Cucumbers are super easy to grow and very prolific producers. Cucumbers are a low-calorie food with small amounts of potassium, vitamin C, magnesium and fiber.

Cucumber Varieties: There are many varieties of cucumbers. Two varieties that I like to grow are Persian and English cucumbers. Both have hardly any seeds and a thin skin that does not need to be peeled. Persian cucumbers are small, usually 4″ to 5″ long while English cucumbers are 12″ to 15″ long. Persian cucumbers are sweeter and crunchier and have less water than the milder tasting English cucumbers.

Cucumber Flowers

Cucumber Blooms
Cucumber Blooms

Cucumbers are self-pollinating. They make male and female flowers on the same plant. Pollen from male flowers is carried to female flowers by pollinators. You can also hand pollinate the female flowers by dipping a tiny paint brush in a fresh male flower to pick up the yellow pollen and then gently dip it in the female flower. Pollinating is easier to do when the flowers open up fully by late morning.

Small cucumber with blossom
Small cucumber with blossom

Only female flowers turn into cucumbers. If you look closely, you will see a very tiny ovary or cucumber-to-be above the female flower. Male flowers will eventually fall off the plant. So don’t worry when you see some yellow blossoms on the ground.

When to Plant Cucumbers in Texas

Cucumbers are easily grown from seeds planted directly in the garden after all danger of frost has passed (March 21st – 2nd week in April usually). Cucumber vines will grow along the ground or climb a trellis. I would advise planting them along a trellis because the trellis saves space, it keeps your cucumbers clean, and it lessens the amount of splattered water and dirt that could contribute to powdery mildew.

Types of Trellises

cucumber trellises
cucumber trellises

There are many types of trellises you can buy or create. Cucumbers send out a lot of thin curling tendrils that curl around forms to anchor the plant and help support the weight of the cucumbers. The tendrils seem to choose to curl around thin structures such as wires. For this reason, I would choose a cucumber trellis that is made of mesh wire or something similar. Rolls of 4″ square wire fencing, and feedlot panels are ideal materials. They are available at hardware and farm supply stores. The roll of wire fencing is very versatile for creating flat panels, or A-frames over 2″x4″ boards, an elegant arch, or even a tubular form. You can also buy small wire folding A-frame trellis.

Planting Cucumbers

Build one long raised mound row along the base of the trellis that is 12″ wide and 4″ tall. If not using a trellis, build 12″ wide x 4″ tall individual mounds spaced 18″ apart. Plant seeds 1/2″ deep in well-drained soil with aged compost or manure in full sun. Cover seeds with fine soil and gently mist the mounds with water. Seedlings will emerge in 7-10 days.

Thin Seedlings

Once the plants have at least two sets of leaves, thin them to 12″ apart along the trellis, or 1 plant per mound.

Watering Cucumbers

When growing cucumbers in Texas it is very important to maintain moisture and good drainage. You can also add straw or other mulch over the top of the soil to help maintain the moisture level. It is good to water in the evening so the plants can enjoy the moisture longer over the night hours.

cucumbers on trellis
cucumbers on trellis

Harvesting Cucumbers

Persian Cucumbers on vine
Persian Cucumbers on vine

Cucumber vines mature in 60 days. They produce cucumbers for a few months. Harvest Persian cucumbers when they are only 4 to 5 inches long and English cucumbers when 12 to 15 inches long. Harvest them by cutting the stems with scissors or a paring knife (don’t pull on the vines). Cucumbers are tastiest and have less seeds when smaller.

If you do want to grow seeds for your next crop, then wait until the end of the season and allow one cucumber to grow large and produce seeds (for heirloom varieties).

Storage

Wash cucumbers and set them on a towel to air dry until they are almost dry to the touch. Then place them in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Culinary Uses for Cucumbers

Cucumbers can be used in salads, cucumber water, green smoothies, sauces such as tzatziki, pickled, or cooked.

Pests and Diseases

Cucumber pests include aphids and cucumber beetles (small lime green beetles with black spots). The most common disease is powdery mildew (leaves have a white, powdery appearance). The pests and powdery mildew can be treated with organic neem oil sprayed on the plants (mix as recommended on the bottle). Never store neem oil, always use it fresh.

