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Growing cucumbers in home gardens

Quick facts

  • Cucumbers grow best in warm weather.
  • Start seeds indoors in late April for transplants.
  • Sow seed directly in the garden after soil has warmed, usually in May.
  • Plastic mulch and row covers allow earlier planting.

A summer vine crop 

Green harvested cucumbers on a table

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are common garden vegetables in all regions of Minnesota. You can eat them pickled, or raw in salads.

Like other vine crops such as squash, melons and pumpkins, cucumbers grow best in warm weather. Some varieties form long vines that may need a trellis. Others are bush-types that fit better in a small garden.

Soil pH and fertility

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Selecting plants

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Planting

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How to keep your cucumber plants healthy and productive

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Managing pests, diseases, and disorders

Many things can affect cucumber plants. Changes in physical appearance and plant health can be caused by the environment, plant diseases, insects and wildlife. In order to address what you’re seeing, it is important to make a correct diagnosis. 

You can find additional help identifying common pest problems by using the online diagnostic tools What insect is this? and What's wrong with my plant? or by sending a sample to the UMN Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic. You can use Ask a Master Gardener to share pictures and get input.

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Authors: Marissa Schuh, Extension educator, Vincent J. Fritz and Carl J. Rosen

Reviewed in 2022

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