want them to get pot-bound.
Move Into Final Position
Once all risk of frost has passed in late spring, you can move your cucumbers into their final growing position if you use a greenhouse. Growing outdoors, you probably want to move them out a little later. Remember that cucumbers are warm-climate crops!
When moving your cucumbers outdoors, do it gradually over a week or so. This process is called hardening off. You leave your cucumbers outside during the day and bring them back at night. This helps them acclimatise to the cooler conditions.
Cucumbers love to climb, and most types need some sort of support structure. In pots, this is often done by making a wigwam out of bamboo canes around the edge of the pot.
You could also use a trellis, or even string as you can see in the photo above. You just need something to suspend the string from.
The nutrition in pots can be used up quickly, particularly by large, hungry plants like cucumbers.
As the plant is developing, I recommend adding a little fish blood and bone to your compost. This is a natural fertiliser that provides a balanced level of nutrition.
As lots of flowers and cucumbers start to develop, you want to swap to a higher potash (potassium) feed. Tomato feeds work great with cucumbers and will encourage higher yields.
- Use Fish, Blood and Bone to provide your plants with a natural food source that feeds plants nutrients slowly
- Fish, Blood and Bone can be used to feed flowers, fruit, trees, shrubs and vegetables
- Apply fish, blood and bone every 4 -6 weeks to sustain good soil fertility
- Fish Blood and Bone has an NPK fertiliser of 3 - 9 - 3
As with most veggies, you can get away without feeding them. I have grown many cucumbers and had successful harvests without ever feeding them.
I don’t want to make you think you must go out and buy lots of fertilisers, but if you want the biggest crop possible, then a regular feed every fortnight is advised.
And that’s all there is to it really, good luck with your pot-grown cucumbers! If you have any questions then please ask away in the comments below and I will get back to you.
Good luck in the garden, Daniel.