Cucumbers are relatively easy to grow from seed, and there are many varieties to choose from. Some varieties ripen faster than others, so check the seed package or the information that comes with the plant. The following content also has some reference value for raised garden beds.
Most varieties of cucumbers are ready to be harvested within 50-70 days of sowing. Choosing varieties with different harvest dates means you can enjoy a longer season. Most people grow cucumbers in small mounds or in containers. Vines need enough space to grow. You can also plant next to a fence or trellis, allowing the vines to climb straight up: this method works best for small varieties such as' Regal ', 'Sweet Success', 'ASHLEY', 'Space Master' and 'Gherkin' (these varieties have small fruits and are often served with a roast platter).
Whatever variety you decide to plant, you can consult our planting guide for tips on watering, soil, fertilising and identifying pests and diseases.
Stage 1: Seedling emergence
If your cucumber seeds germinate normally, you should see seedlings in 3 to 10 days. Within a day or two of breaking through the soil, small leaves will begin to form. When the seedlings are about 4 inches tall, if the plants seem to be too close together, cut the seedlings thin and plant them separately.
Stage 2: The leaves and vines grow larger
Within a few weeks, your plant will grow larger and more vines will form. The leaves will grow larger and take on a distinctive shape with jagged edges. This is also when the vines of your cucumber plants may start snaking around their planting site, or raising vines on their stakes or trellises, depending on their location.
You can gently place the vine next to the trellis so that the plant catches the vine and continues to grow upward. At this stage, it is better to water near the roots than from them.
Stage 3: The bud appears
Depending on the type of cucumber you plant, there will be male and female flowers after a few weeks, and these will need pollinators to bear fruit. Or, they could be self-pollinating plants, which are more common now.
Either way, once the bright yellow flowers appear, you know cucumbers are on the way. This is the growing stage, and you may need to use a little fertilizer to keep your plants growing steadily. Cucumbers are heavy eaters, so fertilizer is recommended to help them grow.
Step 4: Form the gherkin
This is probably the most exciting stage of cucumber growth. Once the flowers open, you'll see gherkins pop up almost immediately. The gherkins will soon be big enough to harvest and enjoy.
Regular watering is very important at this stage of growth. Pay attention to watering, especially when it gets very hot and dry. The soil should be moist, but not wet. Water once a day in hot weather, but otherwise every other day should be fine. Cucumbers grow quickly at this stage and can be harvested within a few days.
Stage 5: Ripe cucumbers are ready to be harvested
The day has come when cucumbers can be harvested. This is usually within eight to ten days after the small fruit first emerges from the flower; They're a deep sweet green color, and you can smell them fresh and juicy.
Check out information on specific breeds to see how big they should be when they mature. Don't harvest all the cucumbers at once unless you plan to use them, and keep in mind that the cucumbers on your plants may ripen at slightly different times.
Pick the ones that are mature, let the rest mature, and put on the right clothes. Harvesting cucumbers regularly encourages the formation of new buds so you can have cucumbers throughout the growing season. Don't leave them on the vine for too long: if they are too big, they may taste bland. You can also refer to this guide to determine when cucumbers are ready to be harvested.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take a cucumber plant to bear fruit?
It depends on the breed. If planted from seed, most cucumbers will be ready for harvest in 50 to 70 days.
How long does it take a cucumber to grow after it blooms?
Usually, once flowers form, gherkins follow. Water regularly, and your cucumbers may be ready to harvest in 8 to 10 days.
What is the life cycle of a cucumber?
From planting to harvest, the growth cycle is between 50-70 days, depending on the variety. Once you start harvesting cucumbers, new flowers will form and extend this life cycle by a few weeks.