5 Tips for Planting Cucumber Seeds 5 Tips for Planting Cucumber Seeds
Since they have particularly hard casings, cucumber seeds require extra steps to ensure that they will germinate. This is one of the helpful tips that can mean the difference between a successful cucumber crop and a failed attempt. Other considerations include when to plant, how to prepare the soil, and how far apart to plant the seeds. You can plant cucumber seeds indoors, or you can sow them directly in the ground when the time is right. These 5 tips will help you get the most out of your cucumbers the next growing season.
5 Tips for Planting Cucumber Seeds
- Assist with Germination: Whether you are starting indoors or outdoors, when you plant the seeds make sure the cucumber seed noses are facing down. Evidence suggests that seeds planted with their root end up germinate better. The nose, then, is the opposite side. If starting the seeds indoors, keep the peat pots or starter trays moist and covered with plastic wrap for warmth. Without enough water the germination may not take place. If you can, keep them under a light or near a sunny window.
- When to Plant: Started indoors, cucumber seeds should be put in their starter pots or trays 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost. You should not plan to put them in the ground until 3 to 4 weeks after the last frost. Thus, they should be indoors between 5 and 7 weeks. Outdoors they should be sowed in the ground a few weeks after the last frost. The warmer the better for cucumbers. You can also cover the soil bed with black plastic several weeks before you plant. It will raise the soil temperature and allow you to plant earlier.
- Soil Preparation: The soil should be rich and loose, with all rocks, clumps, twigs and weeds removed. Work in organic matter to aerate the soil. Use peat moss, straw or chopped leaves. Fertilize the soil and it will be ready when the temperature is high enough.
- Seed Spacing: Started indoors or outdoors, the seeds should be placed at a depth of about ½ inch. When sown outdoors, leave 3 feet between each plant. Plant cucumber seeds in rows or mounds. They should both be 3 feet apart as well.Have stakes or a trellis ready, for when they begin to grow they will climb if given the opportunity.
- Space out Planting: Cucumbers will grow vigorously given the right conditions. One tip is to not seed all at once. Rather, wait 2 weeks between each seeding. That way you will have cucumbers for harvest the whole summer and into the fall.
Cucumbers will perform wonderfully if they are given the right treatment and allowed to thrive. When starting from seed, keep these five tips in mind and your crop will be a success.