How to grow cucumbers in pots – 7 professional tips for great harvests in small spaces

1. Variety

There are many different types of cucumbers you can grow. Bush cucumbers produce smaller plants than vining types and are more suited to growing in pots - so are cultivars that grow smaller fruits. If you do grow larger vining cucumber varieties, then it will require a larger container. Some of the best varieties for growing in pots include 'Salad Bush', Spacemaster', and 'Bush Crop'.

2. Container

A key part of successfully growing cucumbers in pots is choosing a large enough container. Any chosen container needs to be at least 5 gallons in size and have holes in the base for drainage. Containers need to be large as cucumbers are plants that develop large root systems to support their fast-growing vines. Pots can be terracotta, ceramic, wooden, plastic, or made of fabric - and the choice will impact watering. For example, terracotta pots will dry out much quicker than plastic ones.

3. Soil

Fill your chosen container with a good multipurpose or vegetable potting mix. The soil wants to be fertile and well-draining - and you can add some garden compost and slow-release balanced fertilizer to the mix to provide additional nutrients. Avoid reusing old potting soil from other planters and never use garden soil to fill pots, as it will sit too wet and risk the cucumber plants rotting.

4. Location

Cucumbers are plants that like a lot of warmth. They are crops ideal for growing indoors in a greenhouse or polytunnel, or even in a sunny garden room. In warmer US hardiness zones, cucumbers can successfully grow outside where they can enjoy the hot summer sun. Make sure to place the container in a sunny and sheltered spot where your cucumbers can get consistent temperatures of 65-75°F.

5. Watering

Cucumbers growing in pots will require more watering than plants grown in the ground. The crops can quickly exhaust all the moisture in the soil, especially when being grown indoors, so close attention needs to be paid to when to water plants. Plants may need daily watering to keep the soil moist in summer.

6. Feeding

Cucumbers are hungry plants and, along with a lot of water, will need regular fertilizing as they can use up all the nutrients available in the soil. Adding a slow-release balanced fertilizer to the soil when planting can provide the nutrients to get plants off to a great start.

7. Pruning

You can keep plants to a more manageable size by pruning cucumber plants throughout the season. Removing side shoots as they grow, or pinching them back, can restrict the spread of the plant and focus on developing a certain amount of cucumbers.

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