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How to Plant Cucumbers – Sprouting Seeds

Cucumber seeds in someone\'s hands

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These are cucumber seeds. The white ones are Mom’s and the green ones were delivered to her from a relative in Ukraine. I think they are painted green to differentiate them from other sorts, so we are very curious what kind of cucumbers they will be!

Fold seeds into a dry paper towel.

Seeds being blotted with a napkin Seeds being blotted dry in a napkin

Soak the folded paper towel in water and place in a glass. Cover tightly with cellophane and place on a sunny window sill.

Cucumber seeds wrapped in a napkin and placed in a glass that is wrapped in plastic

After 4 days, they sprouted nicely and are ready for planting.

Sprouting cucumber seeds

Fill planters (or styrofoam cups) nearly to the top with potting soil.

P.S. Here’s the potting soil that my mom says is BEST. Purchased at Costco.

A bag of Moisture Control potting mix

Ok, back to the cups with dirt:

Styrofoam cups filled with potting soil

Make 2 holes in each planter using the back of a fork (holes should be about 3/4-inch deep and spaced 1-inch apart).

Someone digging a little hole in a styrofoam cup

Place 1 seed (tail or shoot side down) in each hole.

A seed being planted into a Styrofoam cup with potting soil

Use the fork or your fingers to cover the seed with dirt and pat down the dirt over and around the seed. If the shoot is long, It’s ok if the tip of the seed is visible.

A cucumber seed planted into a Styrofoam cup with soil  A planted cucumber seed in a Styrofoam cup

Water each planter just enough to moisten the soil. If seeds are floating – you’ve gone too far!! :)..

Cups with planted cucumber seeds being watered

Place the planters on a sunny windowsill.

Cups with planted cucumber seeds placed on a window sill

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Natasha Kravchuk

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved and tested recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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  • CT Garden Gal
    June 10, 2020

    The seed starting soil your mother says is “the best” (Miracle-Gro seed starter with moisture control), contains multiple potentially harmful chemicals.
    planting seeds in a chemically enhanced seed starting mix automatically reduces that seeds ability to fight off pests and diseases naturally as the plant grows.
    One of biggest benefits of home gardening is the fact that you can do it 100% organically. If you start the plants in a potting mix full of chemical fertilizers, you’ve started the seeds non-organic and damage their immunity even before they had a chance to begin their life.
    While the seeds will still grow, the fruit it produces can not be considered organic and the plant would not be as healthy as it would if it were grown in a organic seed starting mix. Buy organic I mean no added chemicals just the basic ingredients without the science project added. There are numerous recipes for homemade organic seed starting mix available online that works better than the bagged variety and is much cheaper to make. but the biggest reason for making your own from natural ingredients is the health benefits it gives the plants by not surrounding the young seedling with chemicals

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      June 10, 2020

      Thank you for sharing that with us.

      Reply

      • Master Gardener
        July 20, 2020

        That was a very gracious response to something rather snarky although, informative.

        Reply

  • Inna
    August 14, 2015

    Hi Natasha! Everytime I attempt to grow cucumbers they turn out bitter. Any tips?

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 14, 2015

      I’d suggest you try different seeds. My mom has had the bitter ones in the past and she changed seeds which fixed the problem. The most common two issues are either the seeds themselves need to be changed or she said it could be due to under watering, especially when it gets hot. Cucumbers should be watered daily. I hope that helps. I found a good article with more tips here: http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/cucumber/what-causes-bitter-cucumber.htm

      Reply

  • Katy | Her Cup of Joy
    August 7, 2015

    It’s so easy to navigate your site now, I had no idea you had this cucumber tip up on your page, I will bookmark it for next year 😉

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 7, 2015

      Thank you Katy! Things like this got burried without proper categories. I guess this means I need to expand on my gardening category 😉

      Reply

  • Irina
    May 8, 2013

    We plant these kind of cucumbers each year in WA. These green ones are Holland seeds called “Masha” and we always bring them from Ukraine too as they don’t sell these here. These are the best cucumbers ever.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 8, 2013

      Ooh good to know. Thank you Irina!!

      Reply

  • Steph
    August 8, 2011

    Hi Natasha!
    Reading old posts since we’re on break! Amazing photos and recipes! Green may also be potassium nitrate, which is often used to promote seed germination. Also, I tried planting seeds in egg cartons and the roots embed themselves into the soft egg carton material and can get smothered/strangled/poor seedling growth. I will be using styrofoam or plastic next year! See you tomorrow! Steph

    Reply

  • Joe in N Calif
    April 10, 2011

    That green coating may be a fungicide to keep them from rotting as they germinate.

    Have you thought about using paper egg cartons rather than cups for the sprouted seeds? When the seedlings get to planting size, just snip the carton apart and plant the whole thing. The break down in soil real fast.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      April 10, 2011

      That’s a great idea with the egg cartons – except my parents put cucumbers in the ground when they are larger and the egg cartons probably woudn’t work for cucumbers since they aren’t going into a greenhouse. I guess we will find out what kind of cucumbers those are when they grow.

      Reply

      • Carolyn
        August 24, 2016

        Hi Natasha, I always though cukes hated the transition of moving them. I plant some indoors and carefully move to garden….have to be sure you don’t disturb roots.😊🇨🇦😊

        Reply

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