A cucumber plant makes an excellent introduction to vegetable gardening for children, and the whole family will enjoy the mild-flavored crunch cucumbers add to meals. Several fruit types are available: short, stout pickling; spiny slicking; long, thin Asian types; seedless; and a number of novelty kinds including egg-shaped, yellow, and white. Gardeners with limited space should also look for dwarf or compact varieties.


Long, sprawling vines with big foliage, may be trellised; compact varieties are bushier.

Days to Harvest

45 to 65

When to Plant

The seeds are best directly sown when danger of frost has passed and soil is warm. Can be started indoors, but fleshy roots must not be disturbed when transplanting.


Full sun


Rich topsoil, amended with plenty of compost before planting.


Succulent fruits and large leaves require a great deal of water for best performance. Mulching reduces drought stress in hot summers.


Fertilize frequently with a nitrogen-rich organic fertilizer.

Pest problems

Cucumber beetles cause many problems. Look on underside of leaves for adults and larvae; hand-pick and destroy. Squash vine borers are also problematic.

When to Harvest

Cucumbers can be harvested very shortly after fruit set. All are best harvested young and tender and before seeds develop. Harvest daily once production begins.


Cucumber-Ginger Fizzes

Dill-Pickle Chips

Smoked Mackerel, Cucumber, and Potato Salad with Mustard Dressing

Cucumber Salad with Radish and Dill

Comments (2)

Martha Stewart Member
February 29, 2008
From my understanding, when cucumbers are bitter it is because they did not get enough water. I'm fairly sure this is the reason. Same thing happened to me two summers ago.
Martha Stewart Member
February 9, 2008
Dear Martha I love gardeing I am not an expert but do try to grew few things in my back yard like tomatos ,ladies fingers ,bitter melon radisheven and alot of different plants..last year i grew cucumbers in my backyard the vines were full of cucumbers they look so good but unfortunately for some reason they were so sour/bitter i wonder why?I will appreciate your reply.Thank you