A homemade treatment for powdery mildew

Make a spray solution out of the following ingredients: 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of a biodegradable liquid dish soap such as Seventh Generation, mixed into 1 gallon of water. Shake well and add to a spray bottle. Spray the plant in the evening, when sunlight is not shining on the leaves.

Brief Summary

  • Planting Time: Spring, after the last frost (March 21st – April)
  • Light: Full sun
  • Seed Planting Depth: 1/2″
  • Soil: well-drained, with aged compost or manure
  • Spacing: 12″ apart if grown on a trellis
  • Water: Likes moisture, add a layer of straw or other mulch to maintain moisture
  • Height: 6′ tall vines
  • Culinary Use: Salads, tabouli, green smoothies, tzatziki.

62 Responses

    1. It’s the only way to grow. It keeps them off the soil where pests and rot can get to them, uses less space in small gardens, provides shade for other crops and themselves and avoids bending over when it’s time to harvest them.

  1. I love cucumbers. I’ll have to try a trellis and see if that helps with more healthier/bigger cucumbers

  2. I am going to try the trellis method this spring after the danger of frost has past. It is a good idea as I am always fighting to keep the water off the cucumber and of course it may help keep the pests at bay

  3. We used to grow cucumbers until it occurred to us that none of us really liked them. We always just gave them to someone else. It was just part of the fun of gardening.

  4. The read was very interesting, informatic & educational. I learned one needs to build/make mounds and use a trellis when growing cucumbers.

  5. Thank you for the useful information. I Love cucumbers all by themselves. I like the English ones too for the same reason, thinner skin.

  6. Im not from Texas, but still a lot of helpful information!! I already use a trellis for my cucumbers, but hoping to use these tips to have more this year!

  7. This is quite simple and not complicated at all. Thank you for breaking down the process!

  8. I have used a trellis for grown small cucumbers (Cucamelons – the tiny ones), and it works very well- this is good info!

  9. I prefer to grow cukes on a cloth trellis held up by posts, saves a lot of space and very easy harvest

  10. cucumbers grow very well in TN, where I live. I might try the tower type of growing style this year instead.

  11. I remember my grandmother growing cucumbers and canning pickles. The best pickles I ever had.

  12. I don’t grow cucumbers in my garden because I’m not a huge fan. But I read you can make tzatziki, which I never even thought about. I lovethis on my Gyros. Greatt read!

  13. We planted cucumbers without using a trellis and had vines running everywhere. Now I know a trellis is a must.

  14. I’ve had English cucumbers and love them but have never seen the Persian cucumbers. What is the difference between the two and what else can you tell us about the Persians?

  15. This won’t help me i don’t believe as I’m not in Texas but my cousin is she will love this info.

  16. Here in the sandy soil of coastal North Carolina, we keep the cucumbers watered and fertilized.

  17. Have had a fair amount of success with cucumbers, this will be the first year I trellis them. We’ll see how that play out.

  18. I’m going to try the trellis this year. Our climate makes for a short grow season and it would be nice to not have to deal with putting a block of wood under each cucumber so that it doesn’t rot from the watering.

  19. Very informative/well-rounded article. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the gardening community!

  20. WISH I HAD READ THIS ARTICLE A FEW YEARS AGO WHEN I WAS GROWING CUCUMBERS AND TOMATOES. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN USEFUL BACK THEN.

  21. It always amazing me that people can grow cucumbers and other large vegetables vertically. For some reason, I think that the weight of the vegetable would be too heavy for the plant.

  22. Cucumbers are a bit heavy I thot they grew on the ground only but this trellis stuff is am amazing. So easy to grow as well, I like

  23. i never knew that cucumbers were self pollinating. helpful since bees are in short supply

  24. The cucumber vine will have both male and female for self pollinating, good going.

  25. It’s best to grow cucumbers around March 21 to April 15 in the spring and August to October in the fall. Note that these estimates may change depending on your frost dates.

  26. I am thinking about planting another Persian cucumber crop (Austin Tx area) in mid-August. So long as we mulch & trellis, do you think this would be worth the effort? We love them, and so do the chickens!

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