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Ease of Growing  [Scale 1-5] - 1 (Easy)

How Time Consuming

Watering, pinching out and supporting.

Recommended Varieties

  • Burpless Tasty Green F1 – is a variety resistant to mildew.
  • Marketmore AGM give a large yield of short, slightly spiny fruits, has good disease resistence.

Home Grown Vs Supermarket

The fresh taste and the firmer texture is far better than any supermarket bought cucumbers which are often going soft when we buy them because they have not been freshly picked.

Best Sites and Soils

Cucumbers need lots of sun, good soil and moisture. They can be grown in large pots, in grow bags or direct in the ground. Either in greenhouses or outside depending on the variety. If you choose to grow in the ground choose a different site each year to avoid build up of pests and disease.  Feed the plants weekly with a liquid tomato feed to keep them cropping well.

When to sow

Sow seeds under cover from March to May. Sow the large seeds singly on the edge of pots to prevent rotting, 1cm/1/2” deep, 3 to a small pot. Place in a warm place ideally a heated propagator or a sunny windowsill or heated greenhouse.  Once the first true leaves have grown replant into 5” pots. The young plants can then be hardened off in a cold frame and transferred into pots or growbags in May-June after the threat of frost has gone.
Distance between plants - Half a metre between plants.

When to harvest

Harvest when cucumbers are a good size but not too big by using a knife - do not pull off as you will damage the plant.  Harvest regularly as leaving cucumbers to grow bigger will stop the development of new ones coming on.

Meet the Author: Jo Blackwell
Jo Blackwell

Jo Blackwell is our well-established Horticultural Advisor and the Kitchen Gardener in Stephanie's Victorian style Kitchen Garden. She caught the gardening bug when she bought her first home 21 years ago. Her first greenhouse soon followed and she later gained an allotment.

As well as tending the Harrod Horticultural Gardens, she enjoys maintaining her own vegetable plot at home. She has been a gardener for Harrod Horticultural for over 4 years now and has a wealth of experience in organic vegetable growing, ornamental gardening and in using all Harrod products.


Further Information

Improving Soil / Feeding - Water regularly and feed with a general liquid feed if plants need a boost.  Once the plants have got going feed weekly with tomato fertiliser. 


Guide to sowing and planting - Indoor varieties will need to be supported by canes or netting to withstand the weight of several cucumbers.  Outdoor varieties can be staked or allowed to trail with no supports.
Cucumbers are thirsty plants and will need watering most days especially if grown under cover.
The main shoot should be pinched out once the plant grows to 5 or 6 leaves high, this will encourage the plant to branch out.


Problems to look out for - It is best to start your plants off under cover as this minimises the damage from slugs, snails and mice whilst the seedlings are still small.  Cucumbers are susceptible to powdery mildew so always avoid spraying water on the foliage and aim the water at the roots.  Sulphur dust can limit damage but badly damaged plants will need to be discarded and burnt.


How to harvest by type - Most varieties will be at their best if you don’t leave them to grow too large.

Storing - Do not store well as they start to go soft, but will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days but will keep firmer if wrapped.

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