Can I grow cucumbers in a pot is a question most gardeners ask in anticipation of growing this crop on their patios or balconies.
Cucumbers may seem like they cannot grow in pots, yet they make excellent container plants producing an abundance of crops.
The main trick to growing cucumbers in pots is to get the best varieties. Cucumbers will thrive in your container garden as long as you have a big enough container and trellis for support.
You will also need a warm and sunny spot and the know-how to grow these fresh vegetables.
How To Grow Cucumbers In Pots
Before we learn about growing cucumber in pots, it is best to talk about cucumber varieties. This can be confusing to many who do not understand that different types do well in different conditions.
Cucumbers are part of the gourd family, along with watermelons, pumpkins and squash. Though considered vegetables, they are technically fruits, much like tomatoes.
There are two varieties of cucumbers – the vining and the bush. Bush varieties are more compact and spread lesser than the vining varieties, making them perfect for containers.
Cucumbers have further been classified as slicers and picklers. Slicers are best eaten fresh in sandwiches and salads. They have thinner skin and a mild flavour. Pickling cucumbers have a thicker skin and do not taste as pleasant when eaten raw. These are best for pickling because they do well in brine, maintaining their excellent crunchy texture.
We can still classify cucumbers further by either burps or burpless. Cucumbers carry a compound known as cucurbitacin. This compound upsets the stomach. Some varieties that have thinner skin and fewer seeds have lower levels of cucurbitacin. These varieties may be labelled burpless, but they’re not a guarantee.
That said, don’t be confused about what type to grow. Remember, bush varieties do well in pots.
Which Cucumber Varieties Do Best In Containers
The bush varieties do well in container gardens as long as you support them early in the growth journey. Here are some recommended types by gardening experts
Growing Slicing Cucumbers
Bush Champion. This variety produces lots of crops with big fruit at least 8 to 12 inches long.
Bush Crop. It produces plenty of medium green fruits that measure about 6 inches long
Potluck. This variety produces Bush cucumbers that measure between 6 to 8 inches long.
Salad Bush Hybrid. It produces up to 8 inches of fruits on this disease-resistant plant.
Space Master 80. This is a prolific plant that produces 7 to 8 inches of fruits.
The Pickling Cucumber
Picklebush. This variety produces dark green fruits at least four inches long.
Little Leaf. The little leaf variety produces fruits that are medium length, at least three to five inches long and are best for eating fresh. This variety is highly disease and stress resistance.
Market More. This variety has dark green fruits measuring 6 to 8 inches long.
Northern Pickling. It is a heavy producer of small to medium fruits that are best for pickling. It matures fast, at least in 48 Days.
How To Grow Cucumbers In A Pot – Seeds Or Transplants
Cucumber seeds can be sown directly into the soil. The seedlings don’t like root disturbance and can be difficult to transplant. For this reason, it is best to sow direct into containers or your garden beds.
Ideally, it is best to start your seeds in the growing pot outdoors where it’s going to be during its growing season. Ensure the last frost has already passed before sowing your seeds.
To sow your cucumber seeds in a container, follow the following steps
- Step 1. Sow at least 2 to 3 seeds in each pot. Plant them about half an inch deep. Use high-quality potting mix and soil, adding a slow-release organic fertilizer or aged compost manure. This will provide the plant with the necessary nutrients from germination onwards. You should expect your seeds to germinate in at least 1 to 2 weeks.
- Step 2. Water your sown seeds well, keeping the soil consistently moist until germination happens.
- Step 3. Depending on the cucumber variety and the size of your container, remove some of the seedlings and leave at least 1 per pot. When your seedlings are a few weeks old, you will need to thin them down to 1 seedling by snipping the weaker ones out on the soil level.
- Step 4. Remember to introduce trellis or other support as early as possible
If you decide to start your cucumber seeds indoors, be sure to sow at the right time at least 3 to 4 weeks before you move them to the pots. If you plant them too early, you will have overgrown plants that could flower and fruit while still indoors. It will be difficult to transplant the overgrown seedlings, and they may never live up to their production potential.
When ready to transplant your indoor seedlings, carefully remove them from their germination trays and tuck them into the potting mix without disturbing the root ball.
Water them adequately after that.
Grow Cucumbers In A Pot- The Size Of Pots To Use
Cucumbers require plenty of room, food, water, and full sun. They do not thrive in poor dry soils and small pots.
Cucumber plants a big, and they require plenty of room to grow. Choose a container that holds at least 5 gallons of soil for each cucumber plant. The bigger the container, the better your plant will thrive. Fill your pot with good quality potting mix. Do not use garden soil as it carries pests and bacteria that could harm your plants.
Next, choose a spot on your deck patio or balcony that gets full sun for at least six to eight hours per day and place your pot there.
Conclusion – Can I Grow Cucumbers In A Pot
As we have learnt, growing pickling cucumbers in containers is easy and can be done almost the same way as the garden requires.
Cucumbers are an essential summer vegetable that cools you off during the hot season. They are easy to grow and highly productive, even in containers. Next time someone asks you, can you grow cucumbers in a pot? Lead them to your patio or balcony and let them enjoy the view of your thriving cucumbers.
You don’t need a big garden to grow cucumbers. Provide them with sunshine, consistent moisture, and a big pot, and soon enough, you will enjoy a bumper crop of crisp fruits all summer long.
As if that’s not enough, cucumbers grown in pots have fewer issues with diseases and pests, reducing any potential problems that face these plants.