Seeds can be started inside or outside. Cucumbers do not like their roots to be disturbed during transplanting so if starting seeds indoors, use biodegradable pots. Start seeds indoors 5/1 into a good starting mix (we recommend Vermont Compost’s Fort Light). Temperature for germination: 75-95° (use heating mat). Cucumber seedlings are sensitive to damping off fungus so keep soil lightly moist but not too wet and use a fan (set to low) to provide air circulation. Days to germination: 4-10. Once 2 leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Transplant outdoors (plant entire biodegradable pot into soil) around 6/1 into fertile soil with lots of compost or decomposed manure. Or direct sow seeds outdoors 6/1 (1/2” deep). Plant spacing: 1 foot apart. Protect seedlings from slugs. Protect seedlings from cucumber beetles by covering with row cover fabric at planting and leave it on until plants are flowering. Protect plants from deer and groundhogs. For an extra boost, foliar feed young cucumber plants (1 week after transplanting) with fish/seaweed.
Harvest cucumbers when they become uniform in shape but while still slender. These cucumbers are still good even if left on the vine too long.
Cucumbers are insect pollinated and cross-pollinated. They will cross with any cucumber varieties within ½ mile. You can always save seed and see what you will get! Allow cucumber fruit to mature fully (they will be large, hard, and yellow/orange). Scoop out seed, rinse, and dry on a screen. Minimum population size: 6-25 plants.