When to Plant Cucumbers

Cucumber seedlings

Plant cucumber seeds in the garden 1 to 2 weeks after the last frost, or when the soil is at least 60°F (16°C). Set cucumber seedlings in the garden 2 weeks after the last frost.

Grow cucumbers in humus-rich, well-drained soil. Cucumbers are heavy feeders and need a moderate amount of nitrogen and potassium and a high amount of phosphorus; use an organic fertilizer formulated for tomatoes. Keep the soil evenly moist during flowering and fruit development.

Cucumbers grow well as a trellised crop; the fruit will grow straighter, cleaner, and healthier. Remove the lateral branches from the bottom 18 inches of stem for the best fruit production; this strategy will delay the onset of fruits but will result in a greater number of fruits.

In short-season regions with late last frost dates, plant cucumbers as soon as peas and spinach are finished.

Cucumber seedlings grow plant
Cucumber seedlings in the garden

Cucumber planting dates

(These dates are for the Northern Hemisphere)

Average date of the last frostPlanting dates
Jan. 30Feb. 15-Mar. 15
Feb. 8Feb. 15-Apr. 1
Feb. 18Feb. 15- Apr. 15
Feb. 28Mar. 1-Apr. 15
Mar. 10Mar. 15-Apr. 15
Mar. 20Apr. 1-May 1
Mar. 30Apr. 10-May 15
Apr. 10Apr. 20-June 1
Apr. 20May 1-June 15
Apr. 30May 15-June 15
May 10May 20-June 15
May 20June 1-15
May 30June 5-15
June 10June 10-15
Young cucumber plants plant grow
Young cucumber plants

Cucumber planting details

  • Sowing depth: 1/2 inch (12mm) or slightly more
  • Space between plant after thinning: 12-24 inches (30-60cm)
  • Days to sprout: 8-12
  • Days to harvest: 50-70
  • Storage period: 1-2 weeks
  • Seeds per 100-row feet: 3/4 ounces
  • Yield per 100-row feet: 600 fruits
  • Suggested varieties: Slicers: Marketmore, Bush Champion, Salad Bush, Diva; Picklers: Pickalot, Pioneer, Northern Pickling; Others: Suyo Long, Lemon, Armenian; For containers: Pot Luck, Spacemaster, Salad Bush.

Related cucumber growing articles:

How to Grow Cucumbers

Cucumber Varieties

Cucumber Seed Starting Tips

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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