Cucumber Growing Guide

Cucumbers are a quintessential summer crop, which when in full production can produce more fruit than the average size family can handle. Cucumbers are versatile and popular sliced into sandwiches and salads, pickled, or added to summer drinks and punches.

Prepare

Cucumbers grow on a vigorous vine that is best trained up some sort of supporting structure or frame. Cucumber can rot quickly when they touch the soil, hence the need to get them off the ground to ensure they ripen evenly and healthily.

Cucumbers must have heat and sun to flourish. They are frost-tender, so in cold areas don’t even think about planting them outdoors until all the chilly nights are over. They also don't tolerate wet or boggy soils.

If growing from seed, cucumber seeds are best raised under glass or in pots indoors before planting out once they have a few leaves and frosts have finished. 

Refer to our Planting Calendar for planting and harvest times in your region. 

Cucumber favourites include the following varieties: Apple cucumber, Diva, Gherkin, Greenslicer, Lebanese and Telegraph. 

Plant

Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden. The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. Cucumbers enjoy a rich, fertile soil. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Compost to your soil. Then you can add a layer of Tui Vegetable Mix. If planting in pots and containers, fill with Tui Vegetable Mix.

The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away. Always water plants well before and after planting.

Planting in garden beds

  • Water plants thoroughly before planting and allow to drain.
  • Dig a hole, approximately twice the depth and width of the root ball of your plant.
  • Partly fill the hole with Tui Vegetable Mix.
  • Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the centre of the hole.
  • Fill in with Tui Vegetable Mix.
  • Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
  • Water your plant well.

Planting in pots and containers

  • Water plants thoroughly before potting and allow to drain.
  • Partly fill your container with Tui Vegetable Mix.
  • Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the container.
  • Fill your container with Tui Vegetable Mix up to 3cm from the top.
  • Tap the container gently on the ground to settle the mix.
  • Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
  • Water your plant well.

As the vines grow, attach them to strings, stakes or frames. When the vine reaches the top of the string, pinch out the growing tip as this will encourage the plant to produce more stems and fruit.

Nourish

Feed your plants and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures your plants grow to their full potential.

Select a fertiliser specially blended for your crop like Tui Vegetable Food. Feed cucumbers planted in pots and containers with Tui NovaTec® Premium fertiliser. Well-watered, well-nourished cucumbers will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay.

While your cucumbers are growing regularly apply a dose of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic to give them a welcome boost.

Cucumbers can be prone to damping-off caused by poor drainage and lack of air movement. Therefore free draining soils and good ventilation are key to a healthy crop.

Harvest cucumbers regularly to encourage more flowering and fruiting. Ensure you cut them from the vine rather than pulling them off to avoid disease entering the vine. Cucumbers can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.