guest post: how to container-grow cucumbers

14 Jan

Source: Trade Winds Fruit

Last summer I grew Lemon Cucumbers in my garden.  I picked lemon cucumbers because the fruit doesn’t get very big, and it’d be perfect to grow in a pot. I live in an apartment and that means growing in a pot with a tomato cage.  It worked!  I had great cucumbers and made my first ever Bread and Butter refrigerator pickles.  They are going in my garden again this year.  I learned some things and was asked for a guest post on the subject.  Hope you find this information helpful.

1. Cucumbers are a bigger plant than you think.  I used a 3-gallon (11 lt) pot, but this year may go for 5 (20).

2. Yes, you can grow the cucumber in a tomato cage.  I used a flat cage that could be folded into a triangle, but any would do.  Go for a larger size to give the plant room to climb and to give you space to pick cucumbers.

Source: Wellsphere

3a. Cucumbers are very heavy feeders.  They need rich soil enriched with lots of organic material to get started.  Because you’re growing in a pot a lot of the nutrients in the soil will wash out when you water, this makes fertilising a must.  I used an organic liquid fertiliser concentrate.  The bottle recommended 1 tablespoon per gallon (15 ml to about 4.5 lt) once a week.  This was not enough.  The leaves on my plant started to turn yellow.  At first I thought I was overfeeding but when I stopped it got worse.  This year, I’m going to give them a half measure of fertiliser in the middle of regular feedings and see how that works.

3b. Ask the vendors at your local farmers’ market about growing cucumber, or any vegetable for that matter.  I grew two tomatoes 2 years ago as an experiment.  I bought them from a farmer at my farmers’ market.  Before buying I asked as many questions as I could about growing and about growing in a pot.  It was excellent advice and I walked away knowing a whole lot more than when I walked in.

4. Cucumbers need lots of water.  Lots and lots of water.  They’re mostly water anyway, right?

5. Enjoy it.

Emmms’s garden

Growing cucumber was fun.  I learned I could make refrigerator pickles all by myself with stuff I grew in my garden.  I was very excited.  When it was hot, I grabbed a cucumber out of the fridge, sliced it up, and put it in a glass with water and ice.  There is nothing like a cold bowl of home-made gazpacho on a hot summer day.  More than anything, I look at my garden, as an experiment.  If something doesn’t turn out the way I expected, oh well.  No big deal.  It’s as much about learning, watching and waiting as it is about having pickles at the end.

Kim, aka, Walterknitty lives in Portland, Oregon (city of beer and coffee) with one very grouchy, very furry cat, and lots of yarn.  She likes to knit, cook, garden in the spring and summer, bike when the weather allows, and read.  But she doesn’t bike and read at the same time. You can find her at walterknitty.wordpress.com

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One Response to “guest post: how to container-grow cucumbers”

  1. bellsknits 14 January 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    what a clever idea!

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