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Growing cucumbers in containers

Cucumber trellis

Cucumbers do well when grown vertically on a trellis. Photo by Sakura.

The important thing about growing cucumbers is not for their foliage or flowers, but for the crop they will give you. Take great care of your cucumber plant in order to have a small but rewarding crop of cucumbers later in a few months.

The Plant Container

Cucumbers are relatively large plants, taking up a lot of space with their vines and large leaves, but it is possible to grow these in plant containers in your balcony. Choose a large container (at least 20 inches deep and 20 inches in diameter), and a tall trellis (4 feet tall or so) that can be placed behind the plant container or staked into the container itself. You will be training the cucumber plant’s vines to grow up the trellis. This will maximize your floor space and allow the plant’s foliage to get more sun.

Planting

Plant your cucumber plants from seed, rather than purchasing seedlings. On the seed packet, check to see if that cucumber variety does well in plant containers. Some varieties for containers include suyo, salad bush, Liberty, Sweet Success, Bush Slicer and more. Wait until the weather is consistently above 70 degrees Fahrenheit before planting. Plant the seeds about a half-inch deep, and plant a few more seeds than you intend to grow (in your 20-inch-deep plant container, you can grow about six plants). After the seeds have germinated and have gotten two sets of “true” leaves, cut them down to the strongest-looking plants. Cut seedlings off at the soil line, rather than pulling them up. Pulling them up will damage the other cucumber plants’ roots.

Maintenance

Because your cucumbers are grown in a relatively small amount of potting soil, you will need to fertilize often (at least every week). Water often to make sure the soil never dries out. It is appropriate to water if the potting soil dry about 2 inches down into the soil (put your finger into the potting soil to check this). Dry potting soil will affect the crop, but overwatering can lead to root rot, so pay close attention to watering.

When you check the plant every day, also check for garden pests and soil-borne fungus (fungus shouldn’t be a problem because the vines are growing up on the trellis). Cucumbers are susceptible to aphids, cucumber beetles, slugs and snails, fungus, various types of rots, etc.

Harvesting

Pick cucumbers once they are ready, and you can harvest cucumbers regularly. Once you pick a cucumber, the plant (as long as the weather is still good) should produce more fruit. Too many ripe cucumbers will stunt more cucumber growth.

Cucumbers are ready to harvest when they reach the size indicated on the seed packet, and if it is a nice dark green color (some varieties may have a different color) and is firm when gently squeezed. Cut the cucumber off the vine with garden pruners. Rinse off the cucumber and eat right away, or store it in the fridge immediately.

QUICK LOOK: Cucumber Plant Requirements

  • Above-70-degree heat
  • At least 6 hours of full sun each day
  • Large plant container
  • Trellis
  • Consistent watering
  • Fertilizer once a week
  • Regular harvesting


 

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19 responses

  1. mine are going up too, i have to save space here and i have to have pickles lol

    April 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    • heck i had beans growing out of the blue,last summer sowing,and cant plant much 😦 they occupy the space

      April 26, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      • they go up too 😉 either build a three legged tower or use trellis. i pick my cukes when they are small as the kids like whole baby dills so this works for me great. they ate 25 gallons of pickles before Christmas lmao

        April 26, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      • noted** will have to quit the beans sowing thought 😉 not much room,will give a try in a container

        April 26, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      • yeah i am limited on space here too with what i am accustomed to, sheesh had over 100 tomato plants last big garden i had @ farmhouse, i was begging people to take the cherry tomatoes lol

        April 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      • pickled green beans kick ass, love em

        April 26, 2013 at 3:21 pm

      • yea me too but they occupied the entire space!!

        April 26, 2013 at 3:22 pm

      • wonder if you can hang those upside down? space saving idea, will look

        April 26, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      • dont know.. never tried!

        April 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm

      • be back with answer sometime today, trying to fix tables … and want to get some flower seeds planted before moon changes, pushing it now 😉

        April 26, 2013 at 3:43 pm

      • ok 🙂

        April 26, 2013 at 3:53 pm

  2. beans are good upside down, it also says cukes but i am not so sure, you better have great support or pick produce when small daily. cukes are heavy plants especially when bearing cukes. i am sticking with containers and trellis for cukes …

    Which Plants Are Best for Growing Upside Down?

    Read more: Which Plants Are Best for Growing Upside Down? | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_7927013_plants-growing-upside-down.html#ixzz2RbjMBlZ9

    April 26, 2013 at 9:36 pm

  3. i know a good one to grow upside down and it’s not listed here ;0

    April 26, 2013 at 9:37 pm

  4. I grow my cucumbers ( SPECIALLY THE LEBANESE CUCUMBERS ),on the rope ( Yes, Bales ropes R okay ), up along the fence.
    For the salads or for pickling, I prefer one variety, I always sow seeds of Turkish cucumbers ( My favorites )

    April 28, 2013 at 11:53 am

    • i grow greek (??) cucumbers which must be similar to the turkish ones 😉 same neighorhood you see,and the same way,on the rope otherwise they will fall on the ground less life left in them if they touch ground 🙂

      April 29, 2013 at 3:34 am

      • Not sure of same neighborhood , perhaps same, almost GLOBAL BIRTH ZONE, or, familiar customs practices 😀

        Great cucumbers these eastern European stuff… 😀

        I will not dare walk to your neighborhood , either nor dare try to swim over the big pond …Tooo far to Ameriklands 😀 for this practical old fart, AFTER ALL, 40 Outrageous Facts Most People Don’t Know about Merika 😉 …LOL
        http://douktris.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/40-outrageous-facts-most-people-dont-know/

        April 29, 2013 at 3:49 am

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