Indoor Gardening: Grow Cucumbers!

Photo by Harshal S Hirve

Who doesn’t love cucumbers? They’re the perfect salad topper, they’re tasty in sandwiches, and we wouldn’t have pickles without them. Can you imagine life without pickles? Well instead of running to the store every time you want new produce, now you can plant your own. Yes, you can grow your own cucumbers from the comforts of your home.

Starting with the cucumber seeds

You can grow them indoors. You’ll also need a large pot because cucumbers require a lot of room to grow. At the bottom of the pot, place gravel or small stones to help with drainage. This will protect the roots of the cucumber plant from getting soggy.

Now it’s time to get your hands dirty. Literally. Fill the planting pots with an even mixture of soil and compost. You can even use the soil found in your backyard, although that means you’re taking the risk of bringing insects into your home. Your best bet would be to buy a bag of potting soil from your local garden store. Plant four to five seeds ½ an inch deep into the pot, spacing them at least ½ an inch apart.

Watering cucumbers is key

One of the most important aspects to gardening is watering. Water the soil so that it’s saturated, but make sure not to overdo it. Continue watering periodically until it drains from the bottom of the pot. Place the pot in a location where there’s plenty of sun. For the best results, the cucumber plant should receive six hours of sunlight a day.

The importance of thinning

Let the seedlings grow between 2 to 3 inches tall before thinning. Identify the two plants that look the strongest and pull out the remaining seedlings. Let those two plants grow to a height of about 10 inches. Rotate the planter every few days so that each plant gets the same amount of sunlight.  Out of the two plants left, choose the one that looks the strongest. You can snap the other one off at its base. This way you have one strong cucumber plant that will produce and won’t be crowded by other plants.

Installing a trellis

Place a small trellis near the plant so that the vine grows vertically. Depending on the amount of sunlight the plant gets, it will start growing as much as an inch every day. That’s why you can’t wait too long to put in the trellis. Continue to water the cucumber plant frequently. You’ll know the roots are getting wet when the water drains out from the bottom of the planter.

Whether you’re gardening as a hobby or you want fresh cucumbers to eat, this is a great activity. It’s also terrific for all ages. Since the plants are located indoors, kids can watch and take care of the produce with their parents. At the end of the day, delicious cucumbers will be the product of everyone’s hard work